The Big Hit
A British model and actress of 7/16 Chinese, 1/4 Japanese, 1/4 German and 1/16 Scottish lineage, China Chow is known to many as the off spring of Tina Chow, a famous model in 1980s who died of AIDS in early 1992, and the owner of renowned Mr. Chow restaurants, Michael Chow. The Eurasian beauty has modeled for Shiseido cosmetics, following in the footsteps of her mother and her aunt (Adelle Lutz), as well as for Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin, in addition to appearance in such top publications as Harper’s Bazaar, Vague and Maxim. As an actress, Chow has dotted her resume with several vehicles, including 1998’s The Big Hit, and was a guest star in a 2001 episode of the popular series “That ‘70s Show.” She provided her voice to the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004).
Outside the spotlight, one of Harper’s Bazaar’s “It Girls” and one of Vague magazine’s “The Next Best-Dressed” (both 1996), Chow, had a brief romance with Mark Wahlberg after filming The Big Hit (1998).
Childhood and Family:
China Chow was born on April 1, 1974, in London, England. She is the daughter of the late Tina Chow, a fashion icon of the 1980s, and Michael Chow, a successful restaurateur. She is of Japanese-German descent from her mother’s side and of Chinese-English from his father’s. She has a younger brother named Maximillian and a younger half-sister named Asia.
After earning a B.A in Psychology from Scripps College, China spent several years as a model before breaking to cinematic industry in 1998.
China Chow started her modeling career after graduating from college. She worked for Shiseido cosmetics, Calvin and Tommy Hilfiger, and was named one of Harper’s Bazaar’s “It Girls” in 1996. The same year, she also appeared in the December edition of Vague magazine’s “The Next Best-Dressed List.” After several years focusing on modeling, Chow segued to acting in 1998 with a supporting part as Keiko Nishi in the Mark Wahlberg vehicle The Big Hit, an action-comedy film directed by Kirk Wong. She followed her film acting two years later with appearance in Maxim magazine.
Returning to filmmaking, Chow undertook the roles of Amber Stevens in writer-director Danny Comden comedy Sol Goode (2001), which starred Balthazar Getty in the title role, and Lisa in the comedy-romance Head Over Heels (2001), starring Monica Potter and Freddie Prinze Jr. She made a guest performance in an episode of “That ‘70s Show,” that same year.
The next years, Chow found herself acting with Jason Schwartzman, Mickey Rourke and Brittany Murphy in the comedy Spun (2002), costarred with Mary Tyler Moore and Liam Waite in the made-for-TV film Blessings (2003), as well as made two short films, Starring (2003, along side Lisa Marie Presley and Tori Spelling) and Peter J. Nieves’ Carnival Sun (2003, portrayed Justin Bartha’s love interest).
In 2004, Chow teamed up with director Mark A.Z. Dippé for Frankenfish. The horror/action also starred Tory Kittles, K.D. Aubert and Matthew Rauch. The same year, she did voice-over in the hit video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, providing the voice of Katie Zhan.