Obituary: Hong Kong Actor, Kong Ngai, Died from Lung Cancer

Yesterday, veteran Hong Kong actor Kong Ngai (江毅) passed away in Ruttonjee Hospital due to lung cancer, at the age of 77.

Kong Ngai gained fame perfecting the role of Guo Jing’s blind master in TVB’s 1983 and 1994 adaptations of The Legend of the Condor Heroes <射鵰英雄傳>. Kong was one of the most prolific, yet understated actor from the 1970s and 1980s.

Kong’s death was announced by former ATV producer, Yeung Siu Hung (楊紹鴻), on his Facebook page. According to Yeung, he had wanted to visit Kong Ngai at the hospital but was informed that he had passed away in the afternoon.

Kong’s friend and neighbor, Wong Jun Tong (王俊棠), revealed that Kong Ngai had been battling lung cancer for more than one year.

Kong was born in Hong Kong in 1936 under the birth name is Tang Siu Ji (鄧兆移). He changed his name to Kong Ngai in memory of his most respected percussion master, Fu Kong Sum (傅江湛). Kong’s affluent family fled Macau during the Sino-Japanese war. He made various stock investments and only dabbled with drama on the side, delighting in playing siu sangs in Cantonese operas. However, knowing the risks involved in investing stocks, Kong Ngai became a full-fledged actor in 1974 when he joined TVB.

“A Condor Hero”

Though Kong had always played supporting roles, his acting left a deep impression upon viewers, especially his portrayal of Or Chan Ngok in the 1983 adaptation of The Legend of the Condor Heroes, which propelled Felix Wong (黃日華) and the late Barbara Yung (翁美玲) to stardom. Fong was so impressive in his role that in several subsequent adaptations, he was cast in the same role.

Kong Ngai’s acting chops were so outstanding that in 2011, he was invited by Alan Mak (麥兆輝) and Felix Chong (莊文強) to take part in Overhead 2 <竊聽風雲 2>, playing a rather meaty supporting role. Alan Mak had initially planned to invite Kong Ngai to reprise his role in Overhead 3, but it is not meant to be.

Friends Grieve Over Kong Ngai’s Death

Working with Kong Ngai in Yesterday’s Glitter <京華春夢>, Liza Wang (汪明荃) expressed her shock when she was told of the actor’s passing. “It’s a loss to the Hong Kong entertainment industry to lose Kong Ngai. Not only was he our senior, he was a very good actor.”

When Kong’s Greed of Man <大時代> costar, Adam Cheng (鄭少秋) was told of his passing, he could only muster, “I have lost another long-time friend.”

Susanna Kwan (關菊英) who had worked on several projects with Kong Ngai, including 1980’s The Brothers <亲情> and 1978’s long-running The Giant <強人>, revealed that she had seen Kong Ngai in the hospital when she had gone to visit a friend several months ago. Seated in a wheelchair, the senior actor had disclosed he was ill.

Kong Ngai preferred to keep his personal life private and never brought much media attention to himself. Kong had also disclosed that he was very good friends with Danny Chan (陳百強) and Leslie Cheung (張國榮). Kong did not openly address speculations over his sexuality, but wished to be born as a woman in his next life.

Sources:, Oriental Daily

This article is written by Karen for

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  1. His portrayal of GJ’s 1st sifu is just outstanding.


    1. I agree and that was his signature role. He was so excellent and is a great actor. RIP and may deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

    2. I felt like he was more a horror character than a sifu in that role.

  2. Another actor from our youth gone. Kong Ngai will always be remembered by TVB fans.

  3. R.I.P

    Hello Jayne and everyone,is he also start as same role in Julian Cheung condor hero as blind master ?

    1. i think what the article referring about? the 1995 adaptation of condor hero where he reprises the same role?

      1. Yes. He pretty much played the same role in all TVB Condor Heroes.

  4. R.I.P he was also in mystery with the twin sword, the guy thinking his wife turn into the chicken.

  5. 30 years ago, he acted great in LOCH. He kept his acting ability up to par til recently. Very great memories of evil and gentler characters that he acted.

    Deeply sadden by his passing.


  6. RIP.

    I remember him in a vampire series with Sammi Cheng.

  7. I also remember him in that vampire series, I’ve seen his other work too another talented artiste that has passed.

  8. Like to see him portrayal eunuch, much better currant eunuch actors
    Miss him
    R.I.P Sir

    1. He did play DFBB in the 80s version of XAJH and he did portray a eunuch before. He played a eunuch in that one series with Adam, Kathy and Carina. I think it was called Fate takes A hand or something like that… He played an evil eunuch in there.

  9. R.I.P. Sir

    You were one of my favorite veteran actors of your time. I grew up watching most of your drama series, including, but not limited to the Condor Heroes. I remember asking my grandparents about you all of the time when I was a child, who you were, which dramas you were part of, etc. You will forever be missed cause you had a special place in my heart.

    Thank you for your years of contribution to the industry and the life of those that you’ve positively impacted on.

  10. So sad to hear this news! I remember him from lots of old classic dramas. He was an amaziing actor!

  11. Sigh, another talent has left us. RIP, you will be remembered.

  12. RIP I grew up watching him too. Aside from his role in LOCH, he was also impressive playing the bad guy in Instinct and The Greed of Man. He was smoking so much in these series, which no doubt lead to his lung cancer.

  13. Just watched Looking Back In Anger the other day. Didn’t know he was this old to begin with. Great actor. Haven’t seen him in a series for so long…but then again, I haven’t watched TVB for years.

  14. RIP!!! He had one of the best voices on TVB, if he spoke, I can tell who is talking.

  15. he was amazing in greed of man. very sad to hear him pass away. RIP.

  16. RIP Kong Ngai. You were a great actor. Never the main star but your roles were of utmost importance. You brought life and substance to the screen and I will miss your acting.

    Thank you for giving me countless hours of entertainment. I, for one, will miss your craft and your screen presence.

  17. on a lighter note, i wonder if mr.ngai would approve Angelababy as little dragon girl.

  18. He’s an undisputed excellent actor. Why do people like him don’t get much chances in acting?? He’s so good, unlike whatever talent we have nowadays. RIP. You’ll be sorely missed :(:(:(

  19. I was so saddened to hear this! Another great actor gone!!

    Kong Ngai was another one of those elder actors whom I grew up watching — he was one fine actor who was convincing in every role he played. Who can forget his role as Ngor Chun Ngok in LOTCH (no one has been able to surpass him in this role, even to this day) or his classic line ‘So many people die, why don’t see you die’ in Greed of Man? His villain roles were one of a kind, especially with that ‘unique’ laugh of his, which, combined with that scathing glare he’d do with his eyes, always managed to send chills down my spine…..

    R.I.P. Uncle Kong Ngai! We will surely miss you!

  20. he had great chemistry with the whole Jing Yong cast back in the days. He worked well with the younger generate too, such as Louis Koo and Julian Cheung in the more recent adaptations.

    It’s quite a pity to lose such a great actor. He was impeccable in Overheard 2 as well. Hopefully our other veterans like Tsang Kwong stays healthy and continues to excel in the film industry.

  21. awww! he had a distinct laugh when he was playing a bad guy! the eyes also spoke volumes! RIP!

    1. Yes, his eyes know how to talk which is a great for good actors to have.

    2. I must agree, he did have a distinct voice. RIP. So many people dying of cancer now…

  22. Wow, I am amazed at how many people watched him growing up and remember him He freaked me out in many of his villain roles. R.I.P.

  23. Kong Ngai has the ability to put himself at the centre of attraction no matter how small the role.

    I most remember him as Bowie lam’s estranged father in Greed Of Man, one of my all time favorite TVB modern series.

    His role in Overheard 2 was quite small but the scene in the car park was classic Kong Ngai.

    RIP. You’ll be missed.

  24. Once you hear 静儿 in any condor hero series. you will picture kong ngai’s face in your head..

  25. RIP. My condolences to his family. I grew up watching his series. He actually scared me when I was young with his portrayal of Gui Jing’s sifi. He was a great actor – his roles as a villain were very convincing.

  26. May he rest in peace. He’ll always be fondly remembered as a part of my childhood.

  27. Wow that sucks.
    Didn’t he lose his wife not too long ago too?

    He was a great actor and I always hated his characters in everything I saw him in. He truly put everything he had into his roles and his characters came alive, so vivid in his portrayals. I hope one day to see him as a good guy in something, I would like to compare since I only know him as the super bad guy 😛

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