Carman Lee Regrets Not Becoming a Mother

A traditionalist at heart, the star has no regrets about quitting acting at the height of her fame, but is rueful about not having experienced motherhood.

Often called “Most Beautiful Little Dragon Lady” in reference to her classic role in The Condor Heroes  <神雕侠侣> 1995 TV adaptation, Carman Lee (李若彤) recently guest-starred in a Chinese period drama The Untamed <陳情令>, surprising fans with her ageless beauty. Although only a guest star in the drama, the 52 year-old actress caught the attention of viewers and supportive fans.

Gave Up Thriving Career for Boyfriend but Broke Up 4 Years Later

Carman with her mom

Carman with her mom

The actress had once taken a 10-year-long hiatus from the entertainment industry in 2004. Prior to that in 1998, she started dating businessman Martin Kwok (郭應泉), whose business failed the following year. To help repay her lover’s debts, Carman took on many dramas in China to earn more money.

In order to accede to her then boyfriend who “did not like her to be an actress”, Carman chose to quit her entertainment career at the height of her fame and popularity. However, the two later broke up in 2008. Also facing the demise of her father, Carman sunk into depression.

While she used to tear up whenever she mentions her father, Carman revealed that she finally mustered up courage to visit his grave during the Qing Ming festival this year. She is also thankful for her mother’s loving care throughout the years, which helped her in her recovery.

Returns to the Small Screen

In 2013, Carman accepted a role in TVB drama Never Dance Alone <女人俱樂部> after being invited by Eric Tsang (曾志偉), marking her return to the entertainment industry. She films and works mostly in Mainland China in recent years.

Still single over 10 years after breaking up with her boyfriend, Carman’s opinion towards love has undergone a 180-degree change. She used to be very traditional and believed in listening to her husband after marriage, which was why she obeyed her boyfriend and prioritized his happiness above her own. Now, she has learned to think for herself and not give in too much to the other party, knowing that he should be encouraging rather than restrict her pursuits. She had once looked forward to marriage keenly, but gave up the idea after she hinted twice to her boyfriend, but to no avail.

She revealed that there are potential partners in her social circle now with whom she can choose to take things further, adding that she prefers ambitious men who are willing to share their advice when she encounters any problems.

Maternal Instincts

With friends’ active match-making efforts, Carman has tried thrice going on dates while concealing her celebrity status. Although she used to mind this in the past, she feels open about it now and uses the opportunity to train herself not to be overly concerned about her identity. She has become friends with some of the prospects.

Although love once led to her losing out on career opportunities, Carman she does not regret her decisions, but only feels rueful about not having children. She did not make the leap to motherhood back then as she was stopped by fears of her children growing up in an incomplete family.

Source: hket

This article is written by JoyceK for

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  1. Hmm…giving up a potentially elite career to a guy who didn’t seem interested in marrying and prioritised his own interests….

    1. @jimmyszeto Right? You would think they would pop those kids out if you are NOT working and sitting at home? Sigh…But then she’s not the first and certainly will not be the last. Remember Margie Shao? My aunt loved that woman and she used to say how she was so popular why did she even cohabit and give her career for that noodle dude. Nothing lasts forever is fitting and it’s reality sometimes. But I also think some women are just lazy as well. I have seen it. I mean I don’t understand why they would stop working and not doing anything at an early age. I mean yes I understand some are just plain lazy to be in the work force so they at least pop some kids out. What do you call these? Not popping kids out and gave up career for what for nothing? Sigh….can’t understand it really….It’s like you lose some but gain some in other ways but you are losing all and gaining nothing. haha lol…

      1. @wm2017
        There have been a few who gave up careers for the partner but not marry. The majority of the ones who quit entirely after having kids or at least after marrying. I agree it could be due to laziness once life’s target (to find a rich guy) has been reached but it could also be that they are so smitten in love that the actress can’t bare to be apart or any modest period of time. This can also be negative for the relationship since the freshness wears out. Putting all eggs in the basket isn’t the way to go. There are also plenty in mid thirties and forties who are doing the opposite by putting too much time into work and savings. There needs to be a balance…

    2. @jimmyszeto TBH, I have a real life friend like that as well. She practically sacrificed all career progression just to be close to this guy she has been chasing for 10+ years.

  2. WTF happened to her face?? She still looked good and recognizable in Never Dance Along. Now, she looked a whole lot different person. Botox? PS? Or just photoshop’d? She looks strangely weird to me now. And that waist doesn’t look human…

    Didn’t realize she was THAT popular back then. I only remember her in 2 dramas before she disappeared. She was definitely on the raise. Though her acting was meh,. She did fit in those 2 roles though. Prettiest Little Dragon Girl indeed. Glad now she’s living for herself instead for and under a man’s beckon.

    1. @jjwong Either too much makeup or had some work done. The first pic it’s like typical korean style makeup, alot of white skin and red lipstick.

    2. @jjwong
      she definatley had work done. I recall there was an article poking fun at benny chan’s botox face but in the same pic, carmen was standing behind him. it was obvious she had work done but she had it earlier so her face wasn’t as rigid.

  3. Of all the husbands that beautiful celebrities have selected, I still stand by my opinion that Carman selected the worst one.

    He already wasn’t attractive, to begin with, but when she’s next to him, the contrast is so great that she made him fugly. I think she should thank god they didn’t have children.

    1. @coralie I once read that very attractive people typically end up with those who are comparatively less good looking because they already feel fulfilled in that regard. They look for other areas of compensation.

      I do think that Carman was, by far, the best looking LDG. She has prominent, deep set eyes and a chiseled facial structure which probably attribute to her rapid aging. Those with sharper, more defined features tend to look more mature.

      As for experiencing motherhood, she could always opt for adoption. Her initial reluctance towards raising a child as a single parent was a valid concern, since countless studies show that children who grow up in nuclear families are generally more socially & emotionally well adjusted.

      That’s not to say that a single parent couldn’t raise a perfectly normal child, but it isn’t ideal.

      1. @oystergirl Interesting theory. I heard beautiful people don’t look for other beautiful people because they don’t want to compete lol. plus when they know they’re beautiful, usually that comes with entitlement attitudes, which neither attractive partner would want to accede. there’s also the theory that beautiful people are super insecure on the inside because they always wonder if they’re worth anything outside of their looks. So that makes it easy for douchebags to take advantage by targeting these vulnerabilities. I want to say the latter is how this guy got Carman…but then again, he was rich too when they got together.

  4. If he has a spine why then let her clear his debts with her earnings as an actress when he didn’t even like her profession? A man who did that and at the same time refusing to marry you when u hinted twice, not that marriage is a necessity but he should know by then it does mean something to her, all these should have alerted her that this man is putting himself upbove everything and her and she should run before it’s too late. Such man may not be appreciative of what she has done for him and will continue to take her for granted until he meets someone else.

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