Bai Ling

Actress Bai Ling was a true original. Whether on the red carpet in one of her ubiquitous bizarre outfits or during interviews where she often declared herself one of Hollywood's best actresses, Ling always managed to stir up controversy. A well-known actress in China, she became an international star with a breakout role in the controversial drama "Red Corner" (1997), playing a pragmatic Chinese lawyer who must defend Richard Gere. She went on to appear in big-budget productions like Oliver Stone's historical piece "Nixon" (1995) and "Anna and the King" (1999) starring Jodie Foster. But the actress struggled to find good roles in the 2000s, and was relegated to small film and TV parts that called for a feisty yet enigmatic Asian woman. With only a shadow of an acting career left, the free-spirited Ling decided to make headlines on her terms by way of flaunting her figure in ridiculously gaudy and risqué outfits, and by becoming a mainstay on the Hollywood party scene. She was the definition of train wreck in sequins and fur when she competed on VH1's reality competition "But Can They Sing?" (2005) and made headlines again three years later when she was caught shoplifting and charged with petty theft. In spite of her zany antics, she continued to score roles in a variety of still less-than-stellar projects, including the high-octane "Crank: High Voltage" (2009), and managed to extend her 15 minutes of fame into a long, albeit unpredictable show business career.