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Aaron Kwok

One of the original "Sky Kings of Cantopop", Aaron Kwok has never really become a bona-fide film star, even though he has been involved with many high-profile projects. But since he's one of HK's more bankable pop stars (even though he is usually seen in public in garish outfits), I'm sure he doesn't care all that much -- he always seems to have a silly grin on his face.

Notable movies: Saviour of the Soul, China Strike Force, 2000 A.D., The Storm Riders


Alan Tam

Alan Tam also got his start in the HK entertainment circle via music. He was in a 1970's band called The Wynners, and their success led to a series of Beatles-style films. After The Wynners broke up, Tam parlayed his good looks into a solo film career and made many movies in the 1980's. With the decline of the HK movie industry in the 1990's, Tam went back to the world of music, where he once again struck gold as a solo artist. Recently, he has returned to movies, this time as a producer.

Notable movies: Armour of God, Casino Raiders, Rich and Famous


Alex Fong

A mainstay of modern crime dramas (where he switches between playing cops and gangsters), the perpetually five-o-clock-shadowed Alex Fong got his start (after being a male model) with supporting roles in later 1980's "girls with guns" pictures and Category III "roughies". Offscreen, he has diversified his portfolio by opening a bar with fellow actors Chin Siu Ho and Chin Kar Lok.

Notable movies: Angel, Lifeline, Double Tap, One Nite in Mongkok


Alfred Cheung

Though better known as a writer and director, Alfred Cheung has made an impressive number of appearances in front of the camera as well, usually as a bespectacled nerdy character.

Notable movies: Pom Pom and Hot Hot, Millionaire's Express, Pedicab Driver, Golden Chicken


Almen Wong

With her good looks and athletic ability, if Almen Wong had gotten into the HK film industry a few years earlier, she would probably have been a superstar. Unforunately, she got into HK movies just as the bottom was falling out and the "girls with guns" genre was pretty much dead. Her appearances in productions have been sporadic since she started her career, and she seems to have retired from movies for the most part. Instead, she has been concentrating on making fitness videos and books, which have been solid sellers in weight-concious Hong Kong.

Notable movies: Her Name is Cat, Naked Killer


Amy Yip

Amy Yip was the poster girl for the Category III boom of the late 1980's, which is perhaps a bit ironic, since she never even did a nude scene. The only time she revealed a sizeable amount of skin (with Elvis Tsui in "Sex and Zen") is a classic scene for fans of Cat 3 sleaze -- though it is rumored she only did it to please one of the Triad "producers" of the film. She was beginning to diversify her output with appearances in comedies and dramas when, like many other HK actresses, she suddenly disappeared from the industry after getting married.

Notable movies: Sex and Zen, Blue Jean Monster, To Be Number One


Angela Mao

When one thinks of the great female action stars over the years, Angela Mao is always near the top of the list. Even though she was definitely easy on the eyes, Mao never seemed to use outright sex appeal in her roles, instead letting her fists and feet -- not her boobs or butt -- create the excitement for the viewer. She got her start as a Golden Harvest contract player in the late 1960's and seemed poised for mega-stardom by the time the Bruce Lee-inspired kung fu craze hit worldwide in the late 1970's, but she left the industry when she was only thirty years old after getting married.

Notable movies: Stoner, Hapkido, Enter the Dragon


Angelica Lee (aka Sin-Je Lee)

One of the more promising young actresses working in Hong Kong, Angelica Lee got her start in Taiwan, where she was a singer before moving on to film acting. She became an overnight star with her work in "The Eye", which garnered her the Hong Kong Film Award and impressed many of her more seasoned peers, including Sylvia Chang, who has taken on Lee as a protoge. Unlike most of her contemporaries, who seem to take any role that comes along, Lee's output has been slow over the past few years, perhaps because she still devotes so much time to other artisitic pursuits like painting. Offscreen, she is married to one of the writer/directors of "The Eye", Oxide Pang.

Notable movies: The Eye, Divergence, Golden Chicken 2


Anita Yuen

After winning the Miss Hong Kong pageant, Anita Yuen was "drafted" by the TVB network, and soon made her way into films, where she found success in a series of popular romantic comedies. Similar to Jennifer Aniston, she was perhaps better known for her hairstyle, which many young HKers adopted in the early 1990's. Even though she had proven herself a capable actress with the winning of two Hong Kong Film Awards, by the late 1990's, fickle HK audiences had grown tired of her. She tried re-inventing her "goody two shoes" image with harder-edged roles in movies like "Enter the Eagles", but has now moved back to doing work on TVB.

Notable movies: Enter the Eagles, From Beijing with Love, Thunderbolt


Anya (aka Anya Wu)

Anya -- at least judging by this site's stats -- is one of the most popular actresses working in Hong Kong. She began her career as a model in Taiwan and has become a mainstay in the few "girls with guns" movies that come out of HK nowadays. Despite not being a native Cantonese speaker, she has recieved critical acclaim for stage work, and has begun to win over fans in the Mainland with her appearance in several swordsplay movies shot there.

Notable movies: Naked Killer, Sharp Guns


Athena Chu

Doing the opposite of most Hong Kong entertainers, Athena Chu was a successful actress before moving on to the world of music. She got her big break in movies with Stephen Chow's "Fight Back to School II"; undoubtedly, her off-screen romance with Chow helped boost her popularity with the local gossip-obsessed audience. Even though she projects a squeaky-clean image -- she is well-known as a Disney nut and has an extensive collection of Mickey Mouse memorbilia -- Chu has appeared in a number of Category III movies, including "Raped by an Angel 2", but she has never done a nude scene.

Notable movies: A Chinese Odyssey (parts 1 and 2), Raped by an Angel 2


Barry Wong

While not well-known as an actor (most of his appearances were bit roles), Barry Wong was one of the most prolific screenwriters during Hong Kong cinema's golden age, having penned scripts for just about every one of the top stars and directors, including Jackie Chan, John Woo, Corey Yuen, Wong Jing and many others before dying from cancer in the 1990's.

Notable movies: Fight Back to School, The Killer, Winners and Sinners


Ben Lam

Even though he got his start playing cops, Ben Lam is one of the more recognizable faces playing villains in Hong Kong action/crime movies.

Notable movies: So Close, Conman in Tokyo, High Risk


Ben Ng

Like Ben Lam, Ben Ng is one of the "go-to" actors when producers are casting villains. His hard-ass appearance and willingness to go all out in Category III exploitation flicks stands out in strong comparison to some of his more subtle performances in mainstream work. This, unfortunately, has probably hampered him from finding more roles in recent years, since Cat 3 "roughies" have gone out of vogue.

Notable movies: Red to Kill, Daughter of Darkness II, The Eternal Evil of Asia


Bill Tung

Known by most western viewers as "Uncle Bill" through his appearances in dubbed Jackie Chan movies, Bill Tung is a prolific actor who has appeared in dozens of movies (most of them without Jackie) since the late 1970's. Between movies, Tung supported himself by commentating on horse races, which is one of the most popular sports in Hong Kong, and over the past few years, has made this his full-time job.

Notable movies: Police Story, Rumble in the Bronx


Billy Chow

Another of Hong Kong cinema's most recognizable faces when it comes to bad guys, Billy Chow has surprisingly never attained that much acclaim from either local or western audiences, despite having appeared in a number of classic action/kung fu movies. Even though he might not have much in the way of name recognition, Chow's climatic brawl with Jet Li in "Fist of Legend" is widely regarded as one of the best fights in modern martial arts cinema.

Notable movies: Fist of Legend, High Risk, Eastern Condors, Pedicab Driver


Blacky Ko

If you have watched a HK Triad picture produced during the late 1980's or early 1990's, chances are that you saw Blacky Ko in it. Ko got his start as a stuntman in the late 1970's, and by the time the boom of the mid-1980's rolled around, he would often be working on several projects at a time, either as as an actor, stuntman or action director. Even though he often portrayed heartless thugs, Ko sometimes showed a softer side with roles like the sympathetic "Darkie" in Jet Li's "My Father the Hero". Sadly, he died in 2003 from heart failure brought on from years of heavy drinking.

Notable movies: The Last Blood, Magnificent Warriors, A Better Tomorrow


Bobby Yip (aka Baat Leung Gam)

Bobby Yip is probably best known for his small roles in some of Stephen Chow's movies where his (ahem) uncoventional looks have been put to comedic effect. He's often seen in Triad movies as a goon, where again, he's often made the butt of ridicule by the stars of the movie. But he seems to take all of this in good stride -- in one interview, Yip remarked that he was disappointed that he wasn't on the Asian version of People's "Top 50 Eligible Bachelors" list.

Notable movies: King of Comedy, Tricky Master, The God of Cookery


Bolo Yeung (aka Yang Sze)

Quite possibly the most "pumped" actor to ever appear in martial arts films, Bolo Yeung was born as Yang Sze in China, where he was a power-lifting champion before moving to Hong Kong to escape communism (some sources say Yueng actually swam to HK). To make ends meet, Yeung became a street performer and caught the eye of a Shaw Brothers producer, and appeared in several of that studio's productions. Yeung quickly became tired of Shaw Brothers' notoriously rigid system and being used as a novelty, and left the studio to pursue bodybuilding full-time, shortly after winning the title of "Mr. Hong Kong" in 1970.

While casting "Enter the Dragon", Bruce Lee remembered the "Chinese Hercules" that he once did a cigarette commerical with, and cast him as one of the lead villians (Yueng's character was named "Bolo", and after the huge success of the project, Yueng adopted that as his English name). During the shooting of ETD, Lee and Yeung became good friends, and Lee promised him a role in his next project, "Game of Death". Sadly, Lee passed away before the project was finished, and Yueng was reduced to playing stock villainous roles. In the mid-1980's, Yueng's career recieved a great boost when he appeared as the lead villain in the Jean-Claude Van Damme picture "Bloodsport". Since then, he has been working steadily in films (though most of his movies are in the realm of the B-list) and helps promote fitness in Asia with his "Tapei International Federation Of Body Builders".

Notable movies: Enter the Dragon, Bloodsport, Tiger Claws II


Brigitte Lin

Ah, Brigitte Lin. I can't really say much that hasn't been written about her already. She, in my -- and many other HK film fans' -- opinion is one of the true icons of Hong Kong cinema. I'm not sure if it's her looks, her ability, or just "that" stare she does, but, for my money, it doesn't get much better from any actor from anywhere in the world than Brigitte Lin.

Lin Ching-Hsia began her career in Taiwan, where she was hugely popular in that territory's "weepies" (hankie-inducing romantic dramas). With the re-emergence of kung fu movies spurned on by Bruce Lee, audiences were tuning out of dramas, and Lin's career seemed to be destined to fade into relative obscurity.

But after working with Chu Yen Ping in oddites such as "Fantasy Mission Force" and meeting influential producer/director Tsui Hark, Lin moved to Hong Kong, where she appeared in some of the true classics of the 1980's, such as "Police Story" and "Peking Opera Blues". However, it was not until her appearance as Asia the Invincible in 1992's "Swordsman II" that she attained mega-star status. This new-found popularity did not suit Lin, though.

She soon became tired of being typecasted, and even moreso of the HK tabloids' non-stop glare, and so, she retired -- at the height of her popularity -- in the early 1990's. Since retiring, Lin has become a devout Buddhist and shies away from the spotlight, though it is said that she is extremely friendly to any of those fans lucky enough to see her in one of the clothing shops she (along with her sister and husband, who is the head of the Esprit company) runs in Hong Kong.

Notable movies: Swordsman II, The East is Red, Dragon Inn, Peking Opera Blues, Chunking Express, Ashes of Time

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