Veteran TVB actor Lau Kong (劉江) is not only a familiar face to Hong Kong viewers, but is also an influential mentor who is extremely passionate about his craft. Turning 73 years old this month, Lau Kong has no intentions of retiring completely from the entertainment industry, despite battling some health issues.
Suffering from Vascular Calcification
In 2015, Lau Kong underwent an angioplasty surgery. During a routine physical, he was found to have vascular calcification and underwent surgery. At the time, he was in the middle of filming Brother’s Keeper 2 (巨輪II). He was scheduled to film a scene just two days after his scheduled surgery date, where he rushed into a building engulfed in fire. In order to not delay the filming progress, Lau Kong chose to instead postpone his surgery date.
“Initially, I wasn’t afraid, but when I found out I had health issues concerning my arteries, I was a bit worried. The doctor had originally prescribed tongue spray and told me to use it when I need to. If I used it and still feel unwell, I would have to call the ambulance. However, I left it in my car at home. During filming that day, producer Amy Wong (王心慰) was also on set and instructed the director: ‘Take care of Lau Kong. If anything gets out of hand, don’t let him proceed with filming.’ You know how it is with actors. When the cameras start rolling, you get into character. The scene finished in one take.” After the surgery, Lau Kong recalled, “I was released on the second day. Fortunately, I had no trouble eating or moving around.”
Since that health incident in 2015, Lau Kong has been generally healthy. However, the actor is hoping to slowly reduce his projects. Due to his love for acting, he hopes to continue filming and only slowly fade into retirement as his age increases.
His wife has also urged him to retire and go traveling with her more often. The couple has one son, who is in his 40s, and is financially successful. With little financial obligations, Lau Kong certainly has the means to retire. However, he is passionate about acting and does not want to give it up completely. “I am taking on less than half of the projects than what I used to. In the past, I would film about 50 or 60 projects. I am hoping to film less and less projects each year, and eventually having that number reduce to zero and then retire.”
Lau Kong entered the entertainment industry through the Cathay Organization’s Artiste Training Course. After dabbling in movies with little success, he began his television career under the urging of Lau Dan (劉丹). He made his television debut in ATV’s The Legend of the Condor Heroes 1976 <射鵰英雄傳>. Because of his masculine and strong, steadfast image, he was heavily cast in many dramas.
At just 33 years old, however, Lau Kong’s television career took a turn when he suffered a stroke due to being overworked. After his health took a hit, he felt underappreciated by ATV and noticed that the station seemingly cast him aside and lowered his pay.
It was then he decided to instead switch to TVB, who offered more opportunities and a better salary for supporting actors. He has since been with TVB for 38 years, making himself a highly respected veteran actor among Hong Kong and many overseas viewers.
Source: Ming Pao Weekly
This article is written by Huynh for JayneStars.com.