Monday, July 11, 2016


courtesy of

Wu Fung, Petrina Fung

A photo with Sir Run Run Shaw from the program
courtesy of

The China Film Queen for three years in a row, Chan Wan Seung passed away on the 30th at home in her sleep at age 103. Yesterday her family began services at the Hong Kong Funeral Home. Many came to pay their respects like Wu Fung and Petrina Fung Bo Bo.

A two meter tall portrait of Chan Wan Seung was hung outside the hall, which was decorated in simple white. The hall had screens playing Chan Wan Seung's films. In the program for family and friends were her film industry photos, photos with her husband Tong Yu Hong and their family. Chan Wan Seung at the peak of her career married famous oncologist Tong Yu Hong then immigrated to Hong Kong. After her final film in 1952 THE MOON-BLANCH'D LAND she retired from film. Chan Wan Seung and her husband had three children. Her husband Tong Yu Hong passed away in 2014. Her youngest son Tong Sing Ming is a tycoon in the food industry.

Wu Fung yesterday came to bid his friend farewell. He said that he was already Chan Wan Seung's fan at age 7 or 8. He has seen her work. "Several years ago through friends' introduction I was fortunate enough to be a guest at her home. We also went to the Peak for tea. I know that she liked to play mahjong. Several days before her passing she was still very spirited and played mahjong with friends. We even made plans to meet for tea again, but now we have no way to make it happen."

The China Film Queen for three years in a row, Nancy Chan Wan Seung passed away in her Hong Kong home on the 30th at age 96. Chan Wan Seung has starred in MULAN JOINS THE ARMY, IT HAPPENED IN ONE NIGHT, SU WU HERDS SHEEP and over 50 films. Her popularity was unrivaled on the Bund and was as famous as Hu Die and Zhou Xuan.

The popular female star of the 30s and 40s, Chan Wan Seung passed away in her sleep on the 30th at age 96. Her funeral services will take place Monday.

Chan Wan Seung was originally named Chan Man Keung. Born in Hong Kong in August 10, 1919, she moved to Guangzhou with her parents in her childhood. Chan Wan Seung was a natural beauty who could sing and dance. Joining show business has been her childhood dream, despite her parents' interference she still got her wish in the end. When Chan Wan Seung was young she was a student of the Chinese Opera master Yi Jianquan, learning Mandarin, Qun Opera, Beijing Opera, and Cantonese Opera. Her stage name "Chan Wan Seung" came from her master, which came from the Li Bai poem verse.

In 1933, the 14 year old Chan Wan Seung was pretty and able to sing and dance. She joined a film company and began her show business journey. Two years later, Hong Kong director So Yi invited her to come to Hong Kong to make movies. In 1936 due to NEW YOUTH she became an overnight sensation. In 4 short years she continuously made over 20 Cantonese films.

In 1938, Chan Wan Seung caught the eye of benefactor Zhang Shankun and went to make movies in Shanghai. She started in the Mandarin film MULAN JOINS THE ARMY, played Hua Mulan and received good reviews. Because she became more famous, she rocked the Bund as a "Wan Seung" fever arose there. Not only many stores was named "Wan Seung" but some even established Chan Wan Seung fan clubs. Her every move became the index for trendy women. At the time Chan Wan Seung was as famous as Hu Die and Zhou Xuan. Since 1938, Chan Wan Seung won the China Film Queen honor for three years straight.

A few years after the fall of Shanghai, Chan Wan Seung made many famous films like SU WU HERDS SHEEPS and WILD ROSE. In the film based on Ba Jin's book HOME her role of Cousin Qin even received raves.

However, as her show business career reached its peak Chan Wan Seung in 1945 married Hong Kong director Tong Yu Hong and retired from the film industry. She returned to Hong Kong to focus on taking care of her family. Aside from in 1962 when she made movies for Hong Kong Hsin Wha Motion Pictures like THE MOON BLANCH'D LAND, for the past half a century she lived a quiet life in Hong Kong and rarely participated in community events. Thus the young and middle aged generation knew little about this superstar of a generation.

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