Director Chor Yuen Suffers from Dementia
Hong Kong media reported that veteran actor and director, Chor Yuen (楚原), is diagnosed with dementia. It is known that the 79-year-old director and actor, who has been active in the industry since the 1950s, began showing recurring signs of memory loss around two years ago. After checking up with a neurologist, it was confirmed that the veteran was diagnosed with mild dementia.
Chor Yuen’s current condition is an open secret among the industry. His wife, veteran Hong Kong film actress Nan Hong (南紅), confirmed Chor Yuen’s deteriorating health to the press last year, “He’s old! What can he do now? His brain [functioning] is getting worse.”
Though Chor Yuen now has to rely on the help of others to perform everyday activities, his condition is not serious. His doctor explained that Chor Yuen’s dementia is currently only at its early stages – taking medication and doing consistent activities that can stimulate the brain will be able to prevent the illness from worsening. Chor Yuen has recently taken up calligraphy and learning tai chi with family and friends.
A source close to Chor Yuen said, “When he first heard about his condition, Uncle Chor Yuen couldn’t believe it. Thankfully, both he and [Nan Hong] are optimistic people, so he’s becoming more accepting.”
Chor Yuen and Nan Hong have been married for 47 years. The source revealed that since Chor Yuen’s diagnosis, Nan Hong has quit all her interest classes in order to take care of her husband. “She used to attend a lot of interest classes – guzheng classes, erhu classes, painting, and would also meet up with her friends to practice some qigong, but Chor Yuen’s memory loss was getting severe and his temper was getting worse. She couldn’t leave him at home alone, so she stopped attending classes to take care of Uncle Chor Yuen 24/7. She knows her husband likes wonton, so she would make some for him every day. And she would always remind him about taking medicine.”
Chor Yuen’s friends have also been supportive. Occasionally, Chor Yuen and Nan Hong would be captured eating out with close friends, and Chor Yuen would be in good spirits.
Chor Yuen entered the film industry in the 1950s as a film writer. His interest in writing and directing movies came from his father Cheung Wood Yau (張活游), who was a famous Cantonese actor in the 1940s. When Chor Yuen first entered the industry, he was professionally known as “Chun Yu” (秦雨).
Over the years, Chor Yuen directed and wrote over one hundred films, including timeless classics such as 1960’s The Great Devotion <可憐天下父母心>, 1977’s Death Duel <三少爺的劍> and Clans of Intrigue <楚留香>, as well as 1973’s comedy film The House of 72 Tenants <七十二家房客>, which was known for breaking the box office records set by Bruce Lee’s (李小龍) Enter the Dragon <龍爭虎鬥>.
Towards the end of his career in the 1990s, Chor Yuen retired from directing and writing, opting to spend most of his time making casual guest appearances in TVB dramas. He has starred in hit dramas such as The Legendary Four Aces <金裝四大才子> and War of the Genders <男親女愛>.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.