May 18, 1955
Nam Nga Island, Hong Kong
The son of two farm workers, Chow Yun-Fat grew up in a farming community in a house with no electricity. When Chow was ten the family moved to Kowloon City, Hong Kong. There his father worked for Shell Oil Company as a tanker seaman and was rarely home. Chow briefly attended a Maoist school, but when he became involved in Mao's Cultural Revolution in 1967, his mother
switched him to a more conservative school. At seventeen Chow Yun-Fat quit school in order to help support the family by doing odd jobs such as: courier, bellboy, door-to-door camera salesman, and taxi driver among others.
Chow Yun-Fat entered show business when a friend suggested he audition for a place at the school for television actors run by Hong Kong's biggest TV studio. He was called back two weeks later and began his training in modern and Chinese dance, ballet, acting and kung-fu. With his studies complete, he won a contract that lasted fourteen years, appearing in over a thousand hours of sitcoms and drama series. His roles as a young hunk in 128 episodes of Hotel starting in 1976, and a 30s Shanghai gangster in Shanghai Bound in 1980, made him a household name in his native land.
Chow Yun-Fat's American debut came in The Replacement Killers opposite Oscar winner Mira Sorvino.
Photo © Unknown - Bio by ThespianNet.com ©2003
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