Friday, October 30, 2009

[2009.10.31] LAM KAU PASSES AWAY AT 88

Lam Kau's final appearance was at the Performing Artist Guild Mid Autumn event
courtesy of

Veteran artist Lam Kau (Uncle Mosquito) yesterday collapsed at a shopping center near his home. After being rushed to the hospital he passed away at the age of 88.

In Lam Kau's over half a century of performance career, he performed in over 200 films. Many were classics. In recent years his health has deteriorated and hospitalized numerous times. Lam Kau was born in 1923. Originally named Lam Tat Sing, when he starred as an action actor in opera his stage name was Lam Yuk Sing. When he made movies his stage name became Lam Kau. He mostly performed in martial art films. In film and television many called him "Uncle Mosquito" (Because the Chinese characters for mosquito and Kau were similar).

Lam Kau came from a wealthy family. Because his parents enjoyed opera, at the age of 11 he studied acrobatics with a retired stunt choreographer from the opera troupe. During the Japanese Invasion he and Mastre Kwan Tak Hing enlisted to save the nation. At the time he already was an action actor. After the war, because of his Northern style expertise he was called the new martial art scholar as he was paired with veteran opera stars like Hung Sin Nui and Man Kok Fei. In 1949 he came to Hong Kong. Lam Kau's first guest starring film was SHATTERING THE COPPER NET ARRAY (DAI POR TUNG MONG JUN), to which he was invited to perform when he visited the studio in 1950. At the time without safety precaution, he used real kung fu to flip from over 40 foot height (around four stories now) to land safety on the ground. His fame immediately spread throughout the studio. The next day he was invited to be the male lead in the new film THE HEROINE (FONG GONG NUI HUP), in which he displayed all that he learned and became an overnight success. That year he made over 50 films.

Lam Kau spent his life helping others. Once he self funded the founding of the Jade Dragon Opera Academy to cultivate new comers like Alan Tang Kwong Wing, Ti Lung, Chan Kuan-Tai and Jason Pai Piao. Last in life he became a famous horseracing analyst. In August 2006 he even donated over 50 years of membership admission passes from 1953 to 2003 to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

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