Other names : Ding Pooi
Nationality : Taiwan
Workplace : Hong Kong
Activities : Producer (1), Actress (36)
Betty Ting Pei was born Tang Mei Li on Feb 19, some time in the late 1940s. She was a Taiwanese and she joined the Shaw Brothers’ stable of actors and actresses in 1967.
She actually started her film career with a Taiwan concern called China Motion Pictures Corporation. After acting in six Taiwan films, she attracted the attention of Shaw Brothers director Peter Pan Lei.
Upon joining Shaw Brothers, she changed her name to Ting Pei, for that extra glamour effect (I think).
Her first movie in Hong Kong was The Purple Shell in 1967. The following year, Ting Pei acted in Tomorrow Is Another Day.
Thereafter, her face graced a wide genre of movies, ranging from martial arts, drama to musicals and comedies.
Perhaps because of her perceived persona, Betty Ting Pei was more often than not cast as someone’s mistress or a woman of less-than-perfect morals.
Some of the musicals which she starred in were The Brain Stealers, Yellow Muffler and The Millionaire Chase. Six years after she joined the Shaw Brothers, Ting Pei went freelance. Her work shuttled her between Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Some of her movies between the years of 1972 and 1975 were Madness of Love, Love Across The Seas, Adultery, Chinese Style, The Call Girls, Naughty! Naughty!, The Virgin Mart and The Playboy.
Ting Pei’s last movie was My Name Ain’t Suzie in 1985. She retired after that. She was reported to have married the head honcho of Win’s Film Company, Charles Heung. The marriage broke up later on.
The actress’ career and life took a dive immediately after Bruce Lee’s death. For years, she was painted as the Scarlet Woman by members of the public and Press.
Insults directed at her were common. Consequently, she rejected all interviews from magazines and newspapers.
There has been an alleged report that Betty Ting Pei has become a nun but this has not been verified and confirmed. In recent years however, she has indicated that she was now ready to pen a tell-all autobiography.
While the gossip magazines and Hong Kong as a whole wait with bated breath for her “startling revelation”, Betty Ting Pei continues to intrigue her fans and friends of Bruce Lee.
Articles in the early 1970s that may have indicated the kind of relationship between Bruce Lee and Ting Pei were Press reports quoting Bruce telling his wife Linda Emery that “Betty was the one shining light in an otherwise dull film set.”
Bruce was also quoted as complimenting the actress, “Betty quite makes my day. She’s a revelation with her intelligence.”
In 1983, Ting Pei reciprocated Bruce’s high regard for her when she told a TV interviewer that “she would not have done anything to hurt Bruce as he was a very good friend.”
To the public, the story of Ting Pei is not over yet, not by a long shot. That she had achieved fame beyond her own expectations is indisputable but her life has truly never been the same since she was introduced to the world’s most famous Chinese martial arts actor by Raymond Chow in mid-1972.
Between 1967 and 1985, Ting Pei acted in about 33 films. Even though her star light has dimmed somewhat, her name continues to surface in conversations concerning Bruce Lee’s last days.