The world lost a talented performer later today who played a huge role in connecting Walt Disney Pictures’ Mulan (1998) with China itself. Actress Coco Lee was born in Hong Kong and is best known for her singing, songwriting, and performance as the voice of the Disney Princess in Mandarin. The Mulan actress was unfortunately only 48 years old and passed away in the hospital after a suicide attempt.
Despite adoring fans and a successful career, Coco Lee struggled with depression. Lee attempted to take her life at her home on Sunday July 2, but failed and was rushed to the hospital. After she went into a coma, doctors efforts were unfortunately not able to save her and she passed away by Wednesday July 5.
Through social media, Coco Lee’s sisters Carol and Nancy shared this message,
With great sadness, we are here to break the most devastating news: CoCo had been suffering from depression for a few years but her condition deteriorated drastically over the last few months. Although CoCo sought professional help and did her best to fight depression, sadly that demon inside of her took the better of her.
This Chinese actress played Fa Mulan in the dubbed Mandarin version of Disney’s classic Mulan. Disney’s original version of Mulan starred Ming Na Wen as the lead actress for Mulan and Lea Salonga as her singing voice. In the Mandarin version, Coco Lee provided both.
Lee was also a beloved singer-songwriter in Hong Kong. She was the first Chinese American singer to perform at the Oscars for her song “A Love Before Time” from the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001) soundtrack. The Mulan star was also featured on the soundtrack for the romantic comedy Runaway Bride (1999) with her song “Before I Fall in Love.” Coco Lee was also the first Chinese ambassador for Chanel.
Her sisters continued,
As a family of CoCo, we are very grateful and honored to have such an excellent and outstanding sister. We are thankful to God for giving us such a kind angel. We know now she has gone to a happier place and no longer suffers from depression; we trust God has her best interest looked after!
Rest in peace, Coco.