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Tony Leung Chiu-Wai
- actor -
Tony Leung Chiu-Wai in Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002)

Tony Leung Chiu Wai (b. June 27, 1962. Hong Kong) is regarded as one of the biggest actors in Hong Kong and one of the few who may be recognized internationally. An intense and emotional actor, Leung has gone on to receive huge popular and critical success both in Hong Kong and abroad.

Like many other famous Hong Kong actors, Leung made his name in television. Following the advice of his friend Stephen Chow, Leung trained at TVB. He took a number of comedy roles, his big success being Police Cadet in 1984, where he worked alongside Lau Ching-Wan, Carina Lau and Maggie Cheung. Leung also starred as the popular character Wai Siu-Bo in a TVB version of The Duke of Mt. Deer, which also featured Andy Lau. Still, Leung’s movie career had a slower start than some of his contemporaries and he often played supporting roles. His work was eventually recognized; he received best supporting actor Hong Kong Film awards for People's Hero (1987) and My Heart is That Eternal Rose (1989).

It was around this time that Leung began a relationship with Carina Lau, and he began to pursue lead roles to further his film career. In 1992, Leung made a big impact in John Woo’s Hard Boiled opposite Chow Yun Fat. In many ways, this was a career-defining performance, and Leung was nominated for yet another supporting actor award at the HK Film Awards. Leung played the supporting role as if it were a lead, and the resulting performance was powerful enough to match Chow Yun Fat’s charismatic turn.

Through the rest of the nineties his career continued to ascend, and he began to be seen as a serious art film actor. Leung took roles in independent films from director Wong Kar Wai, notably Chungking Express (1994) and Happy Together (1997), both of which landed him best actor awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards. In addition, his work in Chungking Express earned him the best actor award from the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards. Leung also starred in a number of slick UFO productions: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father (1993), Dr. Mack (1995) and Heaven Can't Wait (1995). The pinnacle of Leung's success came with Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love (2000), a film which earned him another HKFA Best Actor award as well as international recognition with the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival.

To account for Leung’s success we only have to look at his acting style: he is quiet and intense, with a powerful screen presence that draws the audience in, so that every nuance, every movement has emotional power. It seems Leung’s career has only gotten better. Recently, he has had huge commercial and critical success with his roles in Infernal Affairs (2002) and Hero (2002), two of the biggest Hong Kong movies ever. He received another Best Actor Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards for Infernal Affairs, a record fourth win in that category and his sixth statuette overall. (James Percy 2003)

selected filmography
(actor unless otherwise noted)
Mad Mad 83 (1983)
Mad Mad 1997 (1983)
Fascinating Affairs (1985)
Young Cops (1985)
The Lunatics (1986)
Love Unto Waste (1986)
Happy Go Lucky (1987)
You Will I Will (1986)
People’s Hero (1987)
I Love Maria (1988)
My Heart is that Eternal Rose (1989)
Seven Warriors (1989)
City of Sadness (1989)
The Royal Scoundrel (1990)
Bullet in the Head (1990)
Days of Being Wild (1990)[cameo]
Fantasy Romance (1991)
The Great Pretenders (1991)
Don’t Fool Me (1991)
The Tigers (1991)
Chinese Ghost Story 3 (1991)
The Banquet (1991)
Hard Boiled (1992)
Lucky Encounter (1992)
Come Fly the Dragon (1992)
The Days of Being Dumb (1992)
The Eagle Shooting Heroes (1993)
Butterfly and Sword (1993)
End Of The Road (1993)
Three Summers (1993)
Hero - Beyond The Boundary Of Time (1993)
Two of a Kind (1993)
The Magic Crane (1993)
Tom, Dick, and Hairy (1993)
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father (1993)
Always Be the Winners (1994)
The Returning (1994)
Chungking Express (1994)
Ashes of Time (1994)
Dr. Mack (1995)
Heaven Can’t Wait (1995)
Cyclo (1995)
Blind Romance (1996)
War of the Underworld (1996)
Happy Together (1997)
97 Aces Go Places (1997)
Chinese Midnight Express (1997)
The Longest Nite (1998)
Timeless Romance (1998)
Flowers of Shanghai (1998)
Your Place or Mine (1998)
Gorgeous (1999)
Tokyo Raiders (2000)
In the Mood for Love (2000)
Healing Hearts (2000)
Fighting for Love (2001)
Love Me, Love My Money (2001)
Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002)
Infernal Affairs (2002)
Hero (2002)
My Lucky Star (2003)
Infernal Affairs III (2003)
Sound of Colors (2003)
Super Model (2004)[cameo]
2046 (2004)
Seoul Raiders (2005)
Confession of Pain (2006)
Lust, Caution (2007)
Ashes of Time Redux (2008)
Red Cliff (2008)
Red Cliff II (2009)
The Great Magician (2012)
The Silent War (2012)
The Grandmaster (2013)
See You Tomorrow (2016)
back to top Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen