Ng Man Tat Struggles to Support 3 Wives

Once a staple in Hong Kong films in the 1990s, 65-year-old Ng Man Tat (吳孟達) has fallen into financial hardships. He is struggling to support his large family, which consists of two ex-wives, current wife, and five children from his three marriages.

Ng Man Tat was once a household name known for being Stephen Chow‘s (周星馳) hilarious sidekick in dozens of movies. The legendary duo took Hong Kong by storm two decades ago, collaborating in classics such as Fight Back to School <逃學威龍>, All For the Winner <賭聖>, and God of Cookery <食神>.

Fallout with Stephen Chow

However, Ng Man Tat’s glorious days ended shortly after he worked with Stephen on Shaolin Soccer <少林足球> – with rumors that the two had a dispute over filming issues for Kung Fu Hustle <功夫>. Since their fallout, Ng Man Tat has not worked with Stephen again. Ng Man Tat’s film career dwindled away, while Stephen became a critically and commercially successful director.

As his screen roles became smaller, Ng Man Tat began struggling with his finances. But three marriages left Ng Man Tat with a large family to support. To take care of his three wives and five children, Ng Man Tat reportedly needs $300,000 HKD a month.

A Life of Heavy Drinking and Gambling

Despite his hilarious roles, Ng Man Tat possessed questionable habits. When he was younger, he was a heavy drinker and gambler, and spent his time with many women. His unhealthy lifestyle caught up with him after Ng Man Tat entered his sixties, rendering him with little income and failing health.

When Ng Man Tat was broke several years ago, he had asked to borrow money from Chow Yun Fat (周潤發), who turned him down after finding out about Ng Man Tat’s addictive habits. It was Stephen Chow who gave him some money and provided Ng Man Tat with some acting offers. But with his fallout with Stephen, Ng Man Tat’s most lucrative income source dried out.

Regretting how he lived his life in his early years, Ng Man Tat lamented to the public and said others should not take after him and have three wives. He also urged others to quit drinking and gambling.

While many viewers said Ng Man Tat has no one to blame but himself for his financial misery, fans still wished to see the classic pairing of Ng Man Tat and Stephen Chow in a movie together in the future.

Above: Ng Man Tat with his first wife, Mak Lei Lei (麥莉莉) and second wife, Lo Shiu Tsi (盧少慈).

Above: With third and current wife, Hou San Yin (侯珊燕).

Sources: Sina [1,2]

This article is written by Su for

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  1. Poor thing!! I do missed his old comedy movie with Stephen Chow my favorite movie from them are Fight Back To School, Tricky Brain and God of Gamblers.

    1. @cutie777 yup, I miss his old comedies too. They don’t make them like him anymore. I hope he gets past his financial woes soon, and his health improves.

  2. He’s a credible actor. There’s no reason he’s struggling to make ends meet since I’m sure lots of TV producers and directors want and can work with him. Stephen Chow isn’t the only one in showbiz that hires actors. If he’s struggling, it’s likely not due to offers, but maybe his own pickiness. He’s an icon in HK for crying out loud

    1. @coralie
      I don’t believe the reports because Ng Man Tat is so famous from his earlier days with Stephen Chow that he is in high demand with Mainland productions. The gambling and drinking happened very early in his career in the late 70s and early 80s. If he has financial worry it will be because of his poor health which has limited the hours, he can film

      1. @jimmyszeto

        Totally! From what’s been reported, NG MAN TAT has heart problems. He said he can’t work for long hours and act in over-the-top scenes. He won’t ever have a shortage of work. His issue is likely that he’s picky about his roles.

  3. i highly doubt that they will collaborate again. stephen chow is so different from before and he hasn’t made movie appearances for the last 10 years. it’d be nice to see them pair up again but chance is probably nil.

    1. @m0m0
      Stephen Chow could still possible cast Ng Man Tat in his future movies but the problem is that Ng Man Tat is well past his peak. We all know how ruthless Stephen Chow is when it comes to selecting actors and he is a perfectionist….

  4. I’m sure Ng Man Tat still has his acting chops, but unfortunate circumstances has slowed him down. It would be great to see him and Stephen Chow team up again, but they they had a bad falling out, and neither might want to make the first move at patching up things. What a shame as they were like gold together. Why on earth is he still paying alimony to his exes is ridiculous. The children are adults and can look after themselves. I hope Ng Man Tat can get back on his feet. He is a comedic legend

    1. @kmfayb
      We have seen in OCTB that Ng Man Tat has aged significantly and won’t have the physical energy to pull out anymore classic performances. With his recent ill health, a few cameos here and there is fine. People are just dreaming if they expect a future collaboration with Stephen Chow. Even if the it does happen, it will likely be a disappointment. Those days have long gone and we have to move on….

  5. Okaaay….Hello, anybody home??. I thought I said that circumstances ad slowed Ng Man Tat down. No one can expect the physical high energy performaes from Man Tat anymore, but a gread comedian like him can still make an audience laugh.

    1. @kmfayb

      Since Ng Man Tat parted ways with Stephen Chow, he hasn’t starred in ANY comedic roles. Needless to say, I HIGHLY doubt that trend will change now.

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