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Jimmy Wang Yu

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Jimmy Wang Yu
Chinese name王羽
PinyinWáng Yǔ (Mandarin)
JyutpingWong4 Jyu5 (Cantonese)
BornMarch 28, 1943 (1943-03-28) (age 67)
Wuxi, Jiangsu
Other name(s)Wong Yu-lung,

The White Dragon

Spouse(s)Jeanette Lin (?-1975)
ChildrenLinda Wong
Wong Mei-yee (王美怡)
Wong Ka-lau (王加露)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wang (王).

Jimmy Wang Yu (Chinese: 王羽pinyin: Wáng Yǔ; Yale: Wong4 Jyu5; born March 28, 1943 in Wuxi, Jiangsu, also known as Wong Yu-lung and Wang Yue) is a Chinese actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He shot to fame with the Shaw Brothers Studio's martial arts film, The One-Armed Swordsman, in 1967. His film, The Chinese Boxer, in 1969, is credited with being the first Hong Kong martial arts film that kick started the unarmed combat genre that took Asia by storm in the 1970s.[citation needed]

Contents

Acting career

Born Wang Zheng-quan (simplified Chinese: 王正权traditional Chinese: 王正權pinyin: Wáng Zhèngquán) in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China, Jimmy was a former ROC soldier and Hong Kong swimming champion, as well as a racing car enthusiast, before joining Shaw Brothers in 1963. He teamed up with the famous sword-fighting director, Chang Cheh, and acted in The Golden Swallow with Cheng Pei-Pei, in 1968. Jimmy starred in several notable films including Temple of the Red Lotus (1965), One Armed Boxer (1971), Return of The Chinese Boxer(1975) and Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976).

If One Armed Swordsman was the movie that launched Jimmy's acting career, The Chinese Boxer was the film that sealed his fame in the realm of Chinese films. The latter movie has been credited[citation needed]as being the first Hong Kong martial arts film that kickstarted the unarmed combat genre, mainly kung fu. It also triggered a phenomenon that filled the ranks of many Chinese martial arts associations across South East Asia. Chinese youths, in their bid to emulate their screen hero, took to punching sandbags, and reading up on Shaolin kungfu history.

Controversy dogged Jimmy after the fame that exploded with The Chinese Boxer. He broke his contract with Shaw Brothers, and was promptly slapped with a lawsuit. The legal tussle which ended in Shaw's favour led to Jimmy being banned from making films in Hong Kong. Jimmy then looked to Taiwan for better career prospects, linking up with Golden Harvest and other independent film outfits. His subsequent films were mostly done in Taiwan.

With the success of The Chinese Boxer, Jimmy stood unchallenged in South East Asia for the rest of the 60's as the Chinese actor with the most formidable fists and legs. But beginning in the 70s, Jimmy’s star began to be eclipsed with the entry of new actors, many with superior martial arts training such as Ti Lung, David Chiang, and especially Bruce Lee whose "The Big Boss" in 1971 revolutionized the martial arts film industry.

In 1976, Jimmy appeared alongside Jackie Chan in the Lo Wei film, Killer Meteors. In the late 70s, Jimmy helped Chan when then the young actor sought his help in settling a dispute with veteran director. Jackie eventually repaid the favour with his roles in Jimmy’s films, "Fantasy Mission Force" (1982) and "Island of Fire" (1990).

In 1986, Sammo Hung cast Jimmy as the father of the famous Chinese martial arts hero, Wong Fei Hung in the Millionaire's Express. In the years that followed, Jimmy kept a low profile, making a rare public appearance in 2002 at the funeral of his old friend and mentor, Chang Cheh.

Jimmy acted in more than 70 films in a career that spanned more than two decades. Even though he left an indelible mark on the Chinese film martial arts scene, he was never the accomplished martial artist which his films made him to be. It was actually camera techniques and clever film editing that gave Jimmy the aura of invincibility in the fighting arena. Additionally, he was in fact a Shotokan karate exponent. Still, credit belongs to him for paving the way for other unforgettable Chinese kung fu films and martial artists that came after he had left the center stage. He was once the top paying martial art actor in Hong Kong before Bruce Lee broke the record.

Private life

Jimmy’s private life is actually more colorful than his film career. For years, his off-screen exploits thrillednewspaper and periodical readers with somewhat torrid accounts of his various affairs, well-publicized drunken bar brawls and other niceties.

In 1969, Jimmy married actress, Lin Tsui, who was nine years his senior, but not before conducting a scandalous affair with a well-known actress who was then married to director Qin Jan (秦劍). Qin Jan hanged himself before a divorce took place.

Lin Tsui (林翠 also known as Jeanette LIN or "Lam Chui" or "Lin Cui"), was one of the more famous names in the Hong Kong film industry in the 50s and 60s. She dropped out of the film scene almost immediately after her marriage. Matrimony turned out to be a tumultuous affair for both Jimmy and Lin. Amid allegations of wife-beating, the marriage crumbled in 1975. Lin and Wang had three daughters. The eldest daughter Linda Wong (王馨平) turned into a Cantopop star in the 1990s. Lin migrated to the United States in 1977, and died in 1995 after an asthma attack.

Jimmy later remarried, this time to air hostess, Kai-cheng (王凱貞). This marriage, too, proved to be a stormy relationship and Kai-cheng filed for divorce. Maybe out of frustration, Kai-cheng started an affair with a young businessman (張昭). Having gotten wind of it, Jimmy, accompanied by reporters and the police, surprised the couple at their lodging and publicly exposed his wife. After public humiliation was heaped on the couple, Jimmy dropped Kai-cheng in 1997.

There were other serious problems in Jimmy’s life. In 1981, he faced a murder charge in Taiwan. However, the charge was dropped due to lack of evidence. Jimmy’s involvement in public brawls also made the headlines from time to time.

Filmography

Actor

  • Twin Sword (1964)
  • Tiger Boy (1964)
  • Temple of the Red Lotus (1965)
  • The Twin Swords (1965)
  • Magnificent Trio (1966)
  • Tiger Boy (1966)
  • The Assassin (1967)
  • Trail of the Broken Blade (1967)
  • Asia-Pol (1967)
  • Sword and the Lute (1967)
  • The One-Armed Swordsman (1967)
  • The Sword of Swords (1968)
  • The Golden Swallow (1968)
  • Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (1969)
  • My Son (1970)
  • The Chinese Boxer (1970)
  • One Armed Boxer (1971)
  • The Desperate Chase (1971)
  • The Professional Killer (1971)
  • Morale and Evil (1971)
  • Invincible Sword (1971)
  • Zatoichi 22: Meets the One Armed Swordsman (1971)
  • Magnificent Chivalry (1971)
  • The Invincible (1972)
  • Furious Slaughter (1972)
  • The Last Duel (1972)
  • Chow Ken (1972)
  • The Adventure (1972)
  • Shogun Saints (1972)
  • Royal Fist (1972)
  • Black Friday (1973)
  • A Man Called Tiger (1973)
  • Knight Errant (1973)
  • Seaman No. 7 (1973)
  • Beach of the War Gods (1973)
  • The Two Cavaliers (1973)
  • King of Boxers (1973)
  • Ten Fingers of Steel (1973)
  • Boxers of Loyalty and Righteousness (1973)
  • The Tattooed Dragon (1973)
  • My Father, My Husband, My Son (1974)
  • The Iron Man (1974)
  • The Hero (1974)
  • Four Real Friends (1974)
  • A Cookbook of Birth Control (1975)
  • The Man from Hong Kong (1975)
  • The Gallant (1975)
  • Return of the Chinese Boxer (1975)
  • Great Hunter (1975)
  • A Queen's Ransom (1976)
  • One Armed Swordsman Against Nine Killers (1976)
  • One Armed Swordsmen (1976)
  • Killer Meteors (1976)
  • Rage of the Masters (1976)
  • Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976)
  • Tiger and Crane Fist (1976)
  • The Criminal (1977)
  • Brotherly Love (1977)
  • One Arm Chivalry Fights Against One Arm Chivalry (1977)
  • Lantern Street (1977)
  • Deadly Silver Spear (1977)
  • Blood of the Dragon (1978)
  • Point of the Finger of Death (1978)
  • Big Leap Forward (1978)
  • Ma Su Chen (1979)
  • Fantasy Mission Force (1979)
  • The Battle of Guningtou (1979)
  • Prisoners of Mao (1979)
  • Revenge of Kung Fu Mao (1982)
  • Fantasy Mission Force (1983) (with Jackie Chan)
  • Shanghai (1984)
  • Millionaires' Express (1986)
  • Island of Fire (1990)
  • Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
  • Shogun & Little Kitchen (1992)
  • Requital (1992)
  • Beheaded 1000 (1993)

Producer

  • Boxers of Loyalty and Righteousness (1973)
  • One Armed Swordsman Against Nine Killers (1976)
  • Island of Fire (1990)
  • Beheaded 1000 (1993)
  • Stand Behind the Yellow Line (1997)
  • Eighteen Springs (1997)

Director

Action director

  • Boxers of Loyalty and Righteousness (1973)

Screenwriter

References

  • New Straits Times, Malaysia. October 9, 2005.

External links


 

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