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Maggie Q Biography


Home > Actresses > Q > Q, Maggie > Biography


Birth Name: Maggie Q
Born: 05/22/1979
Birth Place: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA


Maggie Denise Quigley was born May 22, 1979 in Honolulu, HI. Quigley's mother was a Vietnamese divorcee with two daughters when she met her father, a New York-born G.I. of Polish-Irish descent stationed in the country during the Vietnam War. The two married and the family moved to Honolulu, settling in the area of Mililani, where Quigley came along after her parents had two more daughters and a son. As a child, Quigley considered becoming a veterinarian, an attorney or a journalist. A star cross-country runner, she had a university scholarship, but just shy of 18, after graduating Mililani High School, headed to Japan for the promise of a modeling career, having been intoxicated with the idea on the heels of a trip to Tokyo. After six months in Japan, she moved onto Taiwan, but after spending several jobless months, she made one last ditch effort at modeling in Hong Kong. Thankfully, it paid off. Her modeling career took off with several high profile designer campaigns, including Chanel and Gucci. Working professionally, she had made the decision to officially go by the more succinct-sounding nickname, "Maggie Q;" which many people were already using.

By 2000, Q's unique beauty had helped her transition into acting. She had already done some work on the Beijing series "House of the Dragon," but was recruited into her breakout screen debut with the Jackie Chan-produced "Tejing xinrenlei 2" ("Gen-X Cops 2") (2000), with Q playing the headstrong FBI agent Jane Quigley. A year later, Q returned to screens with "Manhattan Midnight" (2001), a racy assassin thriller. Chan roped her into a bit part in the Hollywood comedy "Rush Hour 2" (2001), before Q jumped into the role of an assassin herself, playing the trained killing machine Charlene Ching of "Chek law dak gung" ("Naked Weapon") (2002). As had been the case with "Manhattan Midnight," Q did the occasional nude scene, and by this time, her love life, which had included a relationship with famed actor Daniel Wu, had become a focus of the local press - all of which only proceeded to make her star rise in the Asian cinema. Working with Chan for a third time, Q then played the mysterious agent following Steve Coogan's Phileas Fogg in the regretfully bad American actioner, "Around the World in 80 Days" (2004).

Despite the box office bomb it became, "Around the World" did not diminish Q's Hollywood ascent. Although Q returned to Chinese films, including a turn in a much-lauded gay-themed drama, "Hainan ji fan" ("Rice Rhapsody") (2004), she formally headed into the international spotlight in 2006 by landing a part in a possible blockbuster "Mission Impossible III" (2006). For her first major American summer entry, Q played Zhen, a background specialist, who joins the team of super-spy Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) for a rescue mission. She definitely stood out in the cast, but due to Cruise's real-life hijinks earlier that year - jumping on Oprah's couch; scolding Matt Lauer; dismissing Brooke Shields for using antidepressants after giving birth - fan love of Cruise seemed to simmer down, causing an obvious drop in profits for the third "MI" outing.

A year later, as the summer of 2007 got rolling, Q got a further taste of taste of high-kicking action as Mai Lihn, an American terrorist's girlfriend in "Live Free or Die Hard," eagerly jumping into the fray in several onscreen fights and action sequences with star Bruce Willis. She also kept audiences buzzing throughout the season as the love interest of a down-and-out ping-pong ace named Randy Daytona in the comedy "Balls of Fury." With her visibility on high, Q was able to put a combination of her acting chops, sexuality and propensity for stunts and martial arts action into subsequent ambitious projects. She turned to the Ewan MacGregor/Hugh Jackman-led erotic thriller "The Tourist" (2007) in America, but maintaining roots in Asia, she also returned to China to star as the warrior princess Cao Ying of the epic "Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon" (2008), an adaptation of one of the country's most revered, centuries-old literary works. Q went on to earn a new legion of fans as the star of "Nikita" (The CW, 2010- ), a remake of Luc Besson's French film "Nikita" (1990) - which had previously spawned an American remake, "Point of No Return" (1993) and a mildly popular television show, "La Femme Nikita" (USA Network, 1997-2001). As the title character, Q played a woman with a troubled background molded into an efficient assassin, only to go rogue and turn on the agency that trained her. Full of action and suspense, "Nikita" allowed Q to bring her action prowess to a weekly audience.