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Carina Lau

Carina Lau is a prime example of how the Hong Kong gossip machine can often chew up and spit out actresses -- but thankfully, Lau has risen above the chum and made a name for herself as one of the most solid actresses working in Hong Kong. Much has been written about her relationship with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and how this might have "influenced" Lau getting roles in movies. That kind of "fluff" is commonplace in HK, but nothing could prepare Lau (and her fans) for the shock of the events that happened in 2002, where pictures of a kidnapped and topless Lau were published on the cover of a popular HK tabloid. This was stuff straight out of a Wong Jing movie, but Lau handled it with her typical sense of class. She has continued on to develop herself as an actress, to the point that she can take even the stock "jade vase" role of a dai lo's girlfriend (such as her work in the popular "Infernal Affairs" movies) and add depth to it.

Notable movies: Infernal Affairs II, 2046, Center Stage


Carrie Ng

With her sultry good looks, it's hard to believe that Carrie Ng was once considered a "plain jane" by many producers and directors. But, such is the case, and it was not until she appeared opposite Chow Yun-Fat in "City on Fire" (where she plays a sympathetic hooker) that she gained attention from both film-makers and fans. Since then, she has appeared in a diverse number of roles. Even though she is best known for her turn as a femme fatale in "Naked Killer", her more recent roles have shown a more sensitive (but still sexy side) that fans have come to embrace.

Notable movies: City on Fire, Naked Killer, Sex and Zen, Gunmen


Cecilia Cheung

If ever there was an actress in Hong Kong who lived the "Hollywood"-type experience, I think Cecilia Cheung would be it. She was dabbling in modeling in her native Australia, when a trip to Hong Kong changed her life. A producer spotted her, was (understandably) smitten with her looks, and convinced Stephen Chow to cast her as one of the female leads in "King of Comedy". Even though Cheung was not a native Cantonese speaker, she wowed local and international audiences with both her beauty and acting chops. Seemingly poised for major success, things came to a crashing halt (literally) when a stunt during a TVB charity show went horribly wrong, and rumors of scarring and/or paralysis dominated the tabloids for months. Cheung overcame the odds -- as well as the stories that her family's supposed connections to the Triad were the only reason she got a job in the HK movie world in the first place -- and has marked herself as one of the HK actresses to look to in the future.

Notable movies: King of Comedy, One Nite in Mongkok, Running on Karma


Charles Heung

Along with his brother Jimmy, Charles Heung has been one of the most prolific producers working in Hong Kong over the past thirty years. He has also made quite a number of appearances in front of the camera, most notably as Chow Yun-Fat's bodyguard in the "God of Gamblers" movies. Despite his huge output, Heung is best known to local audiences for being the son of the notorious gangster Heung Chin, who controlled the majority of Triad activity in Hong Kong during the 1950's before going into exile in Taiwan. Not surprisingly, Charles doesn't like to talk about his father, and has split off from his partnership with Jimmy (who is rumored to use Triad-style tactics in his business dealings) to form the China Star production company.

Notable movies: God of Gamblers, Casino Raiders, Arrest the Restless


Chang Chen

Chang Chen is a Taiwanese actor who made an international splash with his work in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". He has appeared in several other high-profile "arthouse" productions, such as Wong Kar-Wai's "2046".

Notable movies: Happy Together, 2046, The Hand


Chapman To

One of the most prolific actors working in Hong Kong today -- seemingly popping up in every other movie released nowadays -- Chapman To got his start in television, before moving onto a successful career in radio, where he still hosts a popular talk show. In the late 1990's, To moved to the film world and has rarely stopped working since. He usually provides comic relief, but has proven that he has dramatic chops as well, with a couple of Hong Kong Film Award nominations to his credit.

Notable movies: Jiang Hu, Infernal Affairs, Golden Chicken 2


Charlene Choi

Charlene Choi (nicknamed "Ah Sa") was born in Vancouver and moved over to Hong Kong with her family when she was a small child. When she was a teenager, Choi became a model and participated in beauty pageants. She won the 2000 edition of EEG's (a huge music and film production company) "New Star Competition" and made her film debut with "What is a Good Teacher". After Choi was teamed with Gillian Chung (another product of EEG's "star machine") to form the musical duo Twins, the rest, as they say, is history. The Twins, with their squeaky-clean looks and catchy pop songs, became an instant sensation in Hong Kong, and began appearing in many high-profile projects, both together and by themselves, and the juggernaut doesn't look to stop rolling any time soon.

Notable movies: The Twins Effect, New Police Story, Fantasia


Charlie Yeung (aka Charlie Young)

Charlie Yeung got her start acting in commercials. After appearing in one with Aaron Kwok, she was cast in her first movie, "Ashes of Time". Yeung's star rose quickly -- perhaps too quickly -- and within a few years, she announced her retirement. She has since returned to acting, much to the delight of her large fan base.

Notable movies: Seven Swords, New Police Story, High Risk


Chen Kuan-Tai

Known as "Mr. Shaw Brothers" for his dozens of appearances in that studio's movies during the 1970's, Chen Kuan-Tai was a championship martial artist before moving on to acting. Chen created the mold for the "evil dai lo" in Triad films with his appearance in "The Teahouse" (which is widely regarded as the start of the modern gangster picture) and was one of the top actors to play villains in Shaw Brothers productions. With the fizzling out of the "old school" kung fu genre in the early 1980's, Chen's output went down drastically, though he still pops up in the occasional project.

Notable movies: Crippled Avengers, Just Heroes, Challenge of the Gamesters


Cheng Pei-Pei

Most western viewers didn't know of Cheng Pei-Pei until her appearance in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", but she has been working in films for over forty years. Cheng is widely regarded as the first true female action star, paving the way for her modern counterparts like Michelle Yeoh with appearances in several of the seminal movies of the kung fu genre, such as King Hu's "Come Drink with Me". In the late 1970's, Cheng left the industry for the most part and pursued other interests, such as moving to Los Angeles in the 1980's and doing a cooking show on television, though she still appears in new films from time to time.

Notable movies: Flirting Scholar, Golden Swallow, Wing Chun


Cherie Chung

Cherie Chung only placed fourth in the 1979 Miss Hong Kong pageant, but her appearance impressed Damien Lau, who introduced her to a young director named Johnnie To. After her debut with 1980's "Enigmatic Case", Chung became one of the most popular actresses of the decade, where her pairings with Chow Yun-Fat were always huge box office hits. Like many HK actresses, Chung retired in 1991 after getting married. Chung now runs a furniture store, and still makes public appearances to help support environmental causes, but the rumors of her returning to the screen have proven false thus far.

Notable movies: Wild Search, Once a Thief, Peking Opera Blues, Story of Woo Viet


Cheung Man (aka Sharla Cheung)

With her classic good looks, Cheung Man was a favorite of writer/director Wong Jing, and worked on many of his productions in the early 1990's. She gained popularity with her appearances in several Stephen Chow pictures, but soon developed a reputation as an on-set primadonna, and found her roles drying up by the end of the decade. Cheung had retired from the film industry for the most part to focus on her various business interests, but has become more active over the past few years.

Notable movies: Last Hero in China, Kung Fu Cult Master, Royal Tramp


Cheung Tat-Ming

A former stand-up comedian, Cheung Tat-Ming began his film career providing comic relief in Triad pictures. He has since moved on to doing "pure" comedies, and has written several scripts.

Notable movies: You Shoot I Shoot, My Heart is that Eternal Rose, Dragon Reloaded


Chin Kar-Lok

If you're a fan of Hong Kong action movies, chances are that you've seen quite a bit of Chin Kar-Lok. He is regarded as one of the best stuntpeople in the business and has doubled almost all of the major actors in HK (including Jackie Chan) and even some actresses like Michelle Yeoh. Chin started out as part of Sammo Hung's stunt team and, after appearing in dozens of films (in mostly uncredited roles), moved on to become an action director and form his own team, though he still appears in front of the camera as well.

Notable movies: Full Contact, Drunken Master II, The Iceman Cometh


Chin Siu-Ho

Like his brother Chin Kar-Lok, Chin Siu-Ho spent the first part of his career working with Sammo Hung. However, unlike Kar-Lok, even though he is very talented in the martial arts department, Siu-Ho has concentrated more on acting, rather than stunts. Siu-Ho seemed destined for mega-stardom with lead roles in several high-profile movies such as "Fist of Legend", but his career never truly took off, and by the end of the 1990's, he was reduced to slumming in Category III softcore porn movies like "Royal Sperm". This seems to have rubbed off a bit on his personal life, as he was indicted a few years ago for peeping up women's dresses with a camcorder.

Notable movies: Mr. Vampire, The Tai-Chi Master, The Seventh Curse


Chor Yuen

While he is only known to western audiences as a "bit player", with roles like Jackie Chan's boss in the first two "Police Story" movies, Chor Yuen is actually one of Hong Kong's most honored directors. His father is Cheung Wood-Yau, a hugely popular figure from the early days of Cantonese cinema, but it was not until he was a college student in the 1950's when the film bug bit Chor. He started out as a writer, and after a few years, began directing his own scripts.

Chor was incredibly prolific during the 1960's, directing and writing dozens of movies, but he is best known for his 1973 film "The House of 72 Tenants". The picture -- which made Chor one of the true icons of Hong Kong cinema -- is credited with bringing the Cantonese movie industry back from the grave, and would prove to be highly influential for generations of film-makers, most notably Stephen Chow, who based his mega-hit "Kung Fu Hustle" around Chor's work. During the 1980's, Chor's directing output slowed down, and he began accepting offers to appear on-screen, mostly as favors to other writer/directors that he repsected.

Notable movies: The House of 72 Tenants, Black Rose, Magic Blade


Christy Chung

A native of Montreal, Christy Chung was a TV "weather girl" when she decided to enter the 1992 Miss Chinese Montreal pageant. She won, and was invited to Hong Kong to appear in the Miss Chinese International pageant, which she also won, despite some controversy that she was actually Vietnamese, not Chinese. One of the prizes was a contract with TVB, where she impressed many people, even though she could not speak Cantonese (one look at her face and figure can probably tell you why). A series of film roles followed, but it seemed just as soon as Chung appeared, she did the usual M.O. of a hot actress in Hong Kong -- she got married, had a baby and retired. After getting a divorce, Chung staged a gutsy comeback, appearing nude in a "pictorial" book called "Feeling Christy Chung" that flew off of the shelves of HK bookstores when it came out. The P.R. stunt seems to have worked, as Chung continues to find work on big-budget productions such as Jackie Chan's "The Medallion".

Notable movies: The Bodyguard from Beijing, Man Wanted, Love on Delivery


Chiu Man Cheuk (aka Zhao Wen-Zhou, Vincent Zhao)

Chiu Man Cheuk was "drafted" into movies by Tsui Hark, who wanted to find a replacement for Jet Li in the popular "Once Upon a Time in China" series. Despite the fact that Chiu has talent to spare in the martial arts department and is a solid actor, he has never found great success in the HK movie world. By the time Chiu had entered the fray in the early 1990's, Chinese audiences were falling out of favor with the locally-produced product -- martial arts films in particular. Chiu was reduced to appearing in low-budget action flicks like "Fist Power" and exploitation junk such as "Body Weapon", and so he headed back to the Mainland, where he now makes his living appearing on TV kung fu serials.

Notable movies: Once Upon a Time China V, The Blade, Fong Sai Yuk


Chung Fat

With his long face and distinctive "cat" style of fighting, Chung Fat is one of the more recognizable faces for fans of "old school" kung fu movies. Chung got his training in Peking Opera, and like many practioners of the art, moved into films as a stunt performer when local audiences started shying away from opera performances in the 1970's. Early on in his career, he became friends with Sammo Hung, and joined his stunt team after the death of the old school kung fu movie genre in the early 1980's. After an injury prevented him from doing any more dangerous stunts, Chung moved on to become more of a conventional actor. Over the past few years, Chung has also added several producing credits to his resume.

Notable movies: Yes Madam, Pedicab Driver, Eastern Condors


Conan Lee

Conan Lee was an actor living in New York City who had appeared in a couple of low-budget action films before he headed to Hong Kong to try his luck in the movie business there. With his impressive physique and martial arts moves, Lee seemed destined to at least attain a Bolo Yeung-type B-list star status. However, after an impressive debut alongside Chow Yun-Fat in "Tiger on the Beat", the hype machine went to his head (and it's rumored some white powder went up his nose) and Lee's career was over before it even really started. He eked out a few more HK movies, but projects like "The Cyprus Tigers" weren't going to make anyone a star, and so he headed back to the US in the late 1990's. After his appearance as Jet Li's brother in "Lethal Weapon 4", Lee has all but disappeared from the entertainment scene, with only a few appearances in straight-to-video productions to his credit.

Notable movies: Tiger on the Beat, Aces Go Places V

Biography Index / Long Biographies / Main Page