Fashion icon, movie star and red carpet queen Fan Bingbing celebrates her 38th birthday on September 16. The Chinese actor may have endured a tough 2018 when she was dogged by allegations of tax evasion, eventually agreeing to repay US$129 million in overdue taxes, but she remains mainland China’s most famous contemporary cinematic icon – just witness the acclaim (and awards) for her performance in the widely celebrated I Am Not Madame Bovary . Occasionally derided by critics – her blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in Iron Man 3 was much ridiculed – Fan is both immensely popular and has earned the title “master” in China, an honour usually only given to men, for her dedication and attitude towards her craft. Here are five of Fan’s most iconic roles that helped earn her that title. Actress Fan Bingbing: disappearance last year ‘made me calm down’ Li Xuelian – I Am Not Madame Bovary Fan won a clutch of awards – at the Asian Film Awards, China Film Director’s Guild Awards and Golden Rooster Awards – for her role in this satire by Feng Xiaogang about a wife betrayed by her husband, accused of being a prostitute, and having to endure the headache of dealing with China's state bureaucracy. It is arguably Fan’s most mature work and she deserved the praise. Wu Zetian – The Empress of China Fan was so iconic in this lavish 2014/15 TV drama that the Chinese government censored the programme’s many revealing costumes. Apparently worried about all the cleavage on show – something accurate to the Tang dynasty setting, however – the series was temporarily taken off the air and when it returned shots of its female cast were awkwardly cropped above the chest. Fan was ravishing as Empress Wu Zetian and her presence helped make the programme the highest rated of the year. Actress Fan Bingbing: disappearance last year ‘made me calm down’ Blink – X-Men: Days of Future Past Although her role in Iron Man 3 was the subject of criticism, Fan nonetheless remains a trailblazer when it comes to Asian actors breaking through into modern comic book blockbusters. Her role as Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past was another minor one – but it was still more substantial than her role in Iron Man 3. Until the news dropped that Tony Leung Chiu-wai would star as the Mandarin in the upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Fan was still the biggest Asian star to have a role in a major comic book movie. 8 great films starring Marvel actor Tony Leung Liu Pingguo – Lost in Beijing This 2007 film was one of Fan's earlier works that helped bring her to international attention following its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. She plays Liu Pingguo, a poor wife who moves with her husband from Dongbei to Beijing seeking a better life. Liu ends up being raped by her boss (Tony Leung Ka-fai), prompting questions raised about the paternity of her child once it's discovered she is pregnant. Although some critics found fault with the overall plot, the performances of the lead actors, including Fan, was applauded. Inside Fan Bingbing's split with fiancé Li Chen Nan Feng – Buddha Mountain A tale of three 20-somethings looking to dodge exams and maturity in general. In this drama by writer-director Li Yu, Fang, in particular, was singled out for praise for her acting and her ability to make her character, Nan Feng, convincingly innocent and formidable. As a result, she won the Best Actress award at the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .