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Beijing Beauties

China's Hollywood Favorite's -- We list the most popular actors and movies in the American cinema-lovin' Asian country

That great wall dividing Chinese and American cultures has kept Asian actors from breaking through in the U.S. — until The Joy Luck Club. How unfair: China's moviegoers are big fans of the same American movies and stars we love. Well not exactly the same movies and stars.

While Jurassic Park, Cliffhanger, and Last Action Hero have become huge hits in Hong Kong and Taiwan, movie fans in the People's Republic of China get to see only a selective batch of current Hollywood hits, since mainland exhibitors often can't afford the high fees. As a result, such classic stars as Paul Newman, Katharine Hepburn, and Orson Welles are some of China's top matinee idols today. Audiences also have a soft spot for Brooke Shields and for Deborah Raffin, who says her 1974 adventure, The Dove, was one of the first American films shown there after President Nixon engineered detente with the Communist government.

Here's how our actors, actresses, and movies stack up in China, as ranked for EW by Liu Siping, a Beijing-based film director and critic. (There is no standard source for box office figures in the People's Republic of China.)

Top Actor
1. Sylvester Stallone
2. Robert DeNiro
3. Paul Newman
4. Dustin Hoffman
5. Laurence Olivier
6. Robert Redford
7. Arnold Schwarzenegger
8. Michael Douglas
9. Kevin Costner
10. Richard Gere

Top Actress
1. Vivien Leigh
2. Ingrid Bergman
3. Audrey Hepburn
4. Meryl Streep
5. Julia Roberts
6. Jodie Foster
7. Katharine Hepburn
8. Michelle Pfeiffer
9. Greta Garbo
10. Brooke Shields

Top Film
1. Gone With the Wind
2. My Fair Lady
3. Roman Holiday
4. Ben-Hur
5. Kramer vs. Kramer
6. Taxi Driver
7. Pretty Woman
8. Home Alone
9. Citizen Kane
10. The Godfather, I and III

Originally posted Mar 25, 1994 Published in issue #215 Mar 25, 1994 Order article reprints