Hong Kong director and actor Chor Yuen (楚原) passed away on February 21 at the age of 87. He was also an integral and respected figure in the history of Hong Kong film, and later acted in many TVB dramas in fatherly roles. Many who had worked with Chor Yuen are distressed by his passing, and recall his generous spirit in mentoring younger artistes.
Anita Yuen Regarded Chor Yuen as a Father
Appearing in his first TVB series as an actor in 1991’s The Family Squad <卡拉屋企>, Chor Yuen developed close relationships with his co-stars. Anita Lee (李婉華), who played his daughter in the sitcom, burst into tears stating that she is in shock and has not accepted his passing yet. Growing up without a father figure, Anita regarded Chor Yuen as her real father. “He really loved me. When we saw each other, he would say, ‘I don’t see a lot of people, but if it’s you I’ll definitely come out.’ Every time we had dim sum, he would treat me and it felt very warm and kind. I really thought of him as my father. I had also called to wish him a happy Chinese New Year and he was still asking me whether I’d be coming back soon. I told him to not go out due to the pandemic.”
When Anita visited Hong Kong in August, she met up with Chor Yuen and Angelina Lo (盧苑茵) for dim sum. As Angelina often portrayed Chor Yuen’s wife in dramas, she is also very distraught.
Francis Ng Feels Deep Grief
Another cast member of The Family Squad, Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) was so distraught that he hid alone and did not speak to anyone. He asked his family to pass along a message sharing that the news came too suddenly, and he really misses Chor Yuen.
They had regular dinners, and the last time they saw each other was in 2019. Francis deeply regrets that they were unable to see each other in recent years, due to him working in China and having to quarantine.
Actor Joe Tay (鄭敬基), who played Chor Yuen’s son in The Family Squad, uploaded a cast photo online and also recalls his fond memories working together.
Jackie Chan Remembers Good Advice
Jackie Chan (成龍), who had worked with Chor Yuen in The Police Story <警察故事> film franchise, posted a tribute on Weibo, “My memories are still very clear. Now looking back, it turns out that many years have already passed. He used to say, ‘No matter how grand you were yesterday, no matter how dejected you felt yesterday, you must pick yourself up when you wake up tomorrow. You need to continue living. Tomorrow will always be better, this is life.’ We juniors will always remember your words. I hope you rest in peace.”
Other Artistes Recall Chor Yuen’s Kindness
Candice Yu (余安安), who has taken part in many of the late director’s Shaw Brothers wuxia movies, shared a photo them together. “I was sad to learn of this news. I remember filming many of his movies when I first made my debut. He always took good care of me. We would go over to Ti Lung’s (狄龍) home to play mahjong, while waiting for good lighting to film. No one was able to read his writing other than his assistant director. Every year in November, I would meet my good friends from Shaw Brothers for a reunion dinner, but we haven’t been able to in recent years due to the pandemic. What a pity! I still remember his thought-provoking acceptance speech at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards. Director, rest in peace, I’ll miss you.”
Like Candice, Sammi Cheng (鄭秀文) also worked with Chor Yuen when she debuted in the industry. They collaborated in TVB drama, The Vampire Returns <大頭綠衣鬥殭屍>. “Uncle Chor Yuen, please rest in peace. I was lucky to have worked with you when I first made my debut. Your generosity, humor, and care for juniors allowed me to feel no pressure and even encouraged me. I also witnessed the meaning of ‘professional’ from your actions. I am deeply grateful for the beautiful and memorable body of work that you have left us. Thank you,” she wrote.
Collaborating together in The A Kindred Spirit<真情>, Kenny Wong (黃德斌) recalls Chor Yuen as a personable and friendly person. Kenny hopes that he will rest in peace.
Chor Yuen’s son, Cheung Lok Si (張詩樂), expressed his yearning for his father through an ancient poem. As Chor Yuen’s last wishes were to have a simple parting ceremony, his funeral will be held privately. Thanking everyone for their concern and expressing Chor Yuen had lived a full life, he hopes everyone will remember his father when they watch Hong Kong films.
Source: Sing Tao
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.