Kan Chia Fong (Yuen Qiu)

                                                                  Kan Chia Fong aka Yuen Qiu  

                                                                  Kan Chia Fong aka Yuen Qiu

                                                                                               (Kan Chia Fung, Yuan Qiu, Phoenix Kim)

                                Actress

 

                                 We were recently re-introduced to Yuen Qiu in Stephen Chow's smash Kung Fu Hustle

                              as the tempersome chain-smoking landlady in curlers. Her fairly brief film career actually began 

                                                     over 30 years ago in Hong Kong as a kung fu movie actress. 

                                     

                                Yuen Qiu (whose real name is is Kan Chia Fong) considers herself "mixed". Her father is a

                                 Shandong Chinese and her mother is Cantonese. At age 7, she began attending the Peking 

                                 Opera school run by Master Yu Jim Yuen, who gave her the name "Yuen Qiu". The training

                                and living conditions were strict and grueling. Her parents only supplied a few dollars a month

                                    for food. When she went to the dentist to have a tooth pulled, she recalls being given no 

                                              anesthesia, and was told by the dentist have some ice cream instead.

                                         

                                  Her classmates in the Peking Opera school were the "Seven Little Fortunes" themselves- 

                                  Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Jackie Chan and her Kung Fu Hustle co-star, Yuen Wah.

                                                 In other words, she can spin, kick and flip with the best of them. 

                                                      

                                  Coincidentally, Yuen Qiu debuted in two movies also featuring a young Jackie Chan. She

                               played the title character in Police Woman (1973), and took a non-action role as a country girl 

                                in the dreary Not Scared To Die (1973). When Universal Studios came to Hong Kong to cast

                                 people for the James Bond pic The Man With a Golden Gun, she was flown to Thailand to 

                              film a brief appearance as a schoolgirl. Though the film industry was booming, antagonist roles

                                 for females were scarce, and salaries for women actresses were unjustly lower than men's. 

                       

                                  In 1975 Kan co-starred with Jason Pai Piao and Ron Van Clief in The Black Dragon's 

                               Revenge. She later played Leung Ka Yan's wife in New Tales of the Flying Fox, cameoed

                                  in the beginning of Yuen Wo Ping's Dreadnaught, played Lau Ka Yung's martial arts 

                               mamma in Dragon's Claws, and kicked Hsiao Ho's butt with her steel toed shoes during the

                                              opening credits of Lau Kar Leung's Disciples of the 36th Chamber

                                 Her most frequent co-star would be Korean actor Dragon Lee, with whom she worked on

                                     three films billed with the moniker Phoenix Kim. In the mid 1980's, frustrated with 

                                       gender inequities in the industry, she married and withdrew from the film circle.

                                                                                

                                    In 2004, Yuen Qiu was accompanying a female friend to an audition for Kung Fu Hustle.

                                Bored waiting, she lit a cigarette and began to read the newspaper. Director Stephen Chow

                                   spotted the aloof retired actress, and asked her to show him a few more smoking poses.

                              Chow had been searching for months for the right person to fill the role of the fat, surly landlady,

                               and offered the opportunity to Yuen Qiu. However, she had to sacrifice by gaining a significant

                                 amount of weight for the role. At first, she did not know if she could live up to Chow's high

                                   expectations, but says that Chow, who is known for being a  tough taskmaster, did not 

                                       scold her at all on the set. Her efforts were rewarded with a Hong Kong Film Award 

                                                                              nomination for Best Actress.

                                 Kung Fu Hustle marks Yuen Qiu's official return to show business after nearly 20 years. 

                                                                  

                                                         Kan Chia Fong (Yuen Qiu) Filmography

                                                                                        Kan Chia Fong

1983

Bastard Swordsman

1975 The Black Dragon's Revenge
1985 Crazy Shaolin Disciples
1985 Disciples of the 36th Chamber
198? Dragon Lee vs. the Five Brothers
198? The Dragon, the Young Master
1979 Dragon's Claws
1982 The Dragon's Snake Fist   
1981 Dreadnaught
1978 The Fearless Duo
2004 Kung Fu Hustle 
2005 Kung Fu Mahjong
1984 New Tales of the Flying Fox 
1973 Not Scared To Die   
1973 Police Woman   (aka The Heroine)

  

 

                                                                Kan Chia Fong -American Films

                                                                                         Kan Chia Fong

1974

The Man With the Golden Gun

 

 

                                          Hong Kong Film Awards

                                                                                           Yuen Qiu       

                                                                 Best Actress Nomination- Yuen Qiu

                                                                             2004     Kung Fu Hustle

                                                                  

 

                                          Hong Kong Movie World

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