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Yun-Fat Chow Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (28)  | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (4)

Born in Lamma Island, Hong Kong
Birth NameChow Yun Fat
Nicknames Faat Tsai
Faat "Gor"
Height 6' 1" (1.86 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Chow Yun Fat is a charismatic, athletically built and energetic Asian-born film star who first came to the attention of western audiences via his roles in the high-octane/blazing guns action films of maverick HK director John Woo.

Chow was born in 1955 on the quiet island of Lamma, part of the then-British colony of Hong Kong, near its famous Victoria Harbour. His mother was a vegetable farmer and cleaning lady, and his father worked on a Shell Oil Company tanker. Chow's family moved to urban Hong Kong in 1965 and in early 1973, Chow attended a casting call for TVB, a division of Shaw Bros. productions. With his good looks and easy-going style, Chow was originally a heartthrob actor in non-demanding TV and film roles. However, his popularity increased with his appearance as white-suited gangster Hui Man-Keung in the highly popular drama TV series Shang Hai tan (1983).

In 1985, Chow started receiving acclaim for his work and scored the Golden Horse (Best Actor) Award in Taiwan and another Best Actor Award from the Asian Pacific Film Festival for his performance in Hong Kong 1941 (1984). With these accolades, Chow came to the attention of Woo, who cast Chow in the fast-paced gangster film A Better Tomorrow (1986) (aka "A Better Tomorrow"). The rest, as they say, is history. The film was an enormous commercial success, and Chow's influence on young Asian males was not dissimilar to the adulation given to previous Asian film sensations such as Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan. Nearly every young guy in Hong Kong ran out and bought himself a "Mark Coat," as they became known--a long, heavy woolen coat worn by Chow in the movie (although it is is actually very unsuited to Hong Kong's hot and humid climate).

Further hard-edged roles in more John Woo crime films escalated Chow's popularity even higher, and fans all over the world flocked to see A Better Tomorrow II (1987) (aka "A Better Tomorrow 2"), The Killer (1989) (aka "The Killer"), and Hard Boiled (1992) (aka "Hard Boiled"). With the phenomenal global interest in the HK action genre, Chow was enticed to the United States and appeared in The Replacement Killers (1998) with Mira Sorvino, The Corruptor (1999) with Mark Wahlberg, and, for a change of pace, in the often-filmed romantic tale of Anna and the King (1999).

Chow then returned to the Asian cinema circuit and starred in the critically lauded kung fu epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) (aka "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"). His wide appeal can be seen in his "boy next door" type of personality and his ability to play such a broad spectrum of roles from a comedic buffoon to a lovestruck Romeo to a trigger-happy professional killer. A highly entertaining and gifted actor with dynamic on-screen presence, Chow continues to remain in strong demand in many film markets.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44

Spouse (2)

Jasmine Chow (6 May 1987 - present)
On-On Yu (1983 - 1983) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Chow often is seen with a trademark toothpick in his mouth, particularly in his films with John Woo.
The action superstar can be seen in most of his movies with twin guns (usually two Beretta 92s) and dark shades during a gunfight.

Trivia (28)

Won Hong Kong's Academy "Best Actor" Awards Three Times: A Better Tomorrow, 1987. City On Fire, 1988, All About Ah Long, 1990.
Won Taiwan's Golden Horse "Best Actor" Awards Two Times: Hong Kong 1941,1985. An Autumn's Tale, 1987.
Won Asian Pacific Festival "Best Actor" Award for Hong Kong 1941, 1985.
Chow Yun-Fat was born of the Hakkha (aka Ha Ka) race, an ethnic group from China that has moved from one region to another without taking up permanent residence since the ancient times. The Hakkha dialect is now the second most popular dialect in Taiwan.
CineAsia, the Asian Theatre Owners Convention, named Chow the Star of the Decade.
Turned down the role of Morpheus in The Matrix (1999).
Chosen one of 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine in 2002.
Before going to work on a movie each day, he goes to the nearest market and buys some fresh fruit.
Sponsors a lot of charity events such as "National Wildlife" and many others.
Unusually tall by Chinese standards, he was often a head taller than his co-stars in his Hong Kong films, female or male.
Tri-lingual, speaking Cantonese, Mandarin, and English.
Credited as Chow Anderson in the Philippines in his earlier films.
He helped Andy Lau in his movie career, after it almost crashed when he refused to sign a contract with TVB, which made him blacklisted from Hong Kong Television.
He and Andy Lau made 4 movies together: Ying hung ho hon (1987), Rich and Famous (1987), God of Gamblers (1989), and God of Gamblers II (1990). They also made two TV-series together: Yang ka cheung (1986) and The Legend of Master So (1982).
After a first unsuccessful marriage with a fellow Hong Kong star actress, he fell in love and re-married the daughter of one of the richest Chinese dynastic scions from Singapore.
Attempted suicide over the break-up after 5-year (1978-1983) romance with popular TV star Idy Chan.
Enjoys photography. His elder sister also is a photographer.
On 26 June 2008, Chow released his first photo collection in Hong Kong, which includes pictures taken on the sets of his films. Proceeds from the book's sales were donated to Sichuan earthquake victims. Published by Louis Vuitton, the books were sold in Vuitton's Hong Kong and Paris stores.
He narrowly avoided being incinerated while filming the explosive climax of Hard Boiled (1992).
He was originally going to be play Luke in Bullet in the Head (1990), as he was really impressed with the script but John Woo had told him that his character was not the essential character of the story (though a pivotal one nonetheless) and that it might not have complimented his leading man status as it was really a supporting role (or more precisely - fourth leading role).
He narrowly avoided being blown up while filming A Better Tomorrow II (1987) when the explosion outside the mansion door being more powerful than expected. Some of his hair was singed, and he was blasted forward.
Ironically, John Woo cast him in his breakout film A Better Tomorrow (1986) because he didn't look like an action star.
Joss Whedon originally wrote the role of Christie in Alien: Resurrection (1997) with him in mind. His manager and producer Terence Chang turned down the role for him.
In October 2014, Chow supported the Umbrella Movement, a civil rights movement for universal suffrage in Hong Kong. His political stance eventually resulted in censorship by the Chinese government.
He was the original choice for the role of Memnon in The Scorpion King (2002). His manager and producer Terence Chang vetoed it, saying Chow never plays villains and that doing so would betray his fans.
As of 2018, Chow's net worth stands at HKD$5.6 billion. Chow also said he would donate 99% of his wealth to charity via setting up a foundation to help the needy.
His part in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) was omitted when the movie was shown in China. Government censors felt that Chow's character "vilified and humiliated" the Chinese people.
He was considered for Shiwan Khan in The Shadow (1994).

Personal Quotes (5)

In the West audiences think I am a stereotyped action star, or that I always play hitmen or killers. But in Hong Kong, I did a lot of comedy, many dramatic films, and most of all, romantic roles, lots of love stories. I was like a romance novel hero.
If I can associate with the people very, very gently very, very friendly every day I'm happpy. If I don't pay them respect I feel terrible inside" - From an interview with Chow Yun-Fat in the Documentary Chow Yun-Fat goes Hollywood
As an actor we're just like workers in a factory, we provide our services to directors. But I must do my job perfectly, and I love what I do.
Working in front of the camera keeps me alive. I couldn't care less about actors' trailers and food on sets and stuff like that - I just want to act.
[on his Mandarin pronunciation in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)] It's awful. The first day I had to do 28 takes simply because of the language problem. That's never happened before in my life. It put me under a lot of pressure. There was a lot of dialogue in this film, more than I've ever had to speak before. It was like speaking Shakespeare.

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