Anita Lee Reveals Past Romance with Francis Ng Was an Unhappy One

By on September 2, 2013 in NEWS

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Retired actress Anita Lee (李婉華) spoke about her past relationship with Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) in an interview with Candy Chea (車淑梅) yesterday for RTHK’s Hong Kong Footpath <舊日的足跡>.

Anita and Francis were a popular TVB couple in the 1990s. They started dating after meeting on the set of 1989’s Everybody Loves Somebody <公私三文治> and partnered again in 1992’s Family Squad <卡拉屋企>. Both sitcoms aired to popular reception at the time.

After marrying her stockbroker boyfriend in Canada in 2003, Anita has since quit show business and moved to Vancouver. Now a mother of three children, 45-year-old Anita revealed her heart has never left Hong Kong as she often kept up with local news and entertainment gossip.

It is no surprise that Anita has been following recent hot drama, Triumph in the Skies 2 <衝上雲霄II>, in which ex-boyfriend Francis Ng stars. Anita was generous in her praises for Francis’ acting. She remarked that not only has Francis’ acting reached a pinnacle, he is also looking better.

After breaking up with Francis, Anita had also dated Kenny Ho (何家勁). She confessed that she was unhappy in both relationships. Unable to understand how her relationship with Francis could end after eight years, Anita looked to self-help books about love for answers. She admitted that she was partly responsible, but has since learned that women need to exercise forbearance and should not throw fits in every situation.

When asked if either of the men had been unfaithful to her, Anita did not directly respond to the question, but instead remarked that even if the other party had been unfaithful, it may have been partially her fault for not being able to keep the man by her side. She learned from her past relationships and even shared dating advice on her former Commercial Radio program.

Sources: Ming Pao; Apple Daily

This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.

44 comments to Anita Lee Reveals Past Romance with Francis Ng Was an Unhappy One

  1. pandamao says:

    Anita looks great .. always thought she was a good match for Francis – too bad it ended after 8 years.

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    • bizzybody replied:

      Yeah. Fortunately, she’s also good at handling awkward questions with tactful answers.

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      • Mimi replied:

        She has her own radio talk show in Vancouver.

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    • felicity replied:

      Yes, Anita Lee was very pretty in her prime. Imo, Anita’s much prettier and sweeter looking than both Francis Ng’s love interests in TITS 2 – Myolie Wu and Fala Chen. Francis and Anita made a very cute couple in the 2 sitcoms they acted in together (Family Squad was an old favorite of mine :-)). But in real life, she and Kenny Ho were hotter. Kenny was so handsome in that Justice Bao series (I think his Chin Chiu set the standard for all the other Justice Bao adaptations) and many girls watched Justice Pao just to drool over him, lol. Too bad they broke up, but I always suspected that Kenny Ho was a closeted gay. Don’t ask why, just a feeling.

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      • jayne replied:

        Felicity,
        Anita Lee was better in comedies than in dramas. During the 90s, dramatic actresses such as Maggie Shiu were more popular and featured in more grand productions. Anita appeared in mainly smaller-budgeted series and her memorable roles were opposite Francis Ng due to their chemistry together.

        For example, I felt Anita was somewhat lost in her role in 1990’s “The Gods and Demons of Zu Mountain Saga” (蜀山奇俠), which starred Eddie Kwan.

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      • felicity replied:

        @Jayne: I concur with you about Anita Lee’s lack of dramatic acting chops. She was much better suited to light hearted comedies than serious dramas…if I had to make a comparison to TVB’s current crop of actresses, I’d say that Eliza Sam has the same breezy charm and likeability as Anita Lee. For serious modern dramas and ancient dramas in the 80s and early 90s, there were many better actresses that I prefer watching eg. Dodo Cheng, Barbara Yung, Carina Lau, Maggie Siu, Idy Chan, Teresa Mo, Sheren Tang, Amy Kwok, Jacqueline Law, Kitty Lai, Ada Choi etc.

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  2. sandcherry says:

    Anita Lee is still very pretty. She has not changed much over the years (even after having 3 kids).

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    • HeTieShou replied:

      Where did you see her recent photo? That photo above is old so can’t judge based on that. Wow, can’t believe she has 3 kids now. Time really flies.

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      • llwy12 replied:

        @HTS: Anita’s recent photo was included in the recent news articles summarizing her interview on Candy’s program. I agree that Anita still looks really good (and after 3 children too!!).

        I was also one of those who really liked Francis and Anita as a couple back then — too bad their relationship didn’t last (though being together 8 years actually isn’t that bad considering they were both in showbiz).

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      • HeTieShou replied:

        @llwy12,
        Thanks and yea I just saw the photo. She does look great after all these years and after having 3 kids. I wish she can come back to act.
        How are you doing lately? I want to respond to you on AF but forgot my password so I have not been on there lately.
        It is sad that their relationship did not work out, but I guess they only had Yuan but no Fen. People can be married for 40+ years and still end it so nothing is a guarantee…

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  3. Erica says:

    Does any one know when was the picture above taken. Francis look same as now, in fact I think he look better now

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    • sandcherry replied:

      Francis Ng was not a good-looking guy when he was young. Probably there were too many good-looking siu sangs in TVB at that time, so he was not considered a good-looking one.

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      • Hannahh replied:

        agreed!

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    • HeTieShou replied:

      That photo is pretty old but not sure when it was taken. I am guessing that it was taken during the 90s.

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    • windy replied:

      Are you kidding? He looks so damn ugly and old now at only 50 years old. He was one time you can say a good looking TVB actor back in the days.

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      • felicity replied:

        Aww, don’t be too harsh on Francis Ng. Lol. Yes, I agree he’s starting to show his age at 52, but he’s far from looking like a ugly grandpa. His looks has not changed much from his youth – and Francis was never that good looking even as a young man. He was not really a siu sang type of actor but more of a character actor, much like Sean Lau Ching Wan and Bobbie Au.

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  4. Larry 3 says:

    She hasnt quit showbiz… she has her own talkshow on Fairchild Radio in Vancouver

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    • sandcherry replied:

      Agree!

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    • Bubblez replied:

      Due to her radio program is from 3-4pm on weekdays, she isn’t as popular as other radio host’s programs (eg. Brenda點唱機 / Deborah Moore (摩登狄寶娜)’s programs).

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      • sandcherry replied:

        I think Anita Lee is more focused in her family life than in her showbiz career. I heard that she is very happily married to her husband. Very happy for her.

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      • HeTieShou replied:

        I bet she married a well off guy that she loves as well do is able to focus more on family rather than career. I have not heard about her for a long time so
        great to know that she is doing well.

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  5. sophia says:

    I like Kenny Ho. Anita Lee + Kenny Ho = great looking couple. Too bad Kenny was too popular after Justice Pao so he might cheated on her. He is still single right? Its not for me to judge cause I really really like hime but probably too many girls are attracted to him and he is also attracted to them so he cant settle down. Please correct me if i am wrong. Just my two cents.

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    • HeTieShou replied:

      Why do you think that Kenny cheated on her just because he was popular? I wonder why many always think that a couple broke up because the guy cheated?? A couple can break up due to many many reasons that usually only they would know about and no one else. What if it was the woman that cheated?? I heard that Kenny is single but he loves this other former Taiwanese singer. They both promised to marry each other if by a certain age they are still not married. But the past is the past and glad that Anita has found her happiness so hope that Kenny will eventually too.

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      • sophia replied:

        Yeah true. I dont know. I might be wrong :). But I think I read an article before and it said so. But again I might be wrong.
        I really like both of them especially Kenny.

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      • sophia replied:

        Oh yeah I read that on Wikipedia. The age that they would married each other: 60. I honestly hope they will not be single by then. But then again, I cant believe Kenny is 53,54 already and he still looks so young.

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      • Megamiaow replied:

        It’s obvious that SOMEBODY cheated on her. It’s either one of the 2 or she would not have stayed silent when asked the question, and then further add it could be their own fault if a partner cheats.
        BTW, that advice stinks and no self respecting man or woman should blame themselves if a partner cheats. Either they dont do it at all, or they break up with you first. There’s no grey area.

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      • HeTieShou replied:

        Not necessarily, what if she was the one that cheated so of course she would stay silent. It is not always the guy that cheats. Women can cheat as well…

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      • megamiaow replied:

        Ok, I give you that (although I doubt it nonetheless.) Still, her take on cheating are wrong, whether it was excusing her partner or herself.

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  6. Austin says:

    She looks very familiar, did she do any films as well? or just TV? I could of sworn I saw her in a 90’s film.

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    • Austin replied:

      Nvm I confused her with Vivian Chow, they look quite similar.

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      • Ray replied:

        Vivian Chow a lot sweeter and naive look, hehehe. I prefer Vivian Chow lo.. 🙂

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  7. CC says:

    she hasn’t change a bit.. look at this pic! It was taken in Dec last year
    http://www.am1470.com/hot_topics_detail.php?i=1431&year=2013&month=6

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    • Lily replied:

      She is aging gracefully.

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  8. Vel says:

    Lmao. I have been listening to her on Chinese radio since I was little (in Vancouver of course). I didn’t know she dated Francis for that many years O_o, must be awkward to watch his new drama TITS2 lol. One time I saw Anita and her daughter in a restaurant, and she looks as pretty as her mom. She’s going to have a lot of guys hogging over her once she hits high school :P.

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  9. Charbydis says:

    I loved them both as a couple back in “Family Squad”. They had great chemistry. In a way, I sad that it didn’t last for them but happy that eventually, they both found someone to spend the rest of their lives with.

    Anita was one of the most underrated actresses back in TVB. She was very pretty, could act in drama and comedy but still she did not have much leading roles.

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    • windy replied:

      Totally agree, she was one of the prettiest actresses back in her days and can never understand why she was so underrated. She looks way better the Sonjia woman at least from the pics alone.

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      • sandcherry replied:

        It was a lot harder to get promoted in old days. TVB goes for seniority and popularity because there were too many pretty and good acting actresses at that time, unlike nowadays.

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      • felicity replied:

        Well, TVB was brimming with talents at time and they were spoilt for choice. Even the second line 80’s TVB actresses could act circles around some of the TVB overly promoted fadans today. One thing was sure, during the 80s there was a much bigger variety of fadans – some were stunning pageanty types (Shalin Tse, Monica Chan), others demure and sweet (Jamie Chic, Kitty Lai, Anita Lee), others had mischievious (Margie Tsang), tomboyish or cute personalities (Jacqueline Law, Barbara Yung) but all could act decently from their first lead series.

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    • llwy12 replied:

      Yup…Anita has always been underrated as an actress. But as sandcherry pointed out, she wasn’t the only one – a lot of actresses (and actors) back then (80s and 90s) were underrated and not properly promoted, since TVB had so many talented artists at the time that it was difficult to keep up. There were only so many series that TVB produced in a year and to give all those talented artists prominent roles was difficult (unlike now where TVB has gotten to the point that they need to ‘scrape the bottom of the barrel’ in order to come up with decent artists to cast in prominent roles – which is partly why they are left with no choice but to ask so many veterans to come back in recent years).

      I actually started liking Francis and Anita as a couple back during Everybody Loves Somebody (love that sitcom!). Even though I liked them in Family Squad as well and could still feel the chemistry between the 2 of them, it wasn’t as good as their ELS pairing (I sort of feel the same way with all celebrity couples who film together after it’s known that they are dating or they actually get married to each other – something always feels different….it’s no wonder that a lot of celebrity couples prefer not to work together if they can help it…)

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  10. joojaibao says:

    I Like Anita Lee alot hope she comes back to TVB I really wanna see most of the veteran artist back in TVB

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  11. Jill says:

    And all the exes are coming out of the woodwork because of TITS2 popularity. I’m waiting to see when Maple Hui will come out to talk about Chilam.

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    • HeTieShou replied:

      Hm… good point and was wondering why this piece of news just randomly came out??? Their relationship is the distant past and they suddenly just bring it up. Strange…

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    • llwy12 replied:

      @Jill: LOL…good point, though I doubt that will happen now because it was only a few years ago (4-5 years) when Maple and Chilam’s ‘rumors’ were pulled back out by the HK Media (remember back when Chilam held his first ever concert and Maple was a guest performer — that was back in 2008 or 2009 I think?) The Media doesn’t have much interest in Maple anymore since all that was re-hashed just recently (meaning few years ago)….Anita is different because she’s been out of the HK limelight for a long time and even in previous interviews, she doesn’t talk a whole lot about her previous 2 relationships so any little piece of information is considered ‘newsworthy’….

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  12. Summer says:

    So funny that I am currently rerunning Family Squad <卡拉屋企 and I love Anita and Francis’ characters there. I think she looks really beautiful back then and now.

    I agreed that Francis wasn’t that good looking back then. Is he one of the best actors on Telling Maria – 最佳男主角 that said he is a little cross-eyed? And that it took him a long time to correct it?? Not sure.

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