Born April 12, 1959, in Shanghai.
Actor in CCTV and The Actors Troupe of China TV Dramas Production Center.
Artist name: Liu Xiao Ling Tong
Zhang Jinlai is the emblematic figure behind the most loved Chinese stage character, the Monkey King. The Monkey King has been China's favorite superhero for at least five centuries. The Monkey King, who stars in The Journey to the West, an epic comic fantasy from the sixteenth century, is amazingly strong, he can fly, and he has a few tricks those other superheroes never heard of.
His popularity in China is comparable to that of Mickey Mouse in the US. Of the four Classical Chinese novels, Journey To The West is the most popular and well known. The fabulous adventure is helped ably by the polish of the TV version in ensuring its cross generation popularity.
Zhang Jinlai is a member of a renowned four-generation artistic family, in which all the male descendants inherit both the stunts and the fame from his great grandfather Zhang Tingchun, the then Live Monkey Zhang.
He was born into a family of artists in Shanghai. At the age of 6 he started to learn martial arts from his father, Liu Ling Tong, a maestro of monkey performing. After graduating from senior high school, Zhang entered Zhejiang Kun Drama Troupe School majoring in martial roles, starting his monkey performance in a range of dramas.
1989 saw the first peak in his career, as the TV adaptation of Journey To The West for the first time aired on CCTV. Zhang's compelling performance helped him capture the title of the best actor of the Sixth Golden Eagle Prize (a reputable Chinese TV dramas Prize) as well as the first and Second Chinese Top Ten TV and Movie Stars Prizes.
The TV series of Journey To The West was also well received abroad, showing in the United States, Australia, Japan, Germany, France and some Southeast Asian regions. A "Monkey King" craze followed in all these areas, and people dubbed him the No.1 Monkey King, Live Sun Wu Kung etc.
In November 1998, at the invitation of the city's mayor, he paid a visit to Vancouver, to give a free performance to raise money for building a Children's Hospital. Actions like this gained him an outstanding Chinese Arts Prize. What's more, he's the first Chinese entertainer to have been recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. In China, the Beijing Stamp Company issued a series of stamps Little Monkey and The Family of The Monkey King.