18th May 1955. Chow Yun Fat is born on the small island of Lamma of the coast of Hong Kong.
1965. The Chow family move to Hong Kong itself where Yun Fat is influenced by the Cantonese Opera and American movies (which he got to see through his mother's employer).
1973. Yun Fat answers an advert from the Shaw Bros. TVB television station. He is accepted and given parts in varied soap operas. He is enrolled in an actors training programme, one of his fellow 'trainees' is future director Ringo Lam.
1981. He plays the lead role of an ultra cool gangster (sounds familiar ?)in 'Shanghai Beach', a show so popular it reportedly emptied the streets of Shanghai!. He also gains his first success on the big screen in Ann Hui's 'The Story of Wu Viet'. The success was short lived as his career went into a slump as his films were poorly received. This was all about to change however...
1985. He stars in Leung Po-Chi's film 'Hong Kong 1941' to great critical and commercial success. He was awarded to 'Best Actor' awards at the Asian Pacific Film Festival and Taiwan's Golden Horse awards.
1986. He is cast as gangster Mark Gor in 'A Better Tomorrow' by then little known director, John Woo. The film is massively successful, sending both it's lead actor and director to super-stardom in action movies. The film also defined the genre that gave its name to this website!
1995. CYF finishes his final Hong Kong movie, 'Peace Hotel'. In the intervening years he has made countless numbers of movies in many genres. Most had been hugely successful, mainly due to Chow's presence and abilities. In particular his subsequent collaborations with Woo, (ABT II, Once a Thief, Hard Boiled and especially The Killer) and his work with lifelong friend Ringo Lam, (Full Contact, City on Fire etc..) are, in my opinion, some of the best action movies ever. He will be known outside of Asia for his action films but he is is just as adept in the comedy and dramatic roles. He has won many awards including two 'Best Actors' in Taiwan and three in Hong Kong.
1998. Chow makes the move to Hollywood film making with the release of 'The Replacement Killers'. Although many were disappointed with the result, the film was a commercial success and bodes well for the future. He is already preparing his next movie, 'The Corruptor', and has signed up for at least two more pictures. His fan base around the world continues to grow and I am sure that in the future he will be at least as successful as he has in the past.
Copyright © 1999 [James
Brennan]. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 12, 2000 .