Michelle Ye Xuan (born February 14, 1980) is a Hong Kong actress and producer. In 1999, she won the Miss Chinese International competition. Ye then signed a contract with TVB from 1999-2005. After she left TVB, She signed with Rich & Famous Talent Management Group Limited to pursue a movie career.
Ye is fluent in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. She immigrated to the United States at age 10. She attended John Dewey High School where she won first place at the International Science and Engineering Fair in the Botany sector (1998). She was a scholarship student at Wellesley College, but left before graduating to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
In July 1999, Ye accepted a contract offered by TVB after winning the Miss Chinese International Pageant. She had a number of leading roles in dramas such as, Eternal Happiness, Triumph in the Skies, and Lost in the Chamber of Love. Ye has worked as a host and MC.
Ye published an autobiography titled Shang Shan Ruo Shui - Xuan Gong Lue in July 2006.
Michelle Ye was born in Hangzhou, China. She was named after her mother’s favorite actress Zhou Xuan. Ye’s mother was a housewife and her father a lawyer. Her father was constantly on business travel, thus leaving Ye to be cared for by her mother solely. When Ye was 7 years old, her father moved overseas and only returned home for a total amount of weeks within a year. Ye’s parents divorced when she was 9 years old. Her mother no longer wanted to care for her and instead wanted Ye’s father to know what it was like to take care of their child.
Ye then lived with her paternal grandparents. Her grandparents were retired professors who lived in a professor’s hostel in the university. She was loved and spoiled by her grandparents, but her grandfather was extremely strict with her academics. Under his guidance, her academic results were good. Ye was involved in a lot of school activities.
At the age of 10, her father brought her and her grandparents to come live with him in New York. Ye’s father told her that a man’s career is first priority and bringing her to the States would allow her to have a better education. Ye’s grandparents could not acclimate to the new environment and returned to China. Her father was still busy with his career. She stated that initially she did hate her father. At the age of 13, Ye suggested to move out, claiming she did not want to live with a stranger. Her father agreed and let her rent an apartment. Every month she would go to her father’s company for spending money. She would take care of laundry and meals herself. To earn extra money for other expenses, she lied about her age to work in a video rental store. Whilst at the store, she would often rent numerous series and movies to watch, which eventually influenced her to work in the entertainment business.
In truth, Ye actually longed for her father’s attention. She performed and succeeded exceptionally in school, hoping that it would attract her father’s attention. Although she always felt that her dad was never too far away (despite the physical distance), she secretly acted with indifference and irrelevance. Nonetheless, today Ye bears no more animosity towards her father, but instead thanks him for training her to be independent and tough. It has taught Ye to face any obstacle that comes her way. Consequent of that experience, Ye is a tough-minded, formidable actress. She is willing to confront any challenges, including professional movie roles and personal tribulations with a sure-mindedness that distinguishes her from her contemporaries. This fortitude has gained her critical acclaim from both the movie industry as well as the print and electronic media.
She attended John Dewey High School. While there, she learned to speak Cantonese from a classmate. She won first place at the International Science and Engineering Fair in the Botany sector in 1998. She was the valedictorian of her class, thus earning her full scholarship to the prestigious Wellesley College, where she majored in political science.
She was influenced by her stepmother to enter the 1998 Miss Greater Chinatown NYC beauty pageant. She was 2nd runner up, but the winner resigned and the 1st runner up declined the title. She accepted the title and competed in Hong Kong for the Miss Chinese International 1999 competition on her birthday and won. After the competition, she went back and finished her first year of college. After further consideration, Ye decided not to continue her studies, but instead signed a contract with TVB. Her previous aspiration was to become a lawyer.
In July 1999, she signed a contract with TVB. At the beginning of her career, Michelle Ye was well promoted by her company. She starred in several series and eventually earned “Fa Dan” status.
Ye’s most notable friends in the business are Myolie Wu and Rain Lau, in which they became sworn sisters after filming Eternal Happiness. Ye was rumored with several men, but among all of them, she only admitted to dating Benny Chan. Chan and Ye first worked together on the set of Gods of Honour. It was not until filming Network Love Story in China that they started to date. They dated for two years and allegedly split due to personality differences.
After Jessica Hsuan was unable to film World’s Finest, Hsuan recommended Ye to take her role as "Hai Tang". Director Wong Jing took notice of Ye and eventually led him to offer her a contract with Rich & Famous Talent Management Group Limited, the same company that manages Shu Qi, Anthony Wong, Edison Chen, Denise Ho, etc.
After Ye’s contract with TVB ended in June 2005, she did not renew it. Instead, she accepted the contract with Rich & Famous Talent Management Group Limited a month later. It has always been a dream of Ye to be on the big screen.
Ye is slowly gaining recognition from renowned directors, such as Dante Lam and Johnnie To. She won the 2010 Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress. In 2008, Ye renewed her contract with Rich & Famous Talent Management Group Limited.
Ye recently established her own production company and has produced and starred in three series thus far, Ninth Widow, Athena, and Purple Hairpin. However, Ye has not ruled out a return to TVB after revealing she was recently asked to return by several producers.