Chow Yun-Fat

Actor, Singer, Camera salesman
Hailed by The Los Angeles Times, as quite simply, "the coolest actor in the world," Chow Yun-Fat was a fixture of Hong Kong film and TV since his debut in the early 1970s. Most celebrated by American and British ... Read more »
Born: 05/18/1955 in Hong Kong

Filmography

Actor (92)

Shanghai 2015 (Movie)

Anthony Lan-Ting (Actor)

The Man From Macau II 2015 (Movie)

Ken (Actor)

The Man from Macau 2014 (Movie)

Ken (Actor)

The Monkey King 2014 (Movie)

Jade Emperor (Actor)

Let the Bullets Fly 2012 (Movie)

Master Huang Fox/ The Double (Actor)

The Assassins 2012 (Movie)

Cao Cao (Actor)

The Last Tycoon 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

Beginning of the Great Revival 2011 (Movie)

Yuan Shikai (Actor)

Confucius 2010 (Movie)

Confucius (Actor)

Dragonball Evolution 2009 (Movie)

Master Roshi (Actor)

The Children of Huang Shi 2008 (Movie)

'Jack' Chen Hansheng (Actor)

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 2007 (Movie)

Captain Sao Feng (Actor)

Curse of the Golden Flower 2006 (Movie)

The Emperor (Actor)

The Diary 2006 (Movie)

(Actor)

Yi Ma De Hou Xian Dai Sheng Huo 2006 (Movie)

Pan Zhichang (Actor)

Duzi Dengdai 2005 (Movie)

(cameo) (Actor)

Bulletproof Monk 2003 (Movie)

Monk With No Name (Actor)

The 73rd Annual Academy Awards 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2000 (Movie)

Li Mu Bai (Actor)

Anna and the King 1999 (Movie)

King Mongkut (Actor)

The Corruptor 1999 (Movie)

Nick Chen (Actor)

The Replacement Killers 1998 (Movie)

John Lee (Actor)

Once A Thief 1994 (Movie)

Joe (Actor)

Peace Hotel 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

Return of the God of Gamblers 1993 (Movie)

God of Gamblers (Actor)

Treasure Hunt 1993 (Movie)

(Actor)

Full Contact (Xia Dao Gao Fei) 1992 (Movie)

Jeff (Actor)

Hard Boiled 1992 (Movie)

Inspector Yuen (Actor)

Now You See Love, Now You Don't 1992 (Movie)

Ng Shan-shui (Actor)

A Better Tomorrow 1991 (Movie)

Mark Lee (Actor)

Prison on Fire II 1991 (Movie)

Ching (Actor)

The Killer 1990 (Movie)

Jeffrey (Actor)

A Better Tomorrow III: Love and Death in Saigon 1989 (Movie)

Cheung Chi-Keung--Mark (Actor)

All About Ah Long 1989 (Movie)

(Actor)

God of Gamblers 1989 (Movie)

God of Gamblers (Actor)

God of Gamblers II 1989 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Fun, the Luck, and the Tycoon 1989 (Movie)

Billionaire (Actor)

Triads--The Inside Story 1989 (Movie)

(Actor)

Wild Search 1989 (Movie)

Mickey Lau (Actor)

Cherry Blossoms 1988 (Movie)

Yuk Tak-fu--Adult (Actor)

City War 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

Diary of a Big Man 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

Fractured Follies 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

Good-bye Hero 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Eight Happiness 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Greatest Lover 1988 (Movie)

Refugee (Actor)

Tiger On (the) Beat 1988 (Movie)

Plainclothed Cop (Actor)

A Better Tomorrow II 1987 (Movie)

Ken (Actor)

An Autumn's Tale 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

Brotherhood 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

Long Hu Feng Yun 1987 (Movie)

Ko Chow--Undercover Officer (Actor)

Prison on Fire (Gaam Yuk Fung Wan) 1987 (Movie)

Jailbird (Actor)

Rich and Famous 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

Scared Stiff 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

Spiritual Love 1987 (Movie)

(Actor)

100 ways to Murder Your Wife 1986 (Movie)

Man (Actor)

A Hearty Response 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

Deiha tsing 1986 (Movie)

Sergeant Lau (Actor)

Dream Lovers 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

Flaming Brothers 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

My Will, I Will 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

Rose 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Lunatics 1986 (Movie)

Lunatic (Actor)

The Missed Date 1986 (Movie)

Professor (Actor)

The Romancing Star 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Seventh Curse 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

Tragic Hero 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

Witch From Nepal 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

Why Me? 1985 (Movie)

Social Worker (Actor)

Women 1985 (Movie)

Derek--Husband (Actor)

Hong Kong 1941 1984 (Movie)

(Actor)

Love in a Fallen City 1984 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Occupant 1984 (Movie)

(Actor)

Blood Money 1983 (Movie)

Cameo (Actor)

The Head Hunter 1983 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Last Affair 1983 (Movie)

Struggling Student (Actor)

The Bund 1982 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Bund Part II 1982 (Movie)

Shanghai Gangster (Actor)

The Postman Strikes Back 1982 (Movie)

(Actor)

Executioner 1981 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Story of Woo Viet 1981 (Movie)

Woo Viet (Actor)

Joy to the World 1980 (Movie)

(Actor)

Police Sir 1980 (Movie)

(Actor)

See-Bar 1979 (Movie)

(Actor)

Miss 'O' 1978 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hot Blood 1977 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Private Lives 1977 (Movie)

(Actor)

Massage Girls 1976 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Reincarnation 1976 (Movie)

(Actor)

Code of Honor (Movie)

(Actor)

Biography

Hailed by The Los Angeles Times, as quite simply, "the coolest actor in the world," Chow Yun-Fat was a fixture of Hong Kong film and TV since his debut in the early 1970s. Most celebrated by American and British cultists as a hard-boiled action hero, Chow specialized in portrayals of honorable hitmen, gangsters, thieves and trigger-happy cops. A bona fide superstar in his native Asia, Chow's extensive credits spanned a variety of genres, including romances, dramas, slapstick comedies and supernatural thrillers. A favorite of both common folk and cinephiles alike, Chow segued effortlessly between commercial and artsy fare. Moreover, Chow came to define "cool" with his signature handling of cigarettes and firearms with equally devastating flair. Nevertheless, Chow was at his most convincing when playing good-humored "Joes" - generally a common, blue-collar sort characterized by a sense of self-sacrifice, loyalty and utter lack of self-consciousness.

Relationships

Jasmine Chow

Wife
Born in Singapore c. 1959 Met 1984 Married May 6, 1987

Candice Yu Actor

Wife
Married for six months 1983 Divorced 1983

EDUCATION

attended a boarding school established by the Nationalist Party Kuomintang in Kowloon, Hong Kong

Milestones

2007

Cast as Chinese pirate Sao Feng in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"

2006

Teamed up with Gong Li to star in "Curse of the Golden Flower" a film by Zhang Yimou

2004

Made a surprise cameo in the mainland Chinese indie-hit "Waiting Alone"

2003

Starred in title role of "Bulletproof Monk"

2000

Starred as Li Mu Bai, a noble and expert warrior looking for peace in his final days, in Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", a tour de force martial arts epic filmed in Mandarin dialect; subtitled for foreign audiences; debuted at Cannes

1999

Played Nick Chen, head of the NYPD's Asian gang unit, who teams with unlikely partner Mark Walhlburg, in "The Corrupter", a routine guns and mayhem picture

1999

Portrayed Siamese ruler Mongkut to Jodie Foster's English governness in "Anna and the King"; filmed in Malaysia

1998

First American feature, "The Replacement Killers", executive produced by Woo; acted opposite Mira Sorvino, whose fluency in Mandarin helped immeasurably as the two co-stars could converse when Chow's English failed him

1995

Last Hong Kong film (to date), "Peace Hotel"

1992

Fifth and last HK collaboration with Lam, "Full Contact"

1992

Fifth and last HK collaboration with Woo, "Hard Boiled"

1989

Starred in the popular action comedy "The God of Gamblers", which inaugurated a cycle of gambler films; reprised his role for "Return of the God of Gamblers" (1994)

1987

Starred as an undercover cop in the popular, influential and Hong Kong Academy Award-winning crime film, "City on Fire"; first collaboration with director Ringo Lam; starred in two thematically related sequels, "Prison on Fire" (also 1987) and "Prison on

1987

In "Scared Stiff", played a true villain for the first (and, to date, the last) time in his HK film career

1986

Revived flagging film career and attained international superstar status as star of the landmark gangster melodrama, "A Better Tomorrow"; first collaboration with writer-director John Woo; starred in two sequels, "A Better Tomorrow II" (1987, also directe

1984

Won acclaim starring in the period dramatic feature, "Hong Kong 1941"

1983

Episodes of "Shanghai Bund" re-edited into two features released in January, "The Bund" and "The Bund, Part II"

1981

Breakthrough feature performance in "The Story of Woo Viet"

1980

Increased his popularity playing a white-suited 1920s crime boss in the TV series, "Shanghai Bund"

1976

Began his 128 episode stint as the young hunk on the HK primetime soap "Hotel"

1976

Feature debut, "The Reincarnation"

1976

First film in a leading role, "Massage Girls"

1972

Suffered a serious motor bike accident

1972

Quit school at age 17 (date approximate)

1972

Enrolled in an actor's training course at TVB, a leading HK television operation (broadcasting at home, video distribution throughout Asia) owned by the Shaw Brothers

1972

Answered a newspaper ad inviting people to apply for "free" acting classes

1967

Participated in riots as the Cultural Revolution spread to Hong Kong; transferred by his alarmed mother to a boarding school set up by the Nationalist Party Kuomintang

1965

At age ten, moved with family to Kowloon, a part of Hong Kong connected by land to China (date approximate)

Started acting; signed a three-year contract with TVB for less than HK $500 per month

Arose at 4 am each morning to sell dim sum

Renegotiated contract with TVB; stayed for an additional ten years

Enrolled in a leftist school that promoted the teachings of Mao Tse-tung

At 16, worked in a factory, packing radios to ship overseas for $1.40 per day

Acted in over 1,000 episodes of various soap operas

Grew up on Lamma Island near Hong Kong (HK)

Worked variously as a bellboy, office boy, postman and camera salesman

Bonus Trivia

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When Chow was a small child selling dim sum on the streets of Lamma Island, customers called him Gao Tsai ("Little Dog"). He knew no other name until he registered for grade school.

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