Pai Ying/Pak Ying/Bai Ying

This veteran martial art actor is noteworthy for both being one of King Hu’s great regulars and also for being the bane of three successive generations of kung-fu/action female heroines over four successive decades.

His debut was in Dragon Inn by King Hu back in 1967 where he played the white-haired evil eunuch and in which he got to cross swords with Polly Shang Kwan Ling Fong.  Other King Hu films include Touch of Zen (as the faithful general), The Fate of Lee Khan (one of the conspirators) and The Valiant Ones (the swordsman Wind). Besides working with Hu, he was a regular in the kung fu films of the period where his distinct, smug, cool and vaguely menacing look made him into a perfect villain.

Some of these were Invincible Eight, Bandits from Shantung, The Roaring Lions, Thunderbolts etc. He also crossed fists with Angela Mao on a couple of occasions: Angry Rivers and Lady Whirlwind. His career appears to have slowed down somewhat in the eighties and nineties when the kung fu period came to an end but he still made some great appearances on occasion to further torment women fighters. The brutal fight in the shack that he wages with Michelle Yeoh in Royal Warriors (1986) ensures that Pai Ying’s presence and visage (and ever present mole on his left chin) will be recognized even by those who have never seen any of his 1970s filmography. Then one decade later he took on Yukari Oshima in Vengence is Mine and then in 1998 he made a rare appearance as a good guy in Golden Nightmare with Yukari and Annie Wu.

(Write-up and information provided from Yves Gendron)

James Chang sends in this interesting tidbit:

Pai Ying is now running a chain of restaurants in Taiwan. Pai Ying, Hsu Feng (his co-star in a number of the King Hu films) and John Woo have been given the responsibility by the King Hu estate to negotiate the selling of the copyrights of King Hu's films for release in America.

Parkman Wong

This fellow has done a little bit of everything – as director (Final Justice - the 1988 one, Unmatchable Match and Red Shield), as planner (Legend of the Dragon, Dr. Lamb and New Tenant), as writer (Oh, My Cops, Thank You Sir and Unmatchable Match) and as an occasional actor in films.

Some of his film roles were in The Law Enforcer, Vampires Breakfast, Lung Fung’s Restaurant, Organized Crime and Triad Bureau (As Danny Lee’s intimidating, “take no prisoners” right hand man), Return to a Better Tomorrow (the cop), Shoot to Kill, Twist, and Man Wanted.

Pat Ha Man-jik

Watch Pat Ha in On the Run and you will be a fan for life. Her performance as the stylish, very efficient and yet not totally ruthless professional killer is mesmerizing – one of the more memorable characters in HK film. In a sense though this seems to have been the highlight in a fairly short career – 1982 until her retirement in 1989.

I would not classify her as a beautiful woman – but she has an interesting almost enigmatic face that is quite appealing – and she is a fine actress. Her debut was in “new wave” director Patrick Tam’s Nomad (a Category IIIer whose violence and nudity were considered shocking back in 1982), and over the next eight years she was in a number of good though not great films. Though she is best known now for her action role in On the Run – the vast majority of her roles were strictly dramatic.
Some of her films were the controversial An Amorous Woman of Tang Dynasty (another classic “new wave” film -- this time, directed by Eddie Fong -- given a Category III rating), Winners and Sinners (as the bad guy’s daughter), Flaming Brothers (as Chow Yun Fat’s love), Night Caller (as the female cop), Sister Cupid (as Jacky Cheung’s girlfriend), Carry on Hotel (as one of the two female psychos), Woman Prison, Vengeance is Mine (a women’s rape revenge movie which also -- unlikely as it may seem -- stars Rosamund Kwan and Derek Yee), and I am Sorry. She was quite a daring risk-taker being one of the rare mainstream actresses willing to shed her clothes for the sake of art – a move that could have easily damaged her career when she did this in the art film - An Amorous Woman of the Tang Dynasty in 1984.

Here is some addition information on Pat Ha from a post on Mobius written by Christopher Fu

Born in Hong Kong, Pat Ha Man-Jik worked as a factory worker before becoming an actress. Married (since 1989) with three daughters, she  currently lives in Los Angeles and owns a massage salon.

Prior to her retirement in 1989, Pat Ha's filmography consists of 27 films (24 HK, 3 Taiwan) and one Taiwanese TV series.

Pat came out of retirement in 1996 for the Taiwanese TV version of NEW DRAGON INN. Since then she has starred in a total of 3 Taiwanese TV  series and a mainland TV series.

On a personal note, Pat Ha's supporting role as Huang Rong in a Taiwanese TV version of Louis Cha's wuxia epic SHENDIAO XIAOLU (starring Richie  Ren and Wu Chen-Lien) is one of the few redeeming features of this disappointing 1998 TV series. (Pat Ha is an avid fan of Louis Cha novels.)

According to a Pat Ha interview with Ming Pao last year, Stanley Kwan asked her to act in movies again. Her reply is she would consider if the script is suitable.

Pat Ha's Nominations (HKFA):
Best Newcomer for role in NOMAD (1982)
Note: Another 'newcomer', Cecilia Yap was also nominated for her role in NOMAD, but Season Ma won that year (BOAT PEOPLE).

Best Actress for role in MY NAME AIN'T SUZIE (1985) [lost to Pauline Wong]

Patrick Tam Yiu-man

Not to be confused with the director of The Sword, Nomad, Love Massacre and My Heart is an Eternal Rose with the same Western name and surname.  This other Patrick Tam is one of the new generation of actors who has impressed me with his ability and willingness to do a wide breadth of roles, and apparent disinclination to just fall back on his good looks.

Some of his interesting roles have been as:  An absolutely nasty character in Beast Cops (in 1998); Ekin Cheng’s stuttering mechanic friend in The Legend of Speed; the suave and amusing photographer of My Loving Trouble 7; the duplicitous villain of Century of the Dragon; and the Everynerd looking poisoner in Comeuppance (in 2000).

Patrick Tse Yin

Born in 1936

During the 1950’s and 1960’s Patrick was one of the most popular leading men in Cantonese film in HK. His matinee looks and sharp profile made him a star in many dramas and romances over much of these two decades. He began his acting career in 1954 with Taps Off and became a star with Dial 999 for Murder later that year. He came to be known as the “Movie Prince”.

Two films that he was in that I would love to catch are Black Rose in 1965 ( which 92 Legendary La Rose Noire was a homage to) and Story of a Discharged Prisoner (which John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow was based on) in 1967. After appearing in over 100 films in these decades – many considered Cantonese classics – Tse’s film output began slowing down in the 1970’s.
He was in a smattering of films in the 1970’s (The Blade Spares None, The Comet Strikes and The Hurricane among them) – and has continued working sporadically into the present. He was in the Cinema City film Life After Life in 1982 (the boss), Flaming Brothers (the main villain) in 1987, Rouge (1988), Kawashima Yoshiko (1990) and The Accident in 1999 (the airline pilot). He married Chen Chen, a well-known Taiwanese actress in 1974, but divorced her in 1978 and soon thereafter married another actress, Deborah Li - this marriage ended in 1996. To a new generation of HK movie goers though, he is probably now better known as the father of actor and idol Nicholas Tse (mother - Deborah Li). His role as the evil soccer coach in the huge hit Shaolin Soccer (2001) might change that though.

Paul Chu Kong

The classic film The Killer is full of wonderful melodramatic performances – but certainly one of the most unforgettable is given by the actor who portrays Sidney – the friend of Chow Yun Fat who has to betray him and then later sacrifices his life for him. His courageous beating at the hands of Shing Fui On is one of the most poignant moments of the film.

It is Paul Chu Kong who plays Sidney – and during his long career he made a number of very different type of films. He began acting in films in 1960 – appearing in that decade in films such as The Elevator Murder Case, Mother and Son, Girl Spy 001, Doomed Love – and made the transition to some degree to the kung fu films of the 70’s – The Legendary Strike in which he teams up with Angela Mao and The 18 Jade Arhats with Polly Shang Kwan.

He didn’t make that many films over the next two decades – but a few others besides The Killer are quite good – The Big Heat (in which he played the bad guy), Once a Thief (as the main trio’s police friend), The Raid and Fong Sai Yuk (Fong Sai Yuk's stern father) in 1993.

Paul Chun Pui

This man of many roles has been one of the great supporting actors in HK films over the past three decades. He has been in more films than most people even see in their lifetime – playing every kind of character imaginable. His brother is actor/director Derek Yee and his half brother is David Chiang – and so with this theatrical bent in his blood he began acting back in the 1960s – first appearing in the Steve McQueen film The Sand Pebbles (1966). In the seventies he appeared in such films as Pursuit, Iron Fisted Monks and The Water Margin.

He never achieved leading man status like his brothers did – but he certainly has never suffered for lack of work.  Although highly versatile, in the course of his career he specialized in two particular types - the rotten, nasty heavy (ironic considering his short stature and less than imposing physique) and as a pompous, buffoonish police authority figure.
Some of his nastier roles were in Double Fattiness, Wild Search, All for the Winner, The Adventurers, Young and Dangerous V, Best of the Best and Executioners (the downbeat sequel to The Heroic Trio). But he was almost unrecognizable as the Diva-ish Peking opera performer, Fa, in Peking Opera Blues, and also played the bumbling police captain in The Heroic Trio (N.B. This was not a role he reprised in Executioners), Hsu Chi’s Sugar Daddy in Viva Erotica!, Cynthia Khan’s uncle -- and reluctant boss -- in In the Line of Duty III, the police captain in I Love Maria, and so many others. Often he shows up in a film for little more than a cameo and other times he has an extensive part – but he seems to be the consummate professional and always does a fine job. He received a HKFA Best Supporting Performer nomination for Peking Opera Blues in 1986 and then was honored in that category for C’est La Vie Mon Cherie -- a surprise blockbuster and critical hit directed by his brother Derek -- in 1993.

Paul Fonoroff

Born in the USA

Movie critic, TV host for a movie cable show, film historian and movie memorabilia collector, Paul Fonoroff has become a well-established fixture in Hong Kong since moving there from the United States. His fluency in both Mandarin and Cantonese has helped him achieve this status and also to get bit parts from time to time in Hong Kong films. Fonoroff also has obtained his PhD at Beijing University.

Paul Fonoroff is the man Western fans love to hate to a large degree. Not for what he does in front of the camera but for what he does behind it as a movie critic for the South-China Morning Post. His reviews tend to be overwhelmingly negative to such an extent that one wonders why he bothers with Hong Kong produced cinema at all. His pet peeves are inept scripting, shabby productions and what he sees as an unethical standard of morality specifically homophobic humor, police brutality, the glorification of the triads and  . . . cigarette smoking. What seems to most infuriate and bewilder his western detractors though is the frequent sneering pettiness of his comments, his cheap wit and the astonishing ability he seems to have to totally miss the magic of a movie. Fonoroff’s list of victims are The Killer, Heroic Trio, Naked Killer and nearly everything ever done by "artsy poseur" Wong Kar Wai. His listing of films that he enjoyed could be counted on the fingers on his hands -  some Gordon Chan films, All For the Winner, Queen of Temple Street, The Yuppie Fantasia, Tri-Star and Once Upon a Time in China II.

Yet the fact remains that Paul Fonoroff has a solid background in film studies, speaks the local language as well as the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan, is well in tune with the culture and mentality of the place and discovered Hong Kong cinema long before most Westerners were exposed to it. He appears to be a well liked and respected personality by both the populace in general and the movie people themselves as shown by his TV show and his continuing cameos in movies through the years.
Fonoroff has published two books. One is At the Movies - a collection of his movie reviews done at The South China Morning Post from 1988 to 1997, while the second Silver Light is an illustrated deluxe book displaying his own vast collection of movie memorabilia of pre 1970 Hong Kong cinema. These early films are clearly where Fonoroff’s true heart lies.
His best-known parts are as the ill-fated English diplomatic attaché in Once Upon a Time in China II and as the security superintendent cameo in Gordon Chan's police action classic The Final Option. For the most part though, Fonoroff usually plays the typical gwailo stooge with an innate tendency for goofiness and self derisive humor in over a dozen productions through the years: including Once Upon a Time a Hero in China, Fight Back to School II, Lawyer Lawyer, Alan and Eric: Between Hello and Goodbye, Inspector Wears Skirts IV, Summer Lover and What a Wonderful World.

(Written up by Yves Gendron)

Pauline Chan Bo-lin

Born in Shanghai in 1975

Her very trashy and yet still alluring looks combined with a willingness to show her unclad body and perform simulated sex made Pauline one of the leading Cat III actresses of the 1990’s.  She had been in the news quite often for a number of instances of erratic behavior  - causing a ruckus in bars, planes and hotel rooms – and leading people to wonder whether she has gone a bit nuts. In a press release, she had blamed her mother for pushing her into Cat III films and the negative impact it has had on her life. Sadly she committed suicide in July 2002 by jumping to her death from the 17th floor of her apartment and leaving her 3 week old son behind.

After being in the Miss Asia contest, Pauline was signed by ATV to host a mahjongg game on TV – even though she had no idea how to play. The show was popular enough for her to jump into films in 1991 with Queen of the Underworld (which co-starred Amy Yip). Within a few years she had made her mark in Cat III films with sexy roles in Behind the Pink Door, Girls from China, Escape from Brothel, Erotic Ghost Story III and Whores from the North.
She did manage a few mainstream films – though often in outlandish roles – such as the S&M prostitute in the 1992 Girls Without Tomorrow (her part in it is most definitely what earned it a Category III rating), Flying Daggers and the bra wearing - but shirtless - killer in From Beijing with Love. Even with her recent troubles she is still making a few Hong Kong films – a number of film personalities offered to help her out – and she was in Paramount Hotel in 2000.

Pauline Wong Siu-fung

Born in 1962

Pauline Wong is easily one of the best and yet most unrecognized actresses in Hong Kong. With a face that is more interesting than beautiful she can still be devilishly sexy if the role calls for it or fairly plain if that is what is needed. She has also been asked to be very evil on occasion which she can carry off with her wicked smile – or funny – or dramatic. She can simply do it all. Unfortunately though, her film career seems to have come to a halt in the mid-90s.

Pauline is of Shanghainese descent. She dropped out of school at a young age to work in a fast food restaurant. At the age of fifteen she went to Canada where she took employment in various jobs - waitressing, modelling and others. In 1982 she returned to Hong Kong to take up acting. She is perhaps best known for her supernatural roles in films – a ghost in Mr. Vampire, Chow Yun Fat's girlfriend in Spiritual Love and a demoness in Peacock King. Her film debut was in 1984 (Possessed II - as the mistress) and within a year she had a major role in the classic Night Caller and won the Best Actress award for Love with the Perfect Stranger.
A couple more of my favorite roles of hers are – Shing Fui On’s pregnant wife in Blue Jean Monster who has to quickly give birth to a baby so that she can jump through a window before a time bomb goes off, the very sweet spinsterish cousin in Four Loves and one of the gold diggers in The Greatest Lover. She also had an interesting role in Web of Deception, a minor Tsui Hark film that has been described as a wanna-be Hitchcock-style thriller. One of her more gut wrenching roles is as a rape victim seeking bloody revenge in Her Vengeance.

Pauline Yeung Bo-ling

Born on 04/17/67

After winning the Miss HK contest, Pauline had an auspicious debut in the terrific Three Brothers film Dragons Forever in which she has come nice comic scenes and also gets involved a bit in the action. Her appealing girl next door looks were a hit with the HK audiences – but her film career never took off.

She only made a few more films – City Girl, Happy Ghost IV, How to be a Millionaire and Holy Virgin vs. The Evil Dead (1991) before going into an early retirement. I read that recently she has returned to appear in a few Christian films.