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Tai Po, Hong Kong
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Tai Po, Hong Kong

Andy Lau is a Hong Kong singer and actor who is most known for being one of the “Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop” (Cantonese pop music). He’s also a prolific songwriter. Lau has become well-known in Western countries thanks to films such as ‘House of Flying Daggers.’ He has appeared in over 160 films to date, making him Hong Kong’s #1 ‘Box Office Actor.’ Lau has a good singing career as well. He is the holder of the ‘Most Awards Won by a Cantopop Male Artist’ Guinness World Record. Lau is much more than a name in the Hong Kong entertainment scene. He is one of Hong Kong’s most famous actors.

Childhood and Adolescence

On September 27, 1961, Lau was born in Tai Po, Hong Kong’s New Territories. At the time of his birth, he was given the name Lau Fook-Wing, but his name was later changed to Andy Lau Tak-Wah. His family lived in the Diamond Hills slums, where his father worked as a fireman. Lau had to fight for even the most basic needs, such as water, which he had to trek several kilometers for.

Despite her everyday struggles and financial difficulties, Lau was able to attend school. In San Po Kong, Hong Kong, he graduated from ‘Ho Lap College.’ This is a government-funded school for students from low-income families.
During his school years, Lau studied Chinese calligraphy. He then converted to Buddhism at Taiwan’s ‘Lingyan Mountain Temple.’

He dropped out of school at the age of 19 to pursue a career as an actor. At 1980, Lau enrolled in TVB’s acting academy, which is one of Hong Kong’s most prominent television networks. After that, he appeared in a few minor roles in various TV shows.

Career of Andy Lau

In 1982, Lau earned his first break as the lead in the television series ‘The Emissary.’ The actor benefited from the series’ excellent ratings. Lau starred as the lead character in the 1983 TV series “Return of the Condor Heroes.” The series drew the highest ratings on television and thrust him into the spotlight. Lau appeared on the show ‘TVB All-star Challenge’ the next year. His popularity on the show earned him the title of one of the ‘TVB’s Five Tigers,’ alongside Tony Leung, Michael Miu, Felix Wong, and Kent Tong.

Despite his growing celebrity, Lau went through a difficult period in his career. TVB channel wanted him to sign another five-year contract in 1986, but Lau declined. As a result, he was banned off television for months by TVB. This is when Lau decided to pursue a career in film.

Lau made his acting debut in the 1983 film ‘On the Wrong Track,’ in which he played the major role. Lau collaborated on two films with Chow Yun-Fat. He appears in the 1987 films ‘Rich & Famous’ and ‘Tragic Hero.’
He settled his legal troubles with TVB in 1988, but he stayed focused on filmmaking. In 1991, he created his own production business ‘Teamwork Production’ and ‘Saviour of the Soul’ was the first film filmed under it.

Andy Lau, like every other Hong Kong celebrity, became a singer. He published his first album, ‘Only Know That I Still Love You,’ in 1985, but it was a flop. With his big hit album ‘Would It Be Possible?,’ he rebounded back. It was awarded the Platinum Disc Award three times.

Along with Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau, Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing, and Leon Lai Ming, he was named one of the “Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop” in 1991. This elevated him to the ranks of the most well-known celebrities.

Acting Career Highlights

The Emissary: This was his first starring role in a television series. He was seen in the film Kong Tai-wai as an aspiring police officer who ended up becoming an undercover agent. The first episode of the series aired on December 27, 1982.

The film Rich and Famous was released on February 20, 1987, and it is an action thriller. In the same year, the sequel, ‘Tragic Hero,’ was released, with Lau playing the lead in both films. He portrayed Lam Ting-Kwok, a brother who consistently sheltered his younger brother from engaging in unethical business practices.

Running Out of Time: Lau played Cheung, a wanted criminal who is nearing the end of his life due to disease. The action film ‘Running Out of Time’ was released in 1999, and the sequel ‘Running Out of Time 2′ was released in 2001.
A Fighter’s Blues: With this film, Lau completed his century. He both produced and starred in the film as Mong Fu. The film was released on November 21, 2000, and was a box office success.

Only Know That I Still Love You as a Singer: This is Lau’s debut solo album. It was released in 1985, however it failed to chart on any of the major music charts. Is It Possible: Lau launched this album in 1990, unaffected by the failure of his debut album, and it made an impression on music fans. Lau’s singing career flourished as a result of the album’s success. I Hate Myself for Loving You: Lau performed a cover of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ song, which was written by Joan Jett.

Achievements & Awards

Lau won his first prize as ‘Best Producer’ for his directorial debut picture ‘Made in Hong Kong’ at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 1988. This film was also nominated for the ’71st Academy Awards.’ Lau earned the Golden Bauhinia Award for ‘Best Actor’ for the film ‘Running Out of Time’ in 2000. Lau won the ‘Best Actor’ award at the Golden Bauhinia Awards in 2001 for the film ‘A Fighter’s Blues.’ Lau won two Hong Kong Film Awards in 2012 for the film ‘A Simple Life,’ in the categories of ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Producer.’

Personal Experiences of Andy Lau

Lau is married to Carol Chu, a Malaysian-Chinese woman he has known for a long time. After a 24-year romance, they married in Las Vegas.  On May 9, 2012, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter, whom they named Hanna.

Estimated Net Worth

Andy Lau has a net worth of $70 million dollars and is a Hong Kong singer, actor, presenter, and producer. Andy Lau was born in Tai Po, Hong Kong, and started his acting career in the early 1980s. He began his acting career with TVB, a famous Hong Kong television network.