Yuen Wah (born September 2, 1950) is a Hong Kong based Chinese action film actor, action choreographer and stuntman who has appeared in over 160 films since his first, Fist of Fury, in 1972 and over 20 television series.
Yuen was born in Tianjin, China. A member of the China Drama Academy, the Peking Opera School from which Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Qiu and Corey Yuen received their training, they all trained under Master Yu Jim Yuen (于占元 p.y. Yu Zhanyuan) in Hong Kong (see Seven Little Fortunes). Yuen Wah took his stage surname as a tribute to his teacher. Jackie Chan has said that Yuen was respected for his martial arts ability by his fellow students.
Known for his extreme agility and acrobatic skills, he started his movie career by becoming Bruce Lee's stunt double in the movies Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon. He also made his debut as an actor in Fist of Fury, as a Japanese person who asks Bruce Lee's character to crawl like a dog and is soundly beaten for it. One of the more memorable movies that he acted during this period in is Dragons Forever with classmates Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao.
Yuen's versatility, his lean, wiry frame and later, distinctive moustache would get him cast in a number of villainous roles, sometimes with a comedic twist. He began to receive a number of roles in Shaw Brothers Studio. Later on he branched on to comedies, all with great success. In the 1990s he lessened his movie output and instead began focusing on TV roles, in TVB, starting in 1996 as a Taoist priest fighting Jiang Shi vampires in the series The Night Journey. His goofy and endearingly scroogy image earned him popularity in the Hong Kong TV circle and he is now perhaps better known there for his TV roles then for his previous film characters. He has now appeared since appeared in around 20 different TV series.
In 2004, Yuen was cast as the Landlord in Stephen Chow's comedy film Kung Fu Hustle. His fellow colleagues during the Hong Kong Film Awards took the opportunity to award him with the Hong Kong Best Supporting Actor that same year.
Yuen made his Western film debut in Aiming High in 1998. He is due to appear in another English language production, the forthcoming Baz Luhrmann period film, Australia alongside Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.
For more information, see Yuen Wah filmography.
Yuen Wah has starred in more than 60 films and worked on over 160. In the early 1970s, during the early part of his career Yuen worked as a stuntman and extra, later progressing to stunt co-ordinator / action director roles, as well as full-fledged acting parts. During the 1980s he made a number of appearances, primarily as villainous characters in the films of his former-Peking Opera school friends, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao. From the mid 1990s, whilst still appearing in a significant number of films, Yuen embarked on a television career in Hong Kong. To date, he has appeared in 23 different series for broadcaster TVB. He also appeared in a show for Taiwanese channel CTS - a remake of the film A Chinese Ghost Story, entitled Eternity: A Chinese Ghost Story.
Yuen Wah at the Internet Movie Database
English language fan site
v • d • e
Seven Little Fortunes
Yuen Lung (Sammo Hung) • Yuen Lou (Jackie Chan) • Yuen Biao • Yuen Kwei (Corey Yuen) • Yuen Wah • Yuen Tak • Yuen Mo
See also: Yuen Qiu
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Categories: 1950 births | Chinese actors | Hong Kong actors | Hong Kong kung fu practitioners | Living peopleHidden categories: Articles to be expanded since January 2007 | All articles to be expanded
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