Liu Kai Chi and Barbara Chan Experienced Heartbreaking Death of Son

Liu Kai Chi’s love and support helped the popular 80s actress recover from depression.

At his two recent concerts, Hong Kong singer Louis Castro (賈思樂) invited Louise Lee (李司棋), Anna Ng (吳浣儀), Monica Chan (陳法蓉) and Barbara Chan (陳敏兒) as special guests. However, the cancellation of the last concert disappointed audiences who wanted to catch a glimpse of the stars.

Already 59, Barbara Chan was a well-known 1980s TVB actress who later quit the entertainment industry for her family. Taken ill with serious depression, she managed to overcome this chapter of her life with her husband Liu Kai Chi’s (廖啟智) support.

Did Not Mind Their Career Gap

Joining TVB in 1979, Barbara Chan started dating Liu Kai Chi, her colleague who was three years her senior. Due to her pretty looks, Barbara quickly became a lead actress, and rose to fame in The Emissary<獵鷹>, playing lovers with Andy Lau (劉德華). Following this successful drama, she was lead actress in almost every drama which followed, appearing in The Book and the Sword <書劍恩仇錄>, General Father General Son <薛丁山征西>, and Twilight of a Nation <太平天國>. She also hosted Sports World <體育世界> alongside big name hosts.

Although Barbara was heavily promoted by TVB as a leading fadan, Liu Kai Chi remained a supporting actor. Despite their career gap widening, Barbara did not mind and even brought up the topic of marriage in their eighth year of dating.

After marriage, the two continued working until the birth of their eldest son Liu Man Chit (廖文哲), which prompted Barbara to quit acting and become a full-time housewife while her husband supported the family financially.

Fell into Depression Following Son’s Demise from Illness

The couple had three sons and was the portrait of a happy family until 2003 when their 3-year-old son Liu Man Lok (廖文諾) came down with leukemia. Chemotherapy was done by inserting a plastic tube into his blood vessel to deliver medicine or obtain blood, six to eight times daily for an hour each time. Once, the nurse accidentally cut the tube and Barbara had to deliver the medicine directly to her son’s blood vessel, causing him to scream out in pain. Due to issues with his bone marrow, Man Lok’s condition worsened and he was admitted to the isolation ward for over 10 days, during which his parents watched over him anxiously.

During the three years of chemotherapy, Liu Kai Chi took care of his two older boys, while bringing his youngest son in and out of hospital and making sure his three meals well taken care of before rushing off for hosting work. Barbara said, “My heart was breaking. Why was God so cruel in allowing my son to suffer so much? Why not just let him die?”

In 2006, the demise of her youngest son caused Barbara to fall into the clutches of depression and even contemplate suicide. At that time, Barbara despised Liu Kai Chi for grieving over their youngest child and remaining in a dispirited state for a long period of time She said, “I thought my husband was so weak. I thought it was a sin; I felt he was useless.”

Luckily, the two went for couple’s therapy. Barbara started to realize that she too had her weak moments during her son’s battle with illness, so she apologized to Liu Kai Chi. It dawned on her that Liu Kai Chi loved her very much and was very understanding towards her. Their strong marriage was also not possible without the past experience they shared.

When her eldest son Liu Man Chit (廖文哲) later started to wear makeup and expressed his desires to be a woman, Barbara was able to respond calmly. She clarified that he was only doubtful, but has already ascertained his gender orientation and likes girls.

Slowly coming out of life’s difficulties, Barbara shared about her painful experience in losing a child. “The three years of struggle made me very withdrawn. I also realized how fragile life can be. What can be more important than family when we are alive? To cherish the times we spend with them, that is the most vital.” Going on a television interview recently, Barbara opened up and shared that “the hardship allowed us to become more close as a family.”


Barbara Chan’s Interview:

Source: Sky Post

This article is written by JoyceK for

Eugina Lau and Peter Cheung Put Son’s Death Behind Them

Related Articles


  1. This is how a real marriage and true love should be. A couple remaining together even through the real tough times. Most can’t make it after a death of a child due to the reminder of the pain. I admire this couple very much.

  2. Poor baby boy and poor parents. I can’t imagine how that must feel to have a child so sick and suffering every day. They must’ve been so devastated and LKC still had to work. It must’ve broken Barbara, and it’s telling when she asked why god didn’t just let her son die. Strong words, but I understand where she was coming from.

  3. I’ve loved both Uncle Chi and Barbara (individually as artists and together as a couple) since the 80s when both were at the height of their careers. Watching them go through so many of life’s milestones together — dating, marriage, birth of their sons, heartbreaking death of their youngest, career ups and downs, etc. — and to see their love not only continue to endure, but actually get stronger as the years go by, it restores my belief in the beauty of true love. Another entertainment industry couple I love whose relationship was along similar lines was Samuel Kwok and his late wife Susanna AuYeung, a couple whose love transcended even death. Both couples are proof that you CAN have long-lasting and enduring love relationships in the entertainment industry — it may be the exception, but it definitely exists!

  4. I never knew. It’s heartwarming that they have each other through thick and thin. Definitely the couple of the year/ages/century.

Comments are closed.