[ Back ]Chow Yun-Fat was born, Jau Yun Faat (Cantonese), Zhou Run Fa, on May 18, 1955on the small island of Lamma Island, off Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, China. (See the official Hong Kong web page, which contains a map in the "Travel and Tourism" frame.) His family moved to Hong Kong itself in 1965. Chow Yun-Fat identifies two childhoodinfluences on his dramatic life: the Cantonese Opera, at yearly festivals in honour of the Goddessof the Sea, and American movies, under the patronage of one of his mother's employers.
An early TV star in series like Hotel, in the early 1980s CYF won lasting popularityand fame as the ultra-cool gangster Hui Man-Keung, in the TVB series Shanghai Beach(a.k.a. Shanghai Grand, a.k.a. The Bund). According to one description, thestreets of Shanghai emptied during the broadcasts of this series, which has since been re-made many times.
CYF played a lead role in a movie as early as 1976, in the coyly-named film Massage Girls. Hisfirst critical success as an actor, however, was only five years later, in the 1981 film The Story of Woo Viet, directed by Ann Hui On-Wah. This dramatic successwas followed by a period of personal and occupational uncertainty: CYF's flicks in the early 1980swere on the whole poorly-received by critics and movie-goers alike. At around this time, ChowYun-Fat also experienced a number of personal problems, and a short-lived, tumultuous marriage with Candice Yu On-On, a television star from TVB's rival (now ATV).
His turnaround began in the mid-1980s. In 1985, he received a Golden Horse (BestActor) from Taiwan, and another Best Actor from the Asian Pacific Film Festival forhis performance in director LeungPo-Chi's movie Hong Kong 1941. But this success was soon overshadowed by another, even more dramatic. In 1986 thelittle-known director John Woo, best knownfor his slapstick kung fu comedies (like Plain Jane to theRescue), cast CYF as Mark Gor in the gangster movie A Better Tomorrow. The film was wildlysuccessful, propelling both Woo and Chow into the limelight of the action-movie genre.
By 1995, when he filmed his last of Hong Kong movies, Peace Hotel, Chow had appeared in an amazing 71 movies. Hisplethora of awards from this period includes Best Actor twice from Taiwan (1985, for Hong Kong 1941,and 1987, for An Autumn's Tale), and three timesfrom Hong Kong (1987, for A Better Tomorrow; 1988, for City on Fire, and 1990, for All about Ah Long). Ironically, in the WestChow's success as an action star, and his association with Woo (known to Westerners only forhis action movies) have now virtually overshadowed Chow Yun-Fat's dramatic and comedicabilities. Some Western fans of A Better Tomorrow and Hardboiled will besurprised to experience CYF's virtuousity in drama and comedy roles.
Chow Yun-Fat is known and admired by fans all over the world: not just in Hong Kong andNorth America, but all over Asia and Europe as well. In fact, I recently received mail chiding mefor not mentioning these other fans, and informing me that CYF was titled the best moviegunslinger in Japan, at some point. (According to ChinaStar, CYF won the 30th Best Actor Award in the Asia Film Show, and the Best Outstanding Actor Award of Asia fromAmerica Film Association and Korea.)
Chow Yun-Fat now commutes between the United States and Hong Kong, along with his second wife, Jasmine. They are soon to start filming for The Corruptor, in Toronto.Visit:
NOTE: Chow Yun Fat is not contactable through this website. This is not his home page; all mail should be addressed to the addresses below. This is the most current destination addresses known of at this time. If you know of a newer addresss, please let us knowFan Mail:
C/O William Morris Agency