In 1997, Liao Fan graduated from Shanghai Theatre Academy with a bachelor's degree in acting, Class of 1993. In 1998, he entered the film industry with his role in "Eternal Moment", and later acted in "Goodbye, Vancouver", "Love Story in Shanghai", "The Line", "Zodiac", and other works. In 2008, he was nominated for Best Actor at the 45th Golden Horse Awards for his work "Ocean Flame". In 2014, he won the Best Actor Award at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival for "Black Coal, Thin Ice", becoming the first Chinese actor to win the award. In March of the following year, he won the Best Actor Award at the 9th Asian Film Awards for Black Coal, Thin Ice". In 2015, he appeared in the movie "The Final Master". In 2016, he appeared in the movie "Guilty of Mind". In 2018, he appeared in the movie "Ash Is Purest White" and "Savage". In 2019, he appeared in the movie "The Wild Goose Lake" and the play "Faust".