Tony Leung Chiu Wai

Tony Leung Chiu Wai

Born: June 27, 1962
Age: 61
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Tony Leung Chiu-wai (born 27 June 1962) is a Hong Kong actor and C-pop singer. He was the winner of Cannes Film Festival for Best Actor for his role in Wong Kar-wai's film In the Mood for Love. Leung is also a seven-time winner of Hong Kong Film Award and three-time winner of Golden Horse Film Awards.

Tony Leung collaborated with Wong Kar Wai for seven films, and three of them had been officially selected as competition film in Cannes Film Festival, including Happy Together (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000) and 2046 (2004).

Leung also stars in three Venice Film Festival Golden Lion-winning films, including A City of Sadness (1989), Cyclo (1995) and Lust, Caution (2007), which was directed by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee. Leung also stars in Academy Award- and Golden Globe Award-nominated film Hero.

The 2002 book East Asian Film Stars describes Leung as "undoubtedly one of the most successful and widely-acclaimed Hong Kong actors of his generation, with a broad and diverse filmography."


Early life

Leung was born in Hong Kong. Leung's early childhood was punctuated with parents' quarrels and arguments about money. A mischievous boy in his early years, Leung's personality changed when his father, a chronic gambler, left the family when he was eight; he and his younger sister were brought up by their mother.

Leung was a reticent, quiet child. He has said that his childhood experiences paved the way for his acting career, which allows him to openly express his feelings: "You don't know what happened, just one day your pop disappears. And from that day on I try not to communicate with anyone. I'm so afraid to talk to my classmates, afraid that if someone says something about family I won't know what to do. So I became very isolated. So that's why I love acting, because I can express all my feelings the way I couldn't for so long." . "I'm a quiet person. And then when I went to TV it all came out; I cried and I wasn't ashamed. The audience thinks it's the character's feelings, but really it's my feelings, all coming out in a rush."

Leung went to private school, but he quit at the age of 15 due to financial difficulties. He was a well-behaved teenager who was very close to his mother. During an interview on the making of Hero, he says that he sees his mother as his definition of a "hero" for having brought up two children alone.

Television career

After quitting his studies, Leung worked in a variety of jobs, first as a grocer's runner at his uncle's shop, then a showroom salesman in a Hong Kong shopping centre. He met actor and comedian Stephen Chow who influenced his decision to become an actor and remains a good friend.

In 1982, he passed the training courses of television channel TVB. Due to his boyish looks, TVB cast him as host of a children's programme, 430 Space Shuttle. Leung enjoyed comedies during his television years; it was for these he became well known. So, in the 1980s, he was named as one of "TVB's Five Tigers" (their five up-and-coming male TV stars) along with Andy Lau, Felix Wong, Michael Miu and Kent Tong. Leung starred in the highly successful Police Cadet TV serial in 1984 (later named Police Cadet 84 to distinguish it from subsequent sequels). He played an outgoing young man who decides to become a police officer; Maggie Cheung, who also started her career at the same time, played a shy bookworm, Leung's upstairs neighbour and love interest. Since then they have worked together on The Yang's Saga (1985), Days of Being Wild (1991), Ashes of Time (1994), In the Mood for Love (2000), Hero (2002), and 2046 (2005). Interviewed by Wong Kar Wai, Leung said that he considered Maggie to be his alter ego. "Maggie is a truly formidable partner - one to waltz with. We do not spend a lot of time with each other, as we like to keep some mystery between us. Whenever I see her, I discover something new about her".

Film career

Many consider Leung's role in director John Woo's 1992 action film Hard Boiled in which he co-starred with Chow Yun-fat, as his breakthrough role. However, Leung first gained international exposure in Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 1989 film A City of Sadness, which won the Venice Golden Lion.

Leung often collaborates with director Wong Kar-wai and has appeared in many of his films. His most notable roles include the lonely policeman in Chungking Express (1994), a gay Chinese expatriate living in Argentina in Happy Together (1997), and a self-controlled victim of adultery in In the Mood for Love (2000) for which he won the Best Actor award at Cannes. He trained for five years in wing chun to prepare for his role as Yip Man in Wong's The Grandmaster. He is considered by many to be one of the finest actors of his generation in Hong Kong. Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt are admirers of his work, and Leung has been called Asia's answer to Clark Gable.

Leung also has an on-and-off Cantopop and Mandarin pop singing career and sang the theme song of Infernal Affairs with Andy Lau.

During the late 1990s, it was difficult for him to break into Hollywood because he would not take on any roles that degrade his character and image in Hong Kong. To date, he has not done a Hollywood film, but is primed to appear in one after signing on with an American film agent.

In addition to Cantonese, English, and Spanish, Leung speaks Mandarin (accented) and some Japanese (as heard in Tokyo Raiders). Lust Caution is the first film where he has a Mandarin-speaking role in which he used his own voice. (His Mandarin dialogue in Hero was dubbed by someone else.)

During the promotion of the film Hero, some politicians and commentators in Hong Kong attacked Leung for expressing the view that the Tiananmen Square demonstration crackdown was necessary to maintain stability. Under constant political pressure and boycott threats, Leung made a single statement that he may have been quoted out of context but refused to retract his statement in the magazine. However, the movie magazine editor maintained that the original statement was not out of context and challenged people to read the complete interview.

In 2014 he was selected as a member of the jury for the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.

Relationship and marriage with Carina Lau

Leung has dated Carina Lau since the end of 1989. He had known her since The Replica in 1984 as she had been good friends with Margie Tsang, his previous girlfriend. He worked on-screen with Lau in Replica (1984), Duke of Mount Deer (1984), Police Cadet (1984, 1985, 1988), The Yangs' Saga (1985), Days of Being Wild (1991), He ain't heavy, he's my father (1993), Ashes of Time (1994), and 2046 (2005).

In 1990, during the filming of Days of Being Wild, Lau was abducted for several hours. Wong Kar-wai said, "Originally, there were plans for Days of Being Wild I and II, and the sequence featuring Leung was meant to be the opening scene of the second movie. But two things happened, one of which was that Days of Being Wild didn't do well in Hong Kong, so the producers said, "No Part 2." The other reason was Carina Lau's kidnapping.

On 21 July 2008, the couple got married in Bhutan in royal fashion. The wedding created a media frenzy in Hong Kong, with companies spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to pursue the wedding party.

According to Ming Pao Daily News, Faye Wong and her husband actor Li Yapeng had taken them to India in 2007 to visit the 17th Karmapa. The Karmapa's counsel helped them to resolve a crisis in their relationship, and he also suggested Bhutan as a wedding venue.


Tony Leung is a Buddhist. He has done many things to show his Buddhist beliefs such as giving donations to Buddhist constructions, performing a marriage in a Buddhist ceremony, attending Buddhist gatherings and doing the Buddhist palm greetings.

Awards and nominations

  • Asian Film Awards
    • 2008 Won Best Actor (Lust, Caution)
  • Cannes Film Festival
    • 2000 Best Actor (In the Mood for Love)
  • Golden Horse Film Festival
    • 2007 Best Actor (Lust, Caution)
    • 2004 Nominated Best Actor (2046)
    • 2003 Best Actor (Infernal Affairs)
    • 2000 Nominated Best Actor (In the Mood for Love)
    • 1994 Best Actor (Chungking Express)
  • Hong Kong Film Awards
    • 2013 Nominated Best Actor(The Silent War)
    • 2009 Nominated Best Actor (Red Cliff)
    • 2007 Nominated Best Actor (Confession of Pain)
    • 2005 Won Best Actor (2046)
    • 2003 Won Best Actor (Infernal Affairs)
    • 2001 Won Best Actor (In the Mood for Love)
    • 1999 Nominated Best Actor (Longest Nite)
    • 1998 Won Best Actor (Happy Together)
    • 1995 Won Best Actor (Chungking Express)
    • 1993 Nominated Best Supporting Actor (Hard-Boiled)
    • 1990 Won Best Supporting Actor (My Heart Is That Eternal Rose)
    • 1988 Won Best Supporting Actor (People's Hero)
    • 1987 Nominated Best Actor (Love Unto Waste)

(9 Best Actor Nominations, 3 Best Supporting Actor Nominations)

  • Golden Bauhinia Awards
    • 2005 Won Best Actor (2046)
    • 2003 Won Best Actor (Infernal Affairs)
    • 1998 Won Best Actor (Happy Together)
  • Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
    • 2005 Best Actor (2046)


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Mad, Mad 83
1985 Young Cops Leung Siu-bo
Fascinating Affairs
1986 The Lunatics Doggie
Love Unto Waste Tony Cheung Nominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
You Will I Will
1987 People's Hero Sai Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
Happy Go Lucky
1988 I Love Maria Chong Chi-keung
1989 My Heart is that Eternal Rose Cheung Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
A City of Sadness Wen Ching
Seven Warriors
Two Painters
1990 Bullet in the Head Ben / Ah B
The Royal Scoundrel beach boy
1991 The Banquet Wai Jai
A Chinese Ghost Story III Little Monk Sap-fong
Days of Being Wild Pat-cheung
Don't Fool Me Chiang Ho-chie
Fantasy Romance Stupid Shing
Great Pretenders Snake Wai
The Tigers Tau-pi
1992 Come Fly the Dragon Miu Wai-man
The Days of Being Dumb Fei
Hard Boiled Alan Kong Leung Nominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
Lucky Encounter Wai
1993 Butterfly and Sword Mang Sing-wan
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father Chor Yuen
The Eagle Shooting Heroes Au-yeung Fung
End of the Road Fan Lung
Hero - Beyond the Boundary of Time Wai Siu-bo
The Magic Crane Ma Kwan-mo
Three Summers Wai
Tom, Dick, and Hairy Chan Dai-man
Two of a Kind Lam Dai-chi
1994 Always Be the Winners Third Master Sha
Ashes of Time Blind Swordsman
Chungking Express Cop 633 Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
The Returning Chung
1995 Cyclo Poet
Mack the Knife Doctor Mack Lau
Heaven Can't wait Wong Dai-fung
1996 Blind Romance Wing
War of the Underworld Hung Fei
1997 97 Aces Go Places
Chinese Midnight Express Ching On
Happy Together Lai Yiu-fai Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Actor
1998 Flowers of Shanghai Wang Lianshang
The Longest Nite Inspector Sam Nominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Timeless Romance Lau Yat-lo
Your Place or Mine Cheung Suk-wai
1999 Gorgeous Albert
2000 Healing Hearts Lawrence
In the Mood for Love Chow Mo-wan Nominated—Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
Cannes Film Festival for Best Actor
Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Tokyo Raiders Lin
2001 Fighting for Love Tung Choi
Love Me, Love My Money Richard "Bastard" Ma
2002 Chinese Odyssey 2002 Li Yilong
Infernal Affairs Chan Wing-yan Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Actor
Hero Broken Sword
2003 Infernal Affairs III Chan Wing-yan
My Lucky Star Lai liu po
Sound of Colors Ho Yuk-ming
2004 Super Model
2046 Chow Mo-wan Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Actor
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
2005 Seoul Raiders Agent Lam
2006 Confession of Pain Detective Lau Ching-hei Nominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
2007 Lust, Caution Mr. Yee Golden Horse Award for Best Actor
Asian Film Awards for Best Actor
2008 Red Cliff: Part 1 Zhou Yu Nominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
2009 Red Cliff: Part 2 Zhou Yu
Ashes of Time Redux Blind Swordsman
2011 The Great Magician Chang Hsien
2012 The Silent War He Bing Nominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
2013 The Grandmaster Yip Man Nominated—Hong Kong Film Awards For Best Actor
1905 Yan Yunlong Production cancelled February 2013
2015 The Ferryman
Year Title Role Notes
1981 The Young Heroes of Shaolin Shaolin monk
1982 Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils monk, episode 44
The Legend of Master So waiter
Manager & Messenger general manager
Hong Kong '82
Wut Lik Sap Yat Hung Kwok-choi
Soldier of Fortune Ying Chi-him
The Emissary brother
1983 The Superpower Kwok Hak-chung
Beyond the Rose Garden Tin-yau
Encounter with Fortune
Angels and Devils Kong Ho-man
1984 The Clones Cheung Ka-wai / Chiang Ka-wai
The Duke of Mount Deer Wai Siu-bo
It's a Long Way Home Yau Ga-kei
Police Cadet '84 Cheung Wai-kit
No Regrets for Our Youth Frankie
1985 The Rough Ride Chow Kim-hung
Police Cadet '85 Cheung Wai-kit
The Yang's Saga Yeung Yin-chi (Yeung Chat-long) / Duke of Thunder
1986 New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre Cheung Mo-kei
1987 The Grand Canal Cheung Sam-long
1988 Police Cadet '88 Cheung wai-kit
Behind Silk Curtains Lin Kar-yip
Everybody's Somebody's Favourite
Two Most Honorable Knights "Little Fishie" Kong Siu-yu
1989 Ode to Gallantry Shek Po-tin / Shek Chung-yuk


  • Raining Night (朦朧夜雨裡) (1986)
  • Who Wants (1988)
  • Love Day by Day (1993)
  • One Life One Heart (1994)
  • Trapped by Love (1994)
  • Day and Night (1994)
  • Cannot Forget Collection (1995)
  • The Past and the Future (1995)
  • Too Affectionate (1995)
  • Tony Leung Greatest Hits (June 2000)
  • In the Mood for Love (November 2000)
  • Wind Sand (2004) (reissued January 2006)

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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