Pai Yang (c. 1920-), leading film actress known for her performances in such productions as I-chiang ch'un-shui hsiang-tung liu. Little is known about Pai Yang's family background or personal life. According to some sources, she was born in Peking in 1920, and she began her stage career at the age of 12 when she passed the entrance examinations for the Peking branch training school of the Lien-hua ying-yeh kung-ssu [united photoplay service]. Other sources give her birthplace as Hsiangt'an, Hunan, and her birthdate as 1916. In any event, she was a graduate of the Peiping Institute of Dramatic Art, and she began her professional career as a member of the Chungkuo lu-hsing chü-t'uan [China traveling dramatic troupe], headed byT'ang Huai-ch'iu. She also took part in some of the rural productions staged by Hsiung Fo-hsi (q.v.). Her vivacious acting and personality soon brought her recognition, and it seems likely that she would have become China's premier legitimate actress if she had not decided to enter the film world. The first film in which Pai Yang appeared was made in 1936 and was shown in Shanghai in 1937. Entitled Shih-tzu chieh-Vou [at the crossroads], the film was directed by Shen Hsi-ling and produced at the Ming-hsing ying-p'ien kung-ssu [star film company studios], with Chao Tan as the male lead. The film, which was concerned with unemployment problems, contained much implicit social criticism. Its anti- Japanese bias was sufficiently strong for the Shanghai Municipal Council to order one scene cut in deference to possible Japanese sensitivity. Shih-tzu chieh-Vou brought Pai Yang to the forefront as a screen actress, and she became a favorite of a more critical public than had existed previously. She and Hu Tieh (q.v.) became the two leading stars of their day, and a number of critics and other intellectuals preferred the performance of Pai Yang to those of her colleague.
Some of Pai Yang's more popular feature films were She-hui-chih-hua [the flower of society], of 1937; Chung-hua erh-nü [daughter of China], of 1939; and Ching-nien Chung-kuo [young China], of 1941. Perhaps the film for which she is best remembered by the postwar generation was the marathon production (really two films), Pachien li-lu yün-ho-yueh [eight thousand leagues away lie the clouds and the moon] and Pa-nien wan-luan [eight years of chaos], the first being made in 1946 and the second in 1947. The double production was screened in 1947 under the title I-chiang ch'un-shui hsiang-tung liu, rendered in English as The Tears of the Yangtze. The film depicted the vicissitudes of the people in wartime China against a background of corrupt government administration. It took four hours to screen, and it broke all box-office records in Shanghai by running for eighty-four consecutive days. The producer was the K'un-lun ying-yeh kung-ssu [K'un-lun film company].
During the Sino-Japanese war years, which she spent in Chungking, Pai Yang married the playwright and Western theater specialist Chang Chün-hsiang (q.v.). They later were divorced. After the Chinese Communists came to power, Pai Yang remained in China and continued to appear in films. Two notable ones were Wei-liao ho-p'ing [in the cause of peace], which was made in 1954, and Chu-fu [the blessing], which was released in 1956.
An honored figure in the People's Republic of China, Pai Yang was voted the nation's most popular screen actress in a public poll taken in the mid-1950's. She took part in public affairs in the 1950's by reading poetry before large audiences in Shanghai, going abroad as a member of various cultural missions, and serving as vice chairman of the China Film Workers Union. During this period, Pai Yang married Chiang Chün-ch'ao, a film director and former actor. They had two children, a girl and a boy. Pai Yun-t'i: see Buyantai. Panchen Lama (Ninth) Tibetan. Lop-sang Tub-dan Ju-gye I-ma Go-lok La-mu-gye Secular. Erdeni Chuyi-Geltseng