Chow Yun-fat is a popular actor from Hong Kong. He was born on May 18, 1955, in Lamma Island, British Hong Kong. His mother works as a cleaner and farmer while his father is working in the Shell Oil Company. He was raised in the Lamma Island community, where there is no electricity. Chow will wake up at dawn just to help her mother in selling tea-pudding and herbal jelly on the street and in the afternoon, he will work in the fields. At the age of 10, he and his family shifted to Kowloon and at 17, he had to stop his schooling to support his family. He had worked as a bellboy, taxi driver, salesman and postman, until something good came up. He applied as an actor-trainee in a newspaper advertisement, and he was luckily accepted by TVB channel, where he was debuted as an actor. Chow had a three-year contract with TVB and became a familiar face on television. He got married twice; first is with a film actress, Candice Yu (1983), but their marriage lasted for only 9-months and the second one was in the year 1986 with Jasmine Tan (a Singaporean). In the year 1980, Chow appeared on TVB’s television series, The Bund, which became a hit in Asia and made him a star. Later, he continued his television career, although he is aiming to become a silver screen actor. However, his random appearances in low-budget films have failed. Success came to him when he teamed up with
in the Hong Kong crime film, A Better Tomorrow (1986). The film became the highest-grossing film in the history of Hon Kong when the time that it was released. It also earned him the Best Actor Award at the Hong Kong Film Festival. In 1994, the Indian remake of A Better Tomorrow was released and was entitled as Aatish: Feel the Fire, which was helmed by an Indian director,
. Since then, Chow decided to quit television and subsequently starred in several heroic bloodshed films such as A Better Tomorrow 2 and A Better Tomorrow 3, Prison on Fire and its sequel (Prison on Fire II), The Killer, Hard Boiled, City on Fire, and much more. He became popular for doing an honest cop or criminal, but he also donned comedy films like Diary of a Big Man in 1988 and Mabel Cheung and Alex Law’s Now You See Love, Now You Don’t in 1992.
Chow also starred in the romantic hit films, Love in a Fallen City and An Autumn’s Tale, where he earned the Best Actor Award at the 24th Golden Horse Awards. In 1989, he starred in the blockbuster action comedy-drama film, God of Gamblers, helmed by Wong Jing. This film became very popular and turned out to be an all-time box office hit. He was known as Babyface Killer due to his tough demeanor and young-looking personality. According to the Los Angeles Times, Chow is the coolest actor in the whole world. In the mid-1990s, he shifted to Hollywood but had two unsuccessful attempts. He first appeared in the 1998 American action film, The Replacement Killers, followed by an action thriller film, The Corruptor in 1999, but both failed miserably. He was next starred in the biographical drama film, Anna and the King, along with
, which is also a box-office failure. He was then starred as Li Mu Bai in the very successful Chinese co-production martial arts film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, in the year 2000. He returned to Hollywood in the year 2003 and starred in the Paul Hunter’s debut film, Bulletproof Monk. In 2006, he made a performance in the Chinese epic drama film, Curse of the Golden Flower. In 2007, Chow was also seen as Sao Feng, the South China Sea’s Pirate Lord, in the American epic fantasy film, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. When the movie was shown in China, Chow’s part was excluded, as the Government felt that his character in the film humiliated and abused the Chinese people. He played as Master Roshi in James Wong’s American adventure fantasy film,
, in 2009. He returned to Hong Kong cinema in the year 2014, through the Chinese crime comedy film, From Vegas to Macau. Chao had lost 13kg in the span of 10-months for his role in the film. In the same year, he supported Umbrella Movement, a loose pre-democracy political movement in Hong Kong In 2015, he reprised his role in the sequel of From Vegas to Macau and received a fee of $5-million for the film. Overall, Chow has donned over 24 TV serials and 121 movies.