Biography Index / Long Biographies / Main Page


Sammi Cheng

One of the most bankable stars in Hong Kong nowadays, Sammi Cheng Sau-Man was born in 1972 and began her career as a singer after winning the 1988 TVB New Talent Contest. Though she does definitely concentrate more on the musical aspect of the entertainment industry, Cheng has found success in front of the camera, with her performances garnering her four Hong Kong Film Award nominations, three of them in 2001 alone.

Cheng's pickiness in choosing film roles seems to have paid off at the box office as well. Several of her films, such as Needing You, were the highest-grossing domestically-produced products for their premiere year. Her overall box office average rivals even the biggest male stars like Chow Yun-Fat and Bruce Lee, which should insure that Cheng will remain in the industry for years to come.

Notable movies: Feel 100%, Infernal Affairs, Love on a Diet


Samuel Hui (aka Sam Hui, Hui Koon-Kit)

Sam Hui has had a great impact on Hong Kong pop culture and its' film industry. Born in Canton in 1948, Hui's family moved to Hong Kong when he was a boy. Hui was a good student and graduated with a degree in psychology in 1966. But music was always Hui's true passion, and so he struck out with his band, Lotus. The band melded tradtional Chinese elements along with modern Western influences. Due to their use of the Catonese dialect, Lotus' style of music soon became known as "Canto-Pop", and within a few years, it dominated radios all over the region.

During the early 1970's, Sam's brother Michael hosted a popular TV variety show that Lotus regularly played on, and so when Michael headed off to direct films for the Golden Harvest studio, it was perhaps inevitable that Sam would also make the jump into the movie business. Along with their other brother Ricky, the Huis created and starred in a series of popular films such as The Private Eyes that, with their use of Cantonese and rapid-fire delivery, helped to give Hong Kong productions an identity of their own and would go on to pave the way for the "nonsense" comedies of Stephen Chow.

Towards the end of the decade, Sam and Michael had a falling out, and so Sam went to work for the Cinema City studio, where he once again struck gold with the Aces Go Places films. The movies, a loose parody/homage to the James Bond pictures, were huge hits. But by the mid 1980's audiences weaned on the more violent works of directors like John Woo turned away from the "corny" antics presented in the Aces Go Places movies, and so Sam decided to take a different path with his film roles, with more "serious" action roles.

During the shooting of one of these roles, The Legend of Wisely, Sam became very ill due to the tough filming conditions and ended up having to take a year-long hiatus. During this time off, Sam once again re-evaluated his career, and after his next couple of films failed to make a splash at the box office, he retired from acting. Even though he is now concentrating solely on his musical career, Sam is just as popular as he has ever been, as evidenced by one of his recent concert series selling out the Hong Kong Coliseum for forty straight nights.

Notable movies: The Private Eyes, Aces Go Places, Swordsman


Sandra Ng

During her career, Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu has gone from playing the "ugly duckling" in bit roles to becoming a full-fledged leading lady. Her father was a fairly popular TV actor, and so Sandra followed in his footsteps. Based on her first few TV performances, she was soon picked to act in films. Sandra's early work ranged across a wide variety of genres, but in 1988 -- a year where she appeared in ten films -- she found her on-screen persona as a comedic sidekick, a role she played in dozens of movies over the next few years.

By the mid-1990's, the grind of the Hong Kong movie industry was starting to get to Sandra, and so she decided to cut down on the number of projects she appeared in and began concentrating on more dramatic roles. Her breakthrough in this area came in 1988 with Portland Street Blues as a bisexual Triad boss named Sister 13. Sandra's sexuality has always been questioned by the rabid Hong Kong tabloid press, so the role was seen as dangerous to her career in the somewhat repressive sexual environment of Hong Kong, but her performance transcended any nay-sayers and made Sandra a true star.

Probably Sandra's crowning achievement to date have been the Golden Chicken films, where she plays a prostitute recalling tales of her life. The movies sport a "who's who" list of cameos, and clearly show how much Sandra has becomed ingrained into Hong Kong pop culture. Along with her steady film work, Sandra is still keeping busy by hosting a popular radio love advice show, penning diet and exercise books, as well as selling her own line of comsetics.

Notable movies: Golden Chicken, Portland Street Blues, Royal Tramp


Sato Keiji

This Japanese actor seemed to be one of director Johnnie To's favorites in the late 1990's, with appearances in several of his films. Puzzingly, even though Sato also appeared in big-budget fare like Gen-X Cops and looked to have a promising career in Hong Kong ahead of him, he disappeared from the industry almost as quickly as he came into it.

Notable movies: The Mission, Expect the Unexpected, A Hero Never Dies


Sek Kin (aka Shek Kin, Shih Kien)

Best known to Western audiences for his role of Mr. Han in Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon, Sek Kin has acutally had one of the longest careers of any Hong Kong actor. Before his retirement in the 1990's, Sek's filmography spanned over sixty-five years, with appearances in over 300 movies, not to mention dozens of television series. It is not with any hyperbole when you say that Sek is one of the true pillars of the Hong Kong movie industry.

Born in 1913, Sek studied martial arts and Peking Opera as a child, and like many opera students, eventually went on to work in films. Sek's first few years in the buisness were not very fruitful, with his work mostly being reulated to being a makeup artist and bit player. However, directors soon took note of Sek's kung fu abilites and began giving him bigger roles.

During the 1950's, Sek began appearing the the popular Wong Fei Hung films, where he played against the legendary Kwan Tak-Hing. Sek became so well-known as Fei Hung's nemesis that the film-makers kept creating new villains for him to play. Eventually, Sek would appear in thirty-five Wong Fei Hung movies, and would even go on to parody his work in later entries like Millionaire's Express.

As the years went on, Sek mastered several forms of kung fu and became a respected action director, all the while still appearing in a seemingly endless stream of films. By the time Enter the Dragon came out, Sek was already in his sixties, but showed no signs of slowing down. He continued to appear in movies until the mid-1990's. Since then, he retired and seemed content to live out his twilight years without a camera crew by his side, before passing away in June 2009 from liver failure.

Notable movies: Enter the Dragon, The Prodigal Son, Millionaire's Express


Shannon Lee

Shannon Lee is the daughter of Bruce Lee. She was born in 1969 and, as might be expected, started studying martial arts at a young age. But it was music that was Shannon's muse, and so she embarked on trying to become a classical singer, eventually graduating with a college degree in music composition. However, after appearing in a brief role in the biopic Dragon, the acting bug seemed to bite Shannon, and so she tried her hand at acting for a while.

Her film career culminated with 1998's Enter the Eagles. Her appearance was thought to be a publicity stunt (which it might have been) but her performance, specifically the end fight between her and kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez, made many people think she might end up being the heir to the Lee legacy after her brother Brandon died on the set of The Crow.

However, she never capitalized on the film's success. Shannon has never specifically said why she hasn't pursued acting further. Many rumors point to her mother, Linda, not wanting to suffer the same fate of Bruce and Brandon and thus urging her to get out of the industry. In recent years, Shannon has concentrated on managing her father's estate, while appearing in the occasional low-budget action movie.

Notable movies: Enter the Eagles


Sharon Yeung

Born in 1958, Sharon Yeung Pan-Pan began training in Peking Opera at the tender age of four. By the time she was a teenager, Yeung began appearing in kung fu movies, and then moved on to female-oriented action films in the 1980's as the popularity of traditional kung fu pictured waned. She soon became a favorite of producers of "girls with guns" films, where her martial arts talent and "tough girl" looks made her a perfect fit to play villains in those types of movies.

As the popularity of girls with guns movies waned in the early 1990's, Yeung moved to roles behind the scenes, trying her hand at writing and producing. She soon found success as an action director on various television series, and remains working in that facet of the industry to this day, as well as producing feature films. She still makes the occasional appearance in front of the camera, most notably an annual telethon, where her acrobatic movies still entrall viewers.

Notable movies: Angel Enforcers, Angel Terminators, The Way of the Lady Boxers


Shawn Yu (aka Shawn Yue)

Born in 1981, Shawn Yu Man Lok is currently one of the hottest actors working in Hong Kong. He began his career as a model, and after he began dating the popular singer/actress Candy Lo, Yu soon found producers knocking on his door.

After appearing on a Taiwanese soap opera, Yu soon moved on to working on Hong Kong films, where his work on Infernal Affairs made him an idol with the local teeny-boppers, which then (as is the norm for the HK entertainment circle) soon has Yu coming out with Canto-pop albums.

Yu has drawn many comparisions with Nicholas Tse, and like Tse, Yu seems to feel comfortable with playing the rebel, whether in front of the camera or in real life. His off-screen antics, which include several risque photo shoots, have made Yu into a tabloid favorite. But at the same time, he has turned into an extremely solid actor with several outstanding performances under his belt.

Notable movies: Infernal Affairs, Colour of the Loyalty, Invisible Target


Shing Fui-On

Big Silly Head. For an actor so well-known for playing nasty villains, that's a pretty unusual nickname to have. But such is the strange and wonderful world of Hong Kong movies.

Shing was born in Hong Kong in 1955 in Hong Kong, and not much is known of his early years. It has long been rumored that Shing was a Triad, and in fact ascended to a fairly high rank in the organization. Shing has vehemently denied these stories, even after pictures surfaced in a tabloid supposedly showing him running a protection racket around a set he was working on.

At any rate, the official story about Shing is that he was working as a coolie (day laborer) on a set when a producer took note of his menacing features and asked Shing if he wanted to be an actor. The rest, as they say, is history, and Shing became a mainstay in the Hong Kong industry, appearing in almost 200 films.

Though Shing is ubiquitous with playing Triad heavies, he has also shown some versatility through the years, not being afraid to poke fun at his on-screen persona and sometimes displaying a surprising amount of emotion. Supposedly Shing did try to retire at one point to open a lumber store, but so many people associated him with being a villain that soon people quit coming to his shop.

It's for that sort of reason that Shing has become of the true icons in modern Hong Kong cinema, and will be missed by many fans after his passing in 2009 due to complications from nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a form of throat cancer.

Notable movies: Prison on Fire, God of Gamblers 2, The Killer


Shum Wai

If you look up "weaselly" in the dictionary, then Shum Wai's picture should pop up. He has acted in over fifty films, and usually plays the annoyingly overconfident crime boss that gets up comeuppance from the hero by then end of the movie. In the early 1990's, Shum took his savings from acting and tried his hand at producing and directing, but did not find much success. After he returned to appearing in front of the camera, Shum found his roles regulated to low-budget entries, and so retired from the industry by 2001.

Notable movies: Yes Madam, Long Arm of the Law, Dragons Forever


Sibelle Hu

Born in 1958 in Taiwan, Sibelle Hu Hui Chung broke out as an actress with 1979's A Special Smile. The "weepie" (melodramatic romance), filmed while Sibelle was still a college student, was a huge crossover hit in Hong Kong, and so she moved there with the hopes of taking over Brigitte Lin's status as the queen of the weepie.

However, soon after the move to Hong Kong, Sibelle's romantic life, which supposedly included daliances with a married man and a Triad boss, led to negative press. Combined with the local audience falling out of favor with weepies, Sibelle then re-invented herself as an action star, becoming a mainstay of "girls with guns" movies, which is a bit surprising as she never had any formal martial arts training.

Though she was often obviously doubled during action scenes, Sibelle found stardom in action movies, and went on to appear in many classics of the genre, even after she was badly burned during the filming of 1989's Devil Hunters. After the decline of the Hong Kong movie industry in the 1990's, Sibelle retired to marry her boyfriend, who is now the Home Affairs Secretary of Hong Kong.

Notable movies: The Inspector Wears Skirts, My Lucky Stars, Fong Sai Yuk


Sihung Lung

Sihung Lung was born in 1930 and fought against Mao Zedong's communist forces in post-WWII China. After Mao's army pushed the opposition out, Sihung fled to Taiwan, where he joined up with a band of actors. Seeing films as a way to dispel communist propaganda, Sihung embraced acting and began a long career which spanned over forty years and dozens of films.

Most of Sihung's work consisted of him playing stern leaders and/or father figures and was quite popular with Taiwanese audiences for a number of years, influencing future film-makers. Sihung had actually been retired for several years when Ang Lee asked him to appear in Pushing Hands. Lee and Sihung got on well, which led to several other collaborations, most notably Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, which introduced Sihung to mainstream Western audiences.

Sadly, soon after the premiere of that film, Sihung's health took a turn for the worse. He had been battling diabetes for many years, and things took a turn for the worse. In 2002, shortly after finishing the Michelle Yeoh movie The Touch, he succumbed to liver failure brought on by the disease.

Notable movies: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Eat Drink Man Woman, The Touch


Simon Loui (aka Simon Lui, Lui Yu Yeung)

One of the kings of the Hong Kong B-movie circuit, Simon Loui is best known for appearing in tons of cheap horror movies, most notably several segments of the Troublesome Night series. Despite the low-budget nature of most of his roles, Loui always seems to treat any job with class and respect, which translates on to the screen and is probably why he remains a favorite of producers.

Over the past few years, Loui has increased his resume with turns at writing and producing his own projects. He has even composed the score for a few films, and in 2004, Loui gained some critical attention with his directorial debut, Escape From Hong Kong Island, a canny jab at aspects of Hong Kong culture.

Notable movies: Troublesome Night, X Imp, Young and Dangerous 5


Sophia Crawford (aka Sophie Crawford)

Sophia Crawford was one of the more recognizable foreign performers back during the "girls with guns" heyday. Orginally a bartender working in London, Sophia embarked on a bus trip across Asia. Ending up in Thailand, she ended up starting her movie career by being an extra on a few sets.

Since Hong Kong was the hot place to work in Asia at the time, Sophia set off for there. Soon, she found out just how tough it is to be an action actress working in Hong Kong, where the stuntpeople just barely pull their punches.

Now starting to take her training seriously, Sophia went on over the next few years to study with many of the top action/stunt personnel working in Hong Kong, most notbaly Yukari Oshima. After this, she appeared in several outstanding fight scenes, with perhaps the best one (not surprisingly) being held against her former sifu Yukari in 1991's Story of a Gun.

Sophia also attracted attention for her willingness to do nude scenes, something which resulted in one of the more unique fight scenes ever filmed in Escape from Brothel, where Sophia takes on Billy Chow whilst both are totally bare.

After working for several years in Asia, Sophia moved to the US, where she has become one of Hollywood's top stunt performers. Most famously, she was Sarah Michelle Gellar's stunt double on the Buffy TV series. She still finds herself in demand, as evidenced by her work on the upcoming GI Joe adaptation.

Notable movies: Beauty Investigator, Angel Terminators II, Story of a Gun


Sophie Ngan

Sophie Ngan Chin-Man first became famous in Hong Kong as a host of a radio talk show about sex. Unlike a lot of people in that industry, she did not have a face made for radio and soon broke out into acting. Perhaps not surpsingly, Sophie's filmic output has tended to be on the T&A side of things, though with her work in movies like Horrorscope II, she has shown that she can bring some actual acting talent to the set as well.

Notable movies: Horrorscope II, Naked Poison II


Spencer Lam

Spencer Lam Seung-Yi was born in Hong Kong in 1931. A gifted athlete, Lam became an outstanding defender in soccer, going so far as to play in the 1960 Olympics. After retiring from playing, Lam became a teacher and coach. The jobs didin't pay much, so to make ends meet, Lam began doing voiceover work in his spare time. That led to him being tapped by TV stations to start doing commentary for soccer matches

As could be expected, movie offers soon followed. Lam's stern but fatherly look and his mannerisms led him to be cast in sympathetic "voice of reason" sort of roles, as epitomized by his recurring role as Father Chan in the Young and Dangrous films.

Notable movies: Once Upon a Time in Triad Society, Young and Dangerous, The Twins Effect


Stanley Fung

In 1980's Hong Kong comedies, Stanley Fung Sui-Fan was the most popular "straight man" to work in the industry. His roles often cast him as a police captain or other sort of leader who had to put up with the hero's antics for far too long. Over the years, though, Fung has cast his net in several areas, from writing to producing to even directing several films.

Notable movies: My Lucky Stars, Winners and Sinners, The Inspector Wears Skirts


Stephen Fung

One of the more promising young stars in Hong Kong, Stephen Fung Tak-Lun is the daughter of Julie Shih Yin, who was a singer and Shaw Brothers actress. Born in the US, Stephen came to Hong Kong after graduating from college. He soon formed a band called Dry with the noted local producer and composer Mark Lui.

The band broke up fairly quickly, but Stephen was able to move into a solo music career, which inevitably leads to acting roles in Hong Kong. Stephen's amicable presence led him to leads in several high-profile movies like Gen-X Cops, and the success in those kinds of roles has allowed Stephen to explore other areas of the industry.

Most notably, Stephen has emerged as one of the better young directors working in Hong Kong, with his debut Enter the Phoenix being a cult favroite of many critics across the globe.

Notable movies: Enter the Phoenix, Gen-X Cops, House of Fury


Stephen Tung

Stephen Tung Wai was an astute martial arts student from when he was small, eventually working his way up via various TVB kung fu dramas to working on Shaw Bros. movie sets with Lam Ching-Ying. This led Tung up the ladder, eventually to where he was the action director on "A Better Tomorrow", a film that really introduced the template of 1980's Hong Kong celluoid gunfights.

Tung has also appeared in quite a few on-screen roles. Most of these, though, tend to be smaller parts, like his turn as Foxy (the informant) in 1992's "Hard Boiled", a blood-spattered bullet opera epic that he also directed some of the action sequences on.

Notable movies: A Better Tomorrow, Pom Pom and Hot Hot, Magnificent Warriors


Suki Kwan (aka Shooky Kwan)

Suki Kwan Sau-Mei gained some attention from her performance in the 1987 Miss Hong Kong pageant, which garnered her a contract with a producer. One of Suki's first roles was being alongside Jet Li in High Risk. Even though the film was not a huge hit, Suki started to get more roles offered to her. But as Hong Kong's film industry saw its' profits dwindle, those roles became less enticing. After appearing in a series of straight-to-video releases called The New Option, Suki seems to have retired from the industry.

Notable movies: High Risk, Miracles, A True Mob Story

Biography Index / Long Biographies / Main Page