Stephen Chow is arguably Hong Kong’s king of comedy and is known for his offbeat style of humor and rubber-faced expressions. He is an actor, film director, actor, producer, political adviser, entrepreneur, and martial artist. Chow dominated the Asian box office for most of the 1990’s along with fellow martial arts powerhouse, Jackie Chan.
He has spawned numerous highly successful films including The Final Combat (1989), Shaolin Soccer (2001) and Kung Fu Hustle (2004).
Stephen Chow Biography
He was born Stephen Chow Sing Chi in Hong Kong on the 22nd day of June 1962. As a child, he was fascinated by the moves displayed by the late iconic martial artist and actor, Bruce Lee in one of his movies, The Big Boss. At the age of nine, Stephen Chow decided he would become a martial arts star just like his hero.
He attended Xiehe School before proceeding to Marino Secondary School. After graduating in 1982, he was accepted for a one-year acting program in a Hong Kong television station, TVB’s acting school. Following the program, his career took off in 1983 with a presentation gig on a children’s television program called Space Shuttle 430.
Therein, he gained popularity as well as garnered several other TV roles. With his new found fame, it wasn’t difficult for him to evolve into the movie industry. He starred in his first feature film, Final Justice in 1988 which won him an award for Best Supporting Actor at Taiwan Golden Horse Award but, it wasn’t until 1989’s The Final Combat that he struck a deal with stardom. In time, he also delved into other areas of filmmaking; directing and producing.
Chow was all over the entertainment industry in the early 90s and his success also progressed geometrically. His comedic side broke out to great acclaim with All for the Winner (1990) which is a parody of Chow Yun-Fat’s God of Gamblers. The film became a huge success and spawned an equally impressive sequel, God of Gamblers 2 (1991).
1991 proved to be a banner year for him. He starred in Hong Kong’s top-grossing film at the time, Fight Back to School which also spawned two sequels. More successes were in line as he reinvented his career with parodies of Hollywood, Japanese, and Hong Kong cinema films. Some of them include Fist of Fury 1991, Justice My Foot (1992) which earned him the Best Actor at the Pacific Film Festival and Flirting Scholar (1993).
In 1994, he made his directorial debut with From Beijing with Love (1994), a spoof of James Bond films. Chow also formed his own production company, Star Overseas and released three films including God of Cookery (1997) in which he combines martial arts with cooking.
From 2001, he saw less screening time and focused more on behind the screen works. He directed, produced as well as starred in the 2001 film, Shaolin Soccer where he combined sports with kung-fu and comedy. The movie became hugely successful in the box office and brought Chow an opportunity to be introduced to the United States. It was also distributed internationally in 2003 by Miramax Films as well as won numerous accolades. Moreover, it also inspired a spin-off, Shaolin Girl (2008), a Japanese short action comedy film which focuses on women’s lacrosse.
On the heels of Shaolin Soccer’s success, his next kung-fu comedy project, Kung Fu Hustle (2004) was released by Columbia Tristar and the movie became even more successful. With over $106 million worldwide, Chow won numerous awards both locally such as Hong Kong Film Award for Best Film and Best Director at the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards as well as twenty international awards.
Through the years, Stephen Chow’s works have become synonymous with success with many of his works amassing numerous awards and others breaking box office records. His 2008 film, CJ7 based on China’s successful Shenzhou manned space missions became Malaysia’s highest-grossing film of all time. He also produced an animated version of the film, CJ7: Cartoon in 2010.
Furthermore, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (2013) became the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time while The Mermaid (2016) in addition to breaking various box office records also became the highest-grossing film of all time in China, the third in Vietnam as well as the highest-grossing movie at the time in Asia with $553.81 million worldwide. In turn, his commercially successful works placed him on the ninth-top-grossing Hollywood Director of 2016.
His recent works include two Journey to the West spin-offs (2017, 2019), two The Mermaid (2019) spin-offs and a sequel of From Beijing with Love, Project D which is set to release in 2019. Apart from his success in filmmaking, Chow Sing Chi has a knack in business investment as well and has made some successful real estate moves.
Is He Married? Wife, Family
His parents are Ling Bao’er and Zhou Shangyi who immigrated from Ningbo, Zhejiang and his sisters include Chow Wenji and Chow Xingxia. Following his parents’ divorce when he was 7, he lived with his mother in Shanghai.
Chow was in a 10-year relationship with Yu Wen Feng who he started dating in 1999. After he split from Wen Feng, he dated Yue Man Fung before they broke up in 2010. He has been linked to other women in the past including actress cum singer Karen Mok and was spotted dining out with Kama Lo, a Hong Kong Based Model in 2016. Talking about marriage, while he may not have proposed to any woman, at least none that we know of, he was, however, proposed to by actress Christy Chung after he was denied Canadian residency in 2001 but rejected the proposal.
Chow may be seemingly focused on his career and is not considering marriage yet or he may be in a serious relationship but chose to keep it a secret from prying eyes of the media.
Is Stephen Chow Dead or Alive?
The famous actor was once a victim of a death hoax in 2016 sparked off by a Facebook user who created a page stating that he died on May 22. Besides the fake report, Stephen Chow is very well alive and healthy. He continues to delight his fans across the globe and would continue to entertain for years to come with his creativity, action, and humor.