Olivia Cheng (born August 20, 1979) is a Canadian actress, broadcast journalist, and former correspondent for Entertainment Tonight Canada.
Early Life and Career
Cheng was born in Edmonton, Alberta to parents who immigrated from Hong Kong. They were part of a co-founding group of Chinese parents that created the Edmonton Mandarin Bilingual program within the city’s public school system. Her father worked in software and her mother was a health aide.
Cheng enrolled in her first acting class at age six, and at age 19 she booked her first commercial. She attended NAIT’s Radio and Television Arts program the following year. After finishing school, she became a videographer for Global TV Lethbridge, before moving back to Edmonton to work as a broadcast and print journalist. She went on to freelance as a correspondent for ET Canada.
AMC was launching its original content division and came to Alberta with a Walter Hill-helmed mini-series executive produced by Robert Duvall. They were looking for five Chinese actresses, but were willing to look at non-professionals as well. Duvall saw Cheng’s audition and asked to bring her back. She was then cast in Broken Trail, which was nominated for 16 Primetime Emmy Awards and would go on to win four, including the Emmy for Outstanding Mini Series. Since then, Cheng has appeared on Supernatural and Eureka, and the episode “The New World” on the television show The 4400. Cheng appears as Linda Park in the TV series Arrow. However, the character was recast with Malese Jow taking the role in 2015. In 2007, Cheng played Iris Chang in Iris Chang: The Rape of Nanking, based on Chang’s best-selling 1997 book The Rape of Nanking.
In 2014, Cheng landed a role in Netflix’s series Marco Polo, produced by The Weinstein Company. It is a lavish television drama, one of the most expensive ever produced, about Marco Polo’s journey as he travels from his home in Venice to the court of Kublai Khan, where he finds himself in the middle of a war in 13th-century China. Cheng portrays Mei Lin, a concubine and assassin, the sister of Jia Sidao. Cheng joked in a December 2014 interview that owing to her frequent nude scenes in Marco Polo that she would not be watching the series with her parents, saying: “That would be so uncomfortable. I think if I did, the only benefit would be that I would fast-forward through my scenes and just give them the CliffsNotes… I would just be like, ‘Here’s what happens. Next scene”.
In October 2017, it was announced Cheng would be part of the main cast of the Justin Lin-produced Warrior set against the backdrop of the Tong Wars of San Francisco. The series was based on an original idea by the late Bruce Lee and premiered on Cinemax on April 5 2019.
We don’t have much information about Olivia Cheng’s personal life.
Olivia Cheng’s net worth as of 2021 is estimated to be around $700, 000 – $10 million (net worth estimated in 2021).
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