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 Chow Yun-Fat

 Chow Yun-Fat

Chow Yun-Fat (born May 18, 1955) is a Chinese actor. He is one of the most famous actors in Asia and a major actor in the Hong Kong film industry. He mainly plays in dramatic movies. He won Hong Kong's "best actor" award three times and Taiwan's twice.

He was born on the tiny offshore Hong Kong's Lamma Island to a housewife mother and an oil rigger father. Of Hakka origins,Chow Yun-Fatgrew up in a farming community in a house with no electricity. He woke up at dawn each morning to help his mother sell dim sum on the streets and in the afternoons he went to work in the fields. Chow Yun-Fat's family moved to Kowloon when he was ten. At seventeen, he quit school to help support the family by doing odd jobs - bellboy, postman, camera salesman, taxi driver. His life started to change when he responded to a newspaper ad and his actor-trainee application was accepted by TVB, the local television station. He signed a three-year contract with the studio and made his acting debut. With his striking good looks and easy-going style, Chow became a heartthrob and a familiar face in soap operas that were exported internationally.

Chow Yun-Fat Career

It did not take long for Chow Yun-Fat to become a household name in Hong Kong following his role in the hit series The Bund in 1980. The Bund, about the rise and fall of a gangster in 1930's Shanghai, made him a superstar. It was one of the most popular TV series ever made in Hong Kong and was a hit throughout Asia, including Shanghai itself, where the streets were emptied during the times it was broadcast.

Although Chow Yun-Fat continued his TV success, his ultimate goal was to become a big screen actor. However, his occasional ventures onto the big screens with low-budget movies were disastrous. Success finally came when he teamed up with a then relatively unknown director John Woo in the 1986 gangster action-melodrama A Better Tomorrow, which swept the box offices in parts of Asia and established bothChow Yun-Fat and Woo as megastars. A Better Tomorrow won him his first Best Actor award at the Hong Kong Film Awards. It is reputed to be the highest grossing film in Hong Kong history at the time, and it set the standard for Hong Kong gangster films. Taking the opportunity, Chow quit TV entirely. With his new image from A Better Tomorrow, he made many more 'gun fu' or 'heroic bloodshed' movies, again teaming up with Woo, such as A Better Tomorrow 2 (1987), Prison on Fire, Prison on Fire II, The Killer (1989), A Better Tomorrow 3 (1990) and Hard Boiled (1992).

Chow Yun-Fat may be best known, especially in the West, for playing honorable tough guys, whether cops or criminals, but he is a versatile performer. He has starred in comedies like Diary of a Big Man (1988) and Now You See Love, Now You Don't (1992) or romantic blockbusters such as Love in a Fallen City (1984) and An Autumn's Tale (1987). He brought together his disparate personae in the 1989 film God of Gamblers (Du Shen), directed by the prolific Wong Jing, in which he was by turns suave charmer, broad comedian and action hero. The film surprised many and turned out immensely popular, broke Hong Kong's all-time box office record, and spawned a series of gambling movies, as well as several more comic sequels starring Andy Lau and Stephen Chow.

The Los Angeles Times proclaimed Chow Yun-Fat"the coolest actor in the world." At that point, he had not even made a single American film, but he had already become an icon. Being one of the hottest screen commodities in Hong Kong,Chow Yun-Fat moved to Hollywood in the mid-'90s in an attempt to duplicate his success on an international scale. His first two films Replacement Killers (1998) and The Corruptor (1999) were box-office disappointments. His next film Anna and the King (1999) did better, but the success was mostly credited to actress Jodie Foster. He returned to Asia for the (2000) film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and it became a winner at both the international box office and the Oscars. In 2004, he made a surprise cameo in the mainland Chinese indie-hit Waiting Alone. In 2006, he teamed up with Gong Li to star in the new film, Curse of the Golden Flower by Zhang Yimou.

Chow Yun-Fat is still waiting for the type of success he once enjoyed in Hong Kong. He once admitted to a Hong Kong reporter that his ultimate goal is to win an Oscar as an actor. When asked what if it never comes true, he replied "I would just have to laugh about it..."

In 2007Chow Yun-Fat played the antagonist pirate captain Sao Feng in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The character played by Chow, however was censored in mainland China. As proclaimed by mainland officials, "He also has a long beard and long nails, whose image is still in line with Hollywood’s old tradition of demonising the Chinese." The censors also cut Chow’s line in which he states "Welcome to Singapore", because it hints Singapore is a land of pirates" Xinhua stated. It quoted Zhang Pimin, deputy head of the film bureau of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television as saying the cuts had been made "according to the country’s relevant regulations on film censorship," and "China’s actual conditions".

Chow Yun-Fat Personal life

Chow Yun-Fathas married twice. First to Candice Yu in 1983, who was an actress from Asia Television Ltd, TVB's rival. But the marriage did not last long and the two broke up after nine months. Chow has since married Singaporean Jasmine Tan (simplified Chinese: 陈è«èŽ²; traditional Chinese: 陳薈蓮; pinyin: Chén huilián) in 1986. Tan reportedly had a miscarriage during pregnancy and the two have no children. However, Chow Yun Fat has a goddaughter, Celine Ng, former child model for Chickeeduck and other various companies.


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