One of the best known Western faces in Hong Kong, former TVB actor Gregory Charles Rivers (河國榮) died in an apparent suicide at his residence in Tai Au Man, Clear Water Bay. Gregory was certified dead at the scene by medics, with a basin of burnt charcoal found near him. No will was retrieved by law enforcement officers.
The 58-year-old was found unconscious and unresponsive in his bed by his sister-in-law, who visited after Gregory failed to respond to text messages for two days since his last reply on January 31. His manager, Ms. Leung, arrived with a female friend at the scene upon receiving the news. According to Ms. Leung, Gregory’s family was in Australia and he did not have any remaining kin in Hong Kong. Gregory’s friends have reached out to his two sisters in Australia as his posthumous matters are being attended to.
A Pioneer for Westerners at TVB
Born in Queensland, Gregory was studying medicine at the University of New South Wales in Australia in 1980s. A passion for Cantonese pop culture saw him give up his studies, and eventually move to Hong Kong in 1987 to start a career in entertainment. He appeared in over 200 local television series as a police inspector, missionary and supervisor–becoming the “go-to guy” for Western characters at TVB for two decades. Gregory’s last dramatic project was ViuTV’s 2022 production, Into The Wild <野人老師>.
In recent years, the actor was plagued by a string of illnesses including depression, acid reflux and skin cancer of the right ear, for which he underwent successful surgery in 2017. He reportedly racked up heavy debt after undergoing heart surgeries, following a diagnosis of arrhythmia. Gregory’s wife, Bonnie, had passed away from illness late last year.
Named Gregory Charles River, a university mate had suggested Ho as his surname, which is a translation of “Rivers.” He took on Kwok Wing as his first name after his idol Leslie Cheung (張國榮). Gregory once mentioned on a music program that “Ho Kwok Wing” was printed on his identification card as his legal Chinese name.
Gregory’s Classic Performance in “Blood of Good and Evil”: