Chow Yun Fat              

                                                                              Chow Yun Fat  Chow Yun Fat

                                                                                                (Donald Chow, Aman Chow, Fat Gor)  


                                           Born: May 18, 1955, Lamma Island, HK      Languages:  Chinese, English

                                                                        Hobbies:  Cooking, Photography


                                         If Chow Yun Fat didn't have talent, he could probably get by on sheer charisma.

                                         Equally at home playing the debonair romantic lead, madcap funnyman, or high

                                      octane action hero, he is renowned throughout Asia for his work in hundreds of hours 

                                         of television episodes and over 70 feature films. Chow has also become the first 

                                         Hong Kong actor to break into Hollywood without kung fu, and one of the very few 

                                                            Easterners in history to earn leading film roles there.     


                                  Chow Yun Fat was born and raised on Lamma Island, a poor boy who was already working

                                      at the age of 5 or 6 selling dim sum on the streets with his mother. His family soon

                                      emigrated to Hong Kong, where Chow worked odd jobs in a factory, post office, etc.

                                     Having already quit high school, at 17 the lanky teenager applied to TVB studios, who

                                        were recruiting young actors for their television programming. He enrolled in their

                                     actors training course and studied for one year before signing a contract with TVB as

                                                            an employee for Hong Kong's biggest television studio. 


                                       During his years in television Chow Yun Fat became a household name. His many 

                                       roles in historical dramas, comedies, suspenseful serials and modern soap operas

                                       brought him fame and success. At the same time his contract with film producers

                                    Goldig Films, for whom he made 8 films, placed him in low budget exploitation; mostly

                                        poorly scripted filler and sordid sex comedies. While he earned respect starring in 

                                        numerous TVB classics like Battle Among the Clans, Smiling Proud Wanderer, 

                                       Man in the Net, and many others; his film resume was filled with forgettable titles 

                                         such as Massage Girls, Executor and Miss O. The small screen heartthrob was 

                                                                                         box-office poison.


                                    Chow Yun Fat was under great pressure balancing his grueling work schedule at TVB,

                                     and a struggling film career. The demise of his relationship with TVB actress girlfriend 

                                   Idy Chan Yuk Lin left him so distraught that in 1982 he was hospitalized for consuming

                                   household cleansers in a suicide attempt. His subsequent marriage to actress Candice 

                                                                Yu On-On in February 1983 lasted only 6 months. 


                                      Up until Ann Hui's critically acclaimed drama The Story of Woo Viet (1981), Chow 

                                   Yun-Fat squandered his talent in a dozen substandard movies before finally being given

                                      a quality project. In 1984 he achieved recognition in the award winning World War II 

                                     drama Hong Kong 1941, earning him his first Best Actor nomination from the Hong 

                                                                                      Kong Film Awards.


                                         In 1986 director John Woo was looking for a chivalrous hero to star in his ground

                                       breaking gangster drama A Better Tomorrow. He found his man in Chow Yun Fat,

                                        who portrayed the character of ultracool gangster Mark Gor with such elan that the

                                                     picture put both Woo and Chow's careers into the stratosphere.  

                                    Mark Gor's trenchcoated look inspired fashion trends, the picture spawned two sequels,

                                     and John Woo and Chow Yun Fat began a famous partnership in the tradition of Akira

                                  Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune that produced the Hong Kong action classics Hard Boiled

                                                                              Once a Thief and The Killer

                                    A similar partnership was formed with director and former TVB classmate Ringo Lam

                                        who directed Chow in 5 films including City On Fire, Prison on Fire I & 2, and 

                                           Full Contact. Chow Yun Fat's roles with Woo, Lam and other action directors

                                     caused him to be known, particularly outside of Asia, as an action star. Even though

                                      roughly half of his work is outside the exclusively action genre, Chow Yun Fat is still

                                   best known and loved around the world for his heroic gun toting characters in Hong Kong

                                                                                           action films.


                                     While Chow Yun Fat can be heard singing in Eight Happiness, Diary of a Big Man,

                                           and Triads- the Inside Story, he never sought to become a singer himself. 

                                However, his fame warranted the release of one album, which included a track that exceeded 

                                  9 minutes in length which reworked one of Leslie Cheung's biggest hits; and a duet with 

                                                                  chart topping singer and co-star Sally Yeh.

                                       The experience, which was never pursued further, represented only a minor detour in

                                           his professional career. Yun-Fat did do well in the lucrative world of advertising, 

                                                            pitching products ranging from rice to mobile phones.


                                       In 1995 Chow Yun Fat made his last Hong Kong film- Peace Hotel. Like John Woo, 

                                       who produced the movie, Chow had outgrown Hong Kong filmmaking and wanted to

                                     take the next step and launch his career in the world arena. Relocating to Los Angeles,

                                      he studied English, read scripts and met with Hollywood agents before accepting his

                                              first role in a tailor-made action vehicle: The Replacement Killers (1997).

                                            Another film followed, the New York based cop drama The Corruptor (1998)

                                   Chow was then cast as the King of Siam in the King and I remake Anna and the King

                                   (2000), opposite Oscar winning actress Jodie Foster. 2001 brought Ang Lee's martial arts

                                   blockbuster Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which featured Chow in a distinguished 

                                   performance as Li Mu Bai, which was originally intended for Jet Li. In 2003 Chow played

                                                             the title role in the action-comedy Bulletproof Monk.


                                         Chow Yun Fat resides in Hong Kong with his Singaporean wife Jasmine, who also        

                                     acts as his manager and English coach. Even without making a single Hong Kong film 

                                         since 1995, Chow remains one of the most popular screen figures in the history of

                                                                                      Hong Kong cinema.                           


                                                                     Chow Yun Fat Filmography

                                                                                         Chow Yun Fat


The Reincarnation                           

1976 Learned Bride Thrice Fools Bridegroom   
1976 Massage Girls           
1976 The Hunter, the Butterfly and the Crocodile   
1977 Bed For Day, Bed For Night              
1977 Hot Blood           
1978 Their Private Lives         
1978 Miss "O"                         
1980 See-Bar           
1980 Joy To the World         
1980 Pembunuhan Pursuit          
1980 Police Sir                              
1981 Executor                             
1981 The Story of Woo Viet        
1982 The Head Hunter                   
1982 The Postman Fights Back  (aka The Postman Strikes Back)
1982 Boat People                   
1983 The Bund  (TVB series released in theatres)                   
1983 The Bund Part II   (TVB series released in theatres)      
1983 Blood Money                      
1983 The Last Affair                  
1984 Love in a Fallen City              
1984 The Occupant                     
1984 Hong Kong 1941                   
1985 Women                                
1985 Why Me?                         
1986 Lost Romance   (aka Story of Rose)                   
1986 Witch From Nepal                                     
1986 Dream Lovers                          
1986 The Missed Date                                 
1986 100 Ways To Murder Your Wife            
1986 The Lunatics                    
1986 A Better Tomorrow             
1986 Love Unto Wastes               
1986 The Seventh Curse                  
1986 A Hearty Response            
1986 My Will, I Will                     
1987 City on Fire                             
1987 Tragic Hero                            
1987 Scared Stiff                            
1987 Brotherhood   (aka Code of Honour)                   
1987 Rich and Famous                   
1987 The Romancing Star              
1987 An Autumn's Tale               
1987 Flaming Brothers                 
1987 Spiritual Love                    
1987 Prison on Fire                        
1987 A Better Tomorrow 2               
1988 Eighth Happiness                  
1988 Tiger on the Beat                   
1988 Fractured Follies                           
1988 The Diary of a Big Man            
1988 The Greatest Lover            
1988 Cherry Blossoms                
1988 Goodbye My Friend                
1988 City War                                      
1989 All About Ah-Long   (also co-story)       
1989 Wild Search                                  
1989 The Killer                                 
1989 Triads- the Inside Story                   
1989 A Better Tomorrow III: Love and Death in Saigon
1989 God of Gamblers                        
1990 The Fun, the Luck and the Tycoon            
1991 Once a Thief                                      
1991 Prison on Fire II                                
1992 Now You See Love... Now You Don't        
1992 Hard Boiled                                         
1992 Full Contact                                        
1994 Treasure Hunt                                  
1994 God of Gamblers Return    
1995 Peace Hotel




                                                                  Chow Yun Fat -American Films

                                                                                         Chow Yun Fat


The Replacement Killers

1998 The Corruptor
2000 Anna and the King
2001 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon   *
2003 Bulletproof Monk 
2005 Pirates of the Caribbean 2


                                                           * = Taiwan / US / Hong Kong / China co-production  



                                                           Chow Yun Fat -Television Credits 

                                                                                        Chow Yun Fat

2000 Hong Kong Film Awards   (presenter with Anita Mui)

Angels and Devils
Battle Among the Clans
The Brothers    
The Bund   (Shanghai Beach / Shanghai Grand)
The Bund II   
Chinese Folklore - God of River 'Lok' 
Episodic Drama
The Fate
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly   (Man in the Net)
A House is Not a Home
The Legend of Master So
The Maverick
Mystery Beyond 
Police Cadet '85
The Shell Game II
The Yang's Saga




                                      Chow Yun Fat -American TV Appearances

                                                                                        Chow Yun Fat

2000 Academy Awards   (presenter) 

2001 Academy Awards   (presenter)
Access Hollywood
Entertainment Tonight 
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
TV Guide Channel




                                                                  Hong Kong Film Awards

                                                                                           Chow Yun Fat

                                                     Best Supporting Actor Nominations- Chow Yun Fat

                                                                             1986    Love Unto Wastes


                                                                 Best Actor Nominations- Chow Yun Fat

                                                                             1984    Hong Kong 1941

                                                                             1985    Women

                                                                             1987    An Autumn's Tale

                                                                             1987    Prison on Fire

                                                                             1989    God of Gamblers

                                                                             1991    Once a Thief

                                                                             1994    Treasure Hunt

                                                                             1995    Peace Hotel

                                                                             2000    Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon


                                                                    Best Actor Awards- Chow Yun Fat

                                                                             1986    A Better Tomorrow

                                                                             1987    City on Fire

                                                                             1989    All About Ah-Long



                                          Hong Kong Movie World

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                                                                                      Chow Yun Fat biography Hong Kong Movie World