Dicky Cheung Has Been Supporting His Family Since 17

Dicky Cheung (張衛健) appeared as a guest on Steven Ma‘s (馬浚偉) self-produced talk show Fate Comes From Coffee <緣來自咖啡>, where he spoke about the pressures in his early career. Since his parents divorced when Dicky was young, the actor started supporting his family when he entered the entertainment industry at 17 years old.

Working as a sailor, Dicky’s father was often away but would physically abuse the family when he returned home once a year. After his parents divorced due to his father’s extramarital affair, Dicky became the sole financial provider for the family. He saved up money to send his brother overseas for schooling, but unfortunately had to give up on his own studies.

Shouldering such a big responsibility when he was still a teenager gave Dicky a lot of pressure, especially since he made very little money as an artiste in his early career. “After I joined TVB, I wasn’t given any opportunities to be a lead character. We all know that TVB’s salary was not fantastic, so I was struggling to get by. It got to the point where I didn’t have money to put food on the table. I felt a lot of pressure to be the breadwinner of the family at 17 because I had only just graduated from high school. But I was still very happy–it is a fortunate thing to be able to have family members to take care of.”

Passionate about the entertainment industry, Dicky did not mind the initial small roles in TVB dramas. When he starred as the Monkey King in Journey to the West <西遊記>, it was a major turning point in his career which opened up opportunities in China. Dicky commented, “I really love that character and fully immersed myself into becoming him. At that time, I really thought I was the Monkey King!”

No longer as prolific in his later career, Dicky’s intention is to only film select projects. He accepts a new job every three to five years, which creates a strong sense of desire to perform. “When I sang ‘Good Health’ <身體健康>, the producer was already okay with the recording, but I requested to sing a few more times. There was really no reason behind it other than my desire to sing. I bring the same mindset to acting.”

When asked how he maintains his positive mindset, Dicky shared that it is most important that to figure out what personal happiness means. Is it necessary to have a house and a car to be happy? Do we need to sacrifice lifestyle for survival? “Back when I couldn’t even afford beef chow fun, I still felt that I was living life to its fullest because I had goals and wasn’t just sitting around waiting for luck. I was using my time and energy to create opportunities for myself.”

Source: HK01

This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.

Dicky Cheung Talks About Abusive Father and Financial Setbacks

Andy Lau Saved Dicky Cheung From Going Bankrupt

Related Articles


  1. he had been a lead for a few years before journey to the west. it isn’t clear is his salary was still meager then.

    1. @m0m0
      Yes but I heard his salary was still low in spite of playing leading roles. We all know how cheap tvb is. Most artists make their money elsewhere. Dicky did not make it big until he left tvb and went to Taiwan and then China. He would have still been getting a low salary if he stayed at TVB.

      1. @hetieshou
        Apparently Dicky asked for a better pay rise because he felt unfair that Kwong Wah was on a lot more than him. TVB did not like being challenged so it ended up Dicky not featuring in the 2nd ‘Journey in the West’..

      2. @jimmyszeto
        Yes I heard about that but I did not hear about the Kwong Wah bit. I heard he asked for a raise but TVB refused. Dicky then changed his mind and was willing to do it for the low price since he loved the role of Monkey King. However, it was too late and they chose Benny already. That was when Dicky decided to leave TVB and went to Taiwan.

      3. @m0m0
        Sadly you know how stupid and cheap TVB is which is why they have gone downhill so much. I like Dicky as Monkey King but Liu Xiao Ling Tong from the China version is my most favorite Monkey King ever.

      4. @hetieshou
        yea, that’s what many people say but dicky’s the one i can remember. wayne also made it so memerable too, he’s the best pig out there, i still chuckle when i think about how he picked his nose.

      5. @m0m0
        Did you ever watch the China version? I think it had the best cast and everything overall as it took years to film. This was when China did not really have major filming companies like they do now. They only filmed the classics like Journey to the West, Dream of the red Chamber, The story of the water margin,etc… Wayne was ok but the one in the China version was very good too. I saw the China remake in 2011 and that was good as well.

      6. @hetieshou
        i didn’t watch the chinese version. perhaps i could check it out w/my kids someday to expose them to chinese culture more. thx for the info.

      7. @m0m0
        You are welcome and I highly recommend the Chinese version as it is a classic. I like the 2011 remake too. My late parents and my whole family enjoyed the 80s version too. I am sure yours kids would enjoy it too. The cast was excellent,the costumes, acting, sets,and everything was great!

  2. D_icky has been through a lot and I wish him all the happiness. Artistes back then actually had to go through many adversities to become a star unlike today.

    IMO I think for many millennials he will always be the Monkey king in their hearts. 六小龄童 ‘s portrayal was a classic but few will hear of his name since the 1986 ver isn’t as well known (overseas at least).

Comments are closed.