Zhao Tao (born 28 January 1977) is a Chinese actress. She works in China and occasionally Europe, and has appeared in 10 films and several shorts since starting her career in 1999. She is best known for her collaborations with her husband, director Jia Zhangke, including Platform (2000) and Still Life (2006). With Shun Li and the Poet (2011), she became the first Asian actress to win a prize at David di Donatello. She received two Golden Horse Award nominations for Mountains May Depart (2015), Ash Is Purest White (2018).
She was born January 28, 1977, in Taiyuan, Shanxi, which is also the hometown of the heroine in Still Life. As a child, she studied classical Chinese dance. In 1996, she enrolled in the folk dance department at Beijing Dance Academy. After graduation, she became a dance teacher in Taiyuan Normal College, where she was spotted by Jia during casting for Platform. Since then they work frequently together.
In 2011 she starred in the Italian film Shun Li and the Poet by Andrea Segre, which screened in the Venice Days section of the 68th Venice International Film Festival. Zhao won the David di Donatello Award, the Italian Oscar, for Best Actress for her bilingual role.
On January 7, 2012 she married director Jia Zhangke.
|Year||English Title||Chinese Title||Role||Notes|
|2002||Unknown Pleasures||任逍遥||Qiao Qiao||Lead|
|2006||Still Life||三峡好人||Shen Hong||Lead|
|2007||Our Ten Years||我们的十年||Lead|
|2008||24 City||二十四城记||Su Na||Ensemble|
|2008||Cry Me a River||河上的愛情||Zhou Qi||Lead|
|2010||Ten Thousand Waves||-||Blue Goddess||Ensemble|
|2011||Shun Li and the Poet||我是丽||Shun Li||Lead|
|2013||A Touch of Sin||天注定||Xiao Yu||Ensemble|
|2015||Mountains May Depart||山河故人||Shen Tao||Nominated - 52nd Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actress|
|2018||Ash Is Purest White||江湖兒女||Nominated - 55th Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actress|