Andy Lau - Man of nature

Woovoo

2018-02-07 10:01 GMT+8

By Enerel.E

Unlike many notable big screen stars the world over, Lau did not start from a place of comfortable privilege. His childhood was financially turbulent – his family lived in Diamond Hill, a slum, and often lacked basic amenities like water. Lacking the connections to maneuver his way into the industry, he eventually gave up his academics at 19 to pursue his acting career. He signed up with TVB – a big step forward for someone with relatively little experience at the time – and entered their training program. In 1982, he received his first role in a TV show.

Despite his respectable fifty-six years of age, Andy Lau Tak-wah – formerly Lau Fook-wing – retains his striking glow wherever he appears. Yet, it was not merely his looks that built his long-running career – he continues to hold his title of Asia’s highest-billed actor because of a combination of talent and roles in stand-out films.

He was also one of the few actors to be able to branch out from acting into music, facing astounding success despite initial stumbles.He quickly worked his way up to bigger ones that launched him into the limelight. His first break came when he played a lead in “The Emmisary”. His star continued to rise as he played yet another popular main in “Return of the Condor Heroes”. “TBV All-Stars Challenge” firmly established him on the small screen and he became one of “TVB’s Five Tigers” with fellow actors Tony Leung, Michael Miu, Felix Wong channel found an end. They wanted an exclusive five-year contract with him – he, however, did not. Eventually, they parted ways bitterly – TVB blacklisted Lau and boycotted him for months.

In response, Lau made the switch to cinema. His first leading role was in a Shaw Brothers film called “On the Wrong Track”. He played in numerous movies after that, such as “Rich & Famous”, “Tragic Hero”, and “As Tears Go By”. But his first major prize came in 2000 when he received his first Golden Bauhinia Award for his role in “A Fighter’s Blues”. The turn of the millennium also came with the turn of his career – in that moment, Lau transformed from a TV-star-turned-middling-cinema-actor to a powerhouse.

He began to rack up prizes for playing in popular films like “Infernal Affairs” until he became Hong Kong’s “No.1 Box Office Actor 1985-2005”, having yielded a total of 1,722,275,816 HKD after shooting 108 films in the past two decades. Like many fellow actors, Lau then made the choice to dip his toe into more lyrical waters. His musical career wasn’t smooth sailing because of his film fame, however. He suffered an early stumbling block when his first album did poorly but he persevered. His second album “Would It Be Possible” performed much better and he rapidly solidified his place in the music world.

He won the 1990 RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards, and would continue to win at least one RTHK award category every year until 2007. With this incredible success, Lau joined the ranks of those referred to as the “Cantopop Four Heavenly Kings” by Chinese media (the other three being Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, and Leon Lai). He won the 1990 RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards, and would continue to win at least one RTHK award category every year until 2007. With this incredible success, Lau joined the ranks of those referred to as the “Cantopop Four Heavenly Kings” by Chinese media (the other three being Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, and Leon Lai).

Alongside his acting and music career, Lau is also a dedicated philanthropist who has been deeply involved in the welfare of youths and the disabled. He established the Andy Lau Charity Foundation in 1994 for the needy and promotes numerous youth education services. His persistent community work had him awarded Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World, but he did not stop there.

In 2008, he played a major role in the Artistes 512 Fund Raising Campaign for aid for the victims of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake. For this active involvement in charity works, he was honored by “Justice of Peace” by the Hong Kong SAR government in the same year. He is married to Carol Chu, long-time Malaysian-Chinese girlfriend, and has one daughter with her.

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