Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Dr. Lee Sing To, Dr. Mok Shu Kam, Nat Chan attend the press conference

Lau Kar Leung, Donnie Yen, Sun Honglei
Chow Yun Fat, Lau Kar Leung
Eric Tsang, Law Kar Leung, Anita Mui, Jackie Chan

courtesy of on.cc
courtesy of singtao.com
Forever remember the grand master of a generation Lau Kar Leung
Lau Ka Leung received the Hong Kong Film Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010.
Yung Jing Jing asked for space to mourning Master Lau's passing
Lau Ka Leung and Yung Jing Jing's older daughter is a lawyer in Singapore.  Their younger daughter also graduated from law school
Master Lau was very active and loved to travel with his wife
When Lau Ka Leung and Yung Jing Jing visited Guangzhou they posed for a funny nostalgic photo at a studio
Lau Ka Wing (right) says that his brother was vain and romantic
Nat Chan is the Lau Ka Leung appointed funeral committee chair
Nat Chan and Dr. Mok Shu Kam attend a press conference at the Union Hospital
Wong Hung Sau
Lau Ka Leung and former wife Ho Sau Ha
Wai Ying Hung won the first Hong Kong Film Award Best Actress with Lau Ka Leung's MY YOUNG AUNTIE
Master Lau at the 2010 Hong Kong Film Award
4th generation disciple of Wong Fei Hung
Lau Ka Leung brought Shaw martial art films into a new age and was one of Mona Fong's favorites
Sir Run Run Shaw gave Lau Ka Leung his chance to direct
Lau Ka Leung left his mark on the Avenue of Stars
Lau Ka Leung was never sloppy as an actor or a director
Lau Ka Leung was impressed with Michelle Reis' serious performance in DRUNKEN MASTER 3
Lau Ka Leung and Jackie Chan in DRUNKEN MASTER 2
Jet Li and Lau Ka Leung
Donnie Yen calls Lau Ka Leung a giant in martial art film.
Sammo Hung, Ching Siu Tung, Lau Ka Leung and Yuen Woo Ping are the Four Great Heavenly Kings of action
Gordon Liu (left) was sadden to learn about Lau Ka Leung's passing
Eric Tsang is sadden to hear the passing of his mentor
Cheung Wai (back center) earlier dined with Mary Hon and Yung Jing Jing.  Master Lau was absent due to his illness
Lau Ka Leung's final film SEVEN SWORDS
courtesy of mingpao.com

Grand Master of a generation Lau Ka Leung yesterday morning at 10:17AM due to complications from bone marrow function degradation passed away at the Union Hospital. He was 76. Lau Ka Leung's family and friends were by his side when he passed. He departed peacefully in the arms of his wife Mary Jean Remier (Yung Jing Jing) and his children. Lau Ka Leung was a silver screen tough guy and in reality a cancer fighter. His other side was tenderness of a tough guy, on his bed were two white roses that symbolized pure love. With 30 years between them, he and Yung Jing Jing experienced turbulence from being in love to marriage. They maintained 25 years of marriage, as Lau Ka Leung was romantic until the final moment of his life!

Yesterday the hospital announced the news of Lau Ka Leung's passing. Survivor Yung Jing Jing was heart broken and unable to attend the press conference. Lau Ka Leung's good friend Nat Chan Pak Cheung represented the family at the press conference.

In the afternoon Yung Jing Jing thanked everyone for their concern on facebook and said that her husband Lau Ka Leung left very peaceful. He hoped that everyone understood her current emotions and give her and the family space to mourn Master Lau's passing. She wrote, "He left very peacefully, in my tight embrace he entered Heaven. At the time many friends, children, young brother, nephew and niece were among went on their kneels to send him on his way." Yung Jing Jing said that she has already arranged for the attending physician to explain the process to the media. Chan Pak Cheung was the Master Lau appointed "funeral committee chair" and would announce the details.

Yung Jing Jing thanked everyone for their condolences and said that if she had something she wanted to say she would directly say it on facebook. Later Yung Jing Jing revealed on facebook that she planned to take her daughters for a short stay at the nunnery to pray and be on a vegetarian diet for Master Lau. Tomorrow (Thursday) she would need 49 family members and friends who were believers to chant the Ksitigarbha scripture.

The passing of her husband Lau Ka Leung had enormous impact on Yung Jing Jing. Because their residence was filled with memories of their life together, even a strong woman like her could not help but break down from heartache. She wrote that she felt exhausted, heart broken with blood and tears; she did not dare to see anything or any memory. At night Yung Jing Jing revealed something about Master Lau's funeral and said that Ah Lek was the only person who Master Lau asked to see. He even declined to see old friends of 50 years. She said that the funeral will break through the traditional format as a mix of Chinese and the West. It will have eulogy segments from friends. It will take place at the Universal Funeral Parlor without a set date yet.

Items at home reminded Yung Jing Jing of him. Earlier she has soaked many bottles of lemon vinegar for Master Lau. She took a photo and said that it would be 90 days on July 4th, but Master Lau could not wait. She also said that she was heart broken, everything reminded her of him. Even when she closed her eyes she was missing him. The balloon from her birthday earlier was still floating, only she felt that she had no more air. She also said that the maid told her and she felt Master Lau has returned home in the living room.

Yesterday Master Lau's younger brother Lau Ka Wing said that when his brother passed he was at ease, with children, family and friends around her. Lau Ka Wing has always been close to his brother. He said, "Lately because he was in poor health, he went out less. He has had cancer for over a decade and relied on medication to control his condition. He seemed to have become friends with the hospital. At his age, still being still tough he truly was amazing! I watched friends like Wan Lo (Wan Chi Wai) and Big Silly (Shing Fui On) passed. Every life and choices were different. My brother's willing to life was very strong!" Lau Ka Wing also said that his brother was already over 70. His body deteriorated at his weakest and he also had complications. The family was helpless to accept this reality.

As for Master Lau's wishes, he said that everything has been planned long ago and he already told his wife. He said that his brother was vain and romantic. When he knew that his health was getting worse, he asked his assistant to buy two white roses to place next to him when he passed. Yesterday on his bed were white roses.

Speaking of Yung Jing Jing refusing to leave or abandon Master Lau, he said that his brother and sister in law were truly great. In the past he would worry about the two younger daughters, but now they are grown. The older daughter is a lawyer in Singapore and the younger daughter is a law school graduate. He had no regret in life. Lau Ka Wing said that his brother was well respected and hoped that people who liked Lau Ka Leung movies would always remember the name "Lau Ka Leung". Master Lau in his television interviews also said that he wanted people to remember that he was Lau Ka Leung. Master Lau Ka Leung, have a safe journey!

Chan Pak Cheung yesterday attended the press conference as the Lau Ka Leung funeral committee chair. He tearfully said that Lau Ka Leung asked him to handle his affairs. The funeral will take place at the Universal Funeral Parlor in Hung Hom with Buddhist ceremonies. The date and the pallbearer list has not been set yet. After Master Lau's cremation his remains will be buried in Po Fook Hill. Ah Lek pointed out that Lau Ka Leung had no remaining wish and no regret, he passed away very peacefully!

Ah Lek said, "Lau Ka Leung is an elder friend who I respected. We have known each for several decades. In his final years, we often met for dinner and watched horse races. Before he passed he knew that everyone (media) was concerned and asked me to make arrangements. I have been visiting him over these few days and knew that he was very close."

Yesterday Ah Lek after receiving the news of Lau Ka Leung's death immediately contacted the Performing Artist Guild, the Film Director's Guild and the Stuntman Association and hoped that everyone would be able to send Lau Ka Leung on his final journey. He said, "I would do all I can to make the ceremony nice and neat. Both of his families (former wife and current wife Yung Jing Jing) both contacted me and met with me. At the time everyone would attend." He said that when Lau Ka Leung passed, both families were by his side.

Ah Lek said that Lau Ka Leung did not say who he would miss, because two days ago his speech was already unclear and needed machine assistance to breathe. He realized that he did not have much time. On the other hand his daughters were very heart broken and reluctant to see their father pass so fast. They rushed back to Hong Kong a week ago and fortunately received a suite at the hospital. Thus they were able to keep their father company. Lau's daughter with his former wife and his young brother also kept visiting. He said, "Lau Ka Wing was too heart broken to see anyone, I am attending in his place." As for Yung Jing Jing, he said, "Of course she is heart broken, but she expected this. She has been with Lau Ka Leung for so many years and been very attentive."

Ah Lek pointed out that Lau Ka Leung did not have any unfulfilled, remaining wish or regret. "He kept a very open mind, his will to live was very strong. Because he was so tough he was able to have so many chemo treatment. Yet he wasn't young anymore and had complications." He joked that when he talked horses with Lau Ka Leung he was very spirited, otherwise his immune system was a little worse.

He praised Lau Ka Leung for his optimism and toughness. "He was a grand master of a generation with a very competitive heart. He didn't feel this illness was anything and that he would recover. Unfortunately the disease was beyond control!" Lau Ka Leung kept a low profile and few knew about his illness. Ah Lek believed that his colleagues would regret Lau Ka Leung's passing and revealed that Master's only remaining disciple was Adam Cheng Siu Chau.

Ah Lek's connection with Lau Ka Leung came from Wong Hung Sau. He said, "I am not his disciple, but I am 'Leung's descendant' because he made Wong Hung Sau a star. Back then Wong Hung Sau rose to fame with his SHAOLIN MANTIS (TONG LONG), Wong Hung Sau is his disciple. You can say that I am his disciple's husband, but privately we are good friends. Although I didn't make kung fu film and has never worked on his movies, our relationship was like that of a teacher and a friend. He taught me a lot."

Lau Ka Leung would always remain in the audience's heart with his real kung fu agility. Yet in hearts of the women he loved he definitely was a romantic man; among his past romances, aside from marriages with his former wife Ho Sau Ha and current wife Yung Jing Jing, he and Wai Ying Hung also had a deep relationship that was like mentor and friend.

Lau Ka Leung started as a stuntman but was lucky with the ladies. Despite being married to "Sam Mui Jeh" Ho Sau Ha and had four daughters and a son, he often had girlfriends around him; Lau Ka Leung cast Wai Ying Hung in MY YOUNG AUNTIE (JEUNG BUI) and she with this film won the Hong Kong Film Award Best Actress. Master Lau cultivated her to become an action actress. Their mentor and friend like relationship led to a lot of rumors. Another female star Pei Ju-hua also was rumored to have vied for Master Lau's attention. However in the eyes of "Sam Mui Jeh" they were all just passing fancy. She did not expect that when Lau Ka Leung met Yung Jing Jing, the fate of their marriage would change.

Lau Ka Leung admitted at the time that his relationships have become "messy" . When they met in 1983 they fell in passionate love despite their 29 year age difference. In 1988 they wed. Yung Jing Jing said that because she did not her half a year old daughter was illegitimate they publicized their marriage. Then they had another daughter.

Lau Ka Leung was very close with his two daughters with Yung Jing Jing. He even joked that with these two daughters all relationships have been conquered. Even when Yung Jing Jing suddenly was swept into lawyer Lam King Yip's mysterious death in 2001, Lau Ka Leung still supported his wife. Rumors did not harm their relationship at all.

Wai Ying Hung won the 1st Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress with the Lau Ka Leung directed kung fu film MY YOUNG AUNTIE (JEUNG BUI) and rose to fame, solidifying her action actress image and position. At the same time, she and Lau Ka Leung were rumored to be in love. Despite Lau being married, Siu Hung still constantly paired up with Lau Ka Leung without any hesitation and made the rumors red hot. Later they were rumored to be done because of Yung Jing Jing, Siu Hung became very heart broken and thinner. Thus when asked about Lau Ka Leung, Siu Hung was reluctant to say much.

Siu Hung was working on a series yesterday and learned about Lau Ka Leung's passing from reporters. She said, "I haven't had contact with him in a very long time. He hasn't approached people like us for over a decade." Would she call Yung Jing Jing with her condolences? She said, "I don't have her number."

Famous martial art action director Lau Ka Leung battled cancer for almost 20 years. Cancer and complication forced him to retire from his lifelong love, but he still left contributions to martial arts and the film industry.

Lau Ka Leung was born in Guangdong in 1936 to a martial art family. At age 9 he studied martial art with his father Lau Cham. He was the four generation descendant of Wong Fei Hung. His father was the disciple of Wong Fei Hung's disciple Lam Sai Wing, which made him love martial art and the spirit of martial art studies for life. Master Lau at age 18 followed his father into the film industry, starting as an extra and a stuntman. In his 50 year performing career he has made over 400 films, he first became the action director in SOUTH DRAGON, NORTH PHOENIX (NAM LUNG BUT FUNG). His claim to fame was the 1965 film THE JADE BOW (WON HOI YUK GUNG YUEN).

Master Lau performed in many Wong Fei Hung films. In 1975 he became a director, his first film THE SPIRITUAL BOXER (SUN DA) became a box office hit. Later films like THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN (SIU LUM SAM SUP LOK FONG) and SHAOLIN TEMPLE 3 MARTIAL ARTS OF SHAOLIN (NAM BUT SIU LUM) made even bigger splashes. He even formed his own stunt team. He imported the "wire" work from Japan in the 60s and improved on it, it still remained popular today. Master Lau made action stars out of Gordon Liu (Lau Ka Fai), Alexander Fu Shing, Wai Ying Hung and others. Cheng Siu Chau was one of his disciples as well.

Lau Ka Leung with THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN won the Best Action award in Cannes. DRUNKEN MASTER 2 (JUI KUEN 2) brought him the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Action Choreography. In 2005 with SEVEN SWORDS (CHUT GIM) he won the Golden Horse Best Action Design. Master Lau in 2006 Hong Kong International Film Festival and the 2010 Hong Kong Film Award received Lifetime Achievement awards for his contribution to film and action films.

Many artists were sadden to hear about Lau Ka Leung's passing. Gordon Liu (Lau Ka Fai) is the god son of Lau Ka Leung's mother and Lau Ka Leung brought him into the film industry. Currently recovering, he was stunned when he saw the news. His guardian Fan Yik Man said, "When Brother Ka Fai found out his eyes were all red. When he gets upset he refuses to speak so he didn't say anything. I am very worried about Brother Ka Fai's condition. Now he can't be emotional. I need to get an understanding of his moods, I am afraid that he may refuse to eat."

John Chiang Dai Wai once followed Lau Ka Leung to be a stuntman with Tong Kai. He said, "He suffered from this illness for 10 or 20 years, which was truly amazing. Two months ago I even wanted to meet him for tea, but he was rumored to have pneumonia and lost most of his immunity. However he comforted us and said that he was fine. Even the doctor said it was a miracle."

Jason Lau (Pai Piao) worked with Master Lau Ka Leung on many films during the Shaw era. They also had many scenes together in Master Lau's final film SEVEN SWORDS. Pai Piao lamented his friend's passing. "Normally we would meet for tea to catch up once or twice a week with friends. Each time Master Lau would drive himself. In the past half a year we couldn't find him. His phone went to voice mail. We thought something happened, we never thought it really did."

Pai Piao recalled how professional Master Lau was while shooting SEVEN SWORDS in Tianshan despite his age. He even personally performed a scene in the water. Pai Piao said, "Tianshan was so cold that even touching the water was intolerable, even with scuba suits it didn't work. Mater Lau just went into the water himself." Pai Piao revealed that the scene led to Master Lau's pneumonia. He had to return to Hong Kong to rest for two weeks before returning to work, but his health deteriorated. Pai Piao also said that his impression of Lau Ka Leung was very bold and not petty, very willing to lend a helping hand to colleagues and younger folks.

Tong Kai and Lau Ka Leung both came from the Cantonese film era. In 1963 they both were action directors for the first time with SOUTH DRAGON NORTH PHOENIX. Later they both made to jump to Shaw to be Chang Cheh's action directors. Tong Kai yesterday said that he learned about Master Lau's passing from friends. Tong Kai said, "I haven't seen him for several months. Last month originally we were meeting him for tea, but he didn't feel well. We used to catch up and talk about the past."

Did he feel Master Lau's passing was regrettable? Tong Kai said, "What can we do, we are getting old. Few live in the seventies since life in ancient times. Everyone's turn will come." He said that he would personally bid his good friend farewell.

Artists left messages to remember this grand master of a generation. Liza Wang Ming Chuen said, "Whether in acting, a variety of martial arts, kung fu film directing, he was a jack of all trades and capable and a master in everything. He valued traditions and honor, he was a man with love and honor. He was quite a man!" Law Kar Ying said, "I will miss Master Lau Ka Leung infinitely, a martial art grand master, a film action director founder who spread Hong Kong martial art films to the world."

Ti Lung has worked with Master Lau on many films, his most memorable was FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS (SIU LUM NG JO). Sammo Hung Kam Bo said, "It's very regrettable, his passing is a loss to the martial art world!" Hong Kong Film Award described Lau Ka Leung as a forerunner of Hong Kong film action design, a symbol of an era and forever worthy of respect.

Steven Ma Chun Wai said, "I have known the daughter of Lau Ka Leung's former wife Sandy for over 20 years, she is my manager. I am very heartbroken that a great elder has passed away. No one can replace him in the martial art world. I know Sandy is also very tough."

Lau Ka Leung made a lot of great contribution to the film industry. Aside from making many classic action films he also had many disciples. Cheng Siu Chau, Lau Ka Fai, Fu Shing, Wai Ying Hung were all his disciples; he also cultivated many of his junior like Eric Tsang Chi Wai, Chin Kar Lok and Andy Lau Tak Wa. Currently in Taiwan, Tsang Chi Wai was sadden to hear about his mentor Lau Ka Leung's passing. "3 months ago Master Lau's death was rumored. At the time I was in Thailand and the media asked me to respond. I wrote out what I wanted to say, and I cried as I wrote. Later I found out it was misreported and I was relaxed. This morning I received this bad news and I was very sadden. Actually Master Lau and I have stayed in touch. Seeing him battle the illness my heart ached. He would always do his best with people and work. He fought the illness for 20 years until the end."

Chi Wai at a birthday party thanked several very important men in his life, the first was Lau Ka Leung. "He brought me into the business, without him I wouldn't be here. Everything I have achieved is completely due to him. My knowledge of the film industry and kung fu film was completely because of Master Lau. He is my respected mentor." Chi Wai praised Master Lau for his loyalty that was worthy of respect. His martial art study was superb. "Wuxia films and kung fu films are where they are today, Master Lau deserved a lot of credit. Every time he and Tong Kai were coming with the fight choreography, stunt people like us wouldn't leave the studio. It was like appreciating two sculptors in their most intense work. Everyone was very surprised by how they were able to come up with such great choreography. He was the master among masters." The Performing Artist Guild, Film Directors' Guild, Stuntman Association, Screenwriters' Guild, Society of Film Editors and others yesterday communicated and everyone wanted to do their part for Master Lau, proving how respected Master Lau was.

Lau Tak Wa worked with Lau Ka Leung on the film DRUNKEN MASTER 3. He described Master Lau as a "Grand Master of a generation" for his achievements in the martial art world and the film industry. "Grand Master of a generation, you will be missed always." Wong Ka Hei who has worked with Master Lau at Shaw for years lamented, "Grand Master of a generation, from now on we are separated in Heaven and Earth! Life is short, leaving people feeling dejected! We have known each for several decades. He was someone who was very loyal, especially with his subordinates. Back then when he made DRUNKEN MONKEY he said to me, he wanted to let his life risking colleagues perform more so they would be able to making a living. I told him okay, but the shoot had to shrink from the original ten days to five days. In the end Lau Ka Leung turned the film in as scheduled. He truly was an invaluable martial art world elder, his passing is truly regrettable."

Cheung Ying's son Cheung Wai earlier dined with friends and invited Lau Ka Leung to participate, but because Master Lau was ailing only Yung Jing Jing and her daughter attended. Cheung Wai sad, "Yung Jing Jing called Master Lau when she arrived and put him on the speaker for him to greet everyone. Master and I chatted a little. He said that he wanted to dine with us and would wait until next month. I never thought that it would be our final conversation, which was very regrettable!" Cheung Wai said that during dinner Yung Jing Jing did not mention Master Lau's condition. He only knew that at home she made many bottles of lemon vinegar, which was said to have anti cancer effect. Cheung Wai returned to work in the Mainland. Once he learned about Lau Ka Leung's funeral date he would try to return to Hong Kong for the farewell.

Cheung Wai described Master Lau as a great director. He remembered when he returned to Hong Kong during summer vacation and visited his father at Shaw, he met Master Lau. "Master Lau was very handsome! He drove to Shaw in a gold Rolls Royce, people all around chased to greet him."

Chow Yun Fat worked with Master Lau on the film TIGER ON BEAT (LO FU CHOOK GAN) and was surprised to hear about his passing. "After hearing this news I am very surprised, I hoped that he didn't suffer too much when he passed. Although we haven't seen each other in over a decade, when we worked together at Cinema City we saw each other all the time. Earlier when he received the Hong Kong Film Award Lifetime Achievement Award, I was happy for him! The most memorable was when he directed the film TIGER ON BEAT. I didn't start as a martial artist, he came up with some special stunts that could make my agility stand out. He truly took great care of people around him, and he was very willing to help the younger generation. He was a treasure of the film industry."

Jackie Chan who was in the Mainland had no idea about the passing. He asked reporters, "When did he pass? Many years we worked together on DRUNKEN MASTER 2. Although birth, aging, illness and death were certain in life, as an acquaintance I would be upset. I hope he has a peaceful journey and my condolences to his family." The 2005 film SEVEN SWORDS was Lau Ka Leung's final film. He starred and was the action director. It won the Golden Horse Award Best Action Design.

TVB said that in memory of Lau Ka Leung, TVB pay film station today will air two Lau Ka Leung films. SEVEN SWORDS will air at 12:45PM and DRUNKEN MONKEY at 9PM.

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