[Obituary] Kenneth Tsang Passes Away at 86

Veteran actor Kenneth Tsang (曾江) passed away on April 27, 2022 in Hong Kong. The actor had just returned from Singapore and was staying in a Tsum Sha Tsui hotel for his quarantine. While investigation continues, the media has reported that the actor was found unconscious by a hotel staff and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prior to establishing his acting career, Kenneth originally attended the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a degree in architecture. After graduation, Kenneth felt that the architecture industry was dull and he returned to Hong Kong to make the switch to acting.

Kenneth made countless appearances in dramas and movies throughout his career and lead many iconic roles in classics such as A Better Tomorrow <英雄本色> , Supercop <警察故事3之超級警察> and Overheard 3 <竊聽風雲3>.

Thanks to his English proficiency, Kenneth successfully broke into Hollywood and made his international debut in 1998’s action film The Replacement Killers alongside Chow Yun Fat. Kenneth’s appearance was well-received and he continued to make his mark in Hollywood by appearing in Anna and the King, Rush Hour 2, Memoirs of a Geisha and Die Another Day.

Despite Kenneth’s successful career, the actor also experienced a number of setbacks including two failed marriages. Kenneth’s first marriage was in 1969 with Zhang Lan Di (張萊娣), a Malaysian-Chinese and a member of a circus group. The two divorced 10 years later and Zhan Lan Di took custody of their son. Shortly after, Kenneth married columnist and model Barbara Tang (鄧拱璧). While the couple welcomed the birth of the daughter, the marriage coincidentally also lasted 10 years. In 1994, Kenneth married Taiwanese actress Lisa Chiao Chiao (焦姣)

After Kenneth’s death, his niece and singer Linda Wong (王馨平) revealed that she was in the process of dealing with her father’s funeral and was saddened by the news of Kenneth’s passing. Linda shared, “I just received the news. We had dinner together at the end of last year but because of Hong Kong’s COVID-19 situation, we haven’t seen each other since then. I just went to Taiwan for my father’s affairs.”

Source: HK01,  World Journal, HK01

This article is written by Sammi for JayneStars.com.

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  1. I am extremely saddened by his passing, especially how he passed away without loved ones or anyone around him in his last moments. They will always question if he could survive if he was not quarantined on his own. Please RIP.

    Kenneth had been acting for so many years, very well respected and I was told he is known as Sean Connery of Hong Kong. But he won only one acting award. Such a shame…

    I am curious, where do you think people really go to after death? Do they really just disappear…

    1. @Hohliu didn’t know the reference to Sean Connery, couldn’t agree more. Kenneth Tsang had the natural wealthy, educated, old money aura in the characters he played, something that most Chinese veterans of that era didn’t have.
      You have asked a tough question there. Part of me believe in afterlife while the other part remain skeptical, just like part of me hope there is but at the same time I hope not if it means there is reincarnation as well. I don’t believe in tales or stories from people who near death experience and supposedly saw the underworld.

      1. @BearBear I never thought much about what happens after one dies but as I age, I started thinking about it. And reading about Kenneth makes me thinks so much more. He went away alone…his loved ones will find it hard to reconciled with his sudden death. To just end a journey with the soul dead too is just……just…. Any how, I hope there is more to it. But I too find those that said they nearly died and saw heaven/hell unbelievable.

      2. @Hohliu wonder where was his wife, did she travel with him?
        Also thought I read that his son in law brought medication to the hotel to get them to pass to him, wonder if they did hand the meds to him.

      3. @BearBear No, wife did not travel to Sg with him. I heard from a great number of their common friends, he and his wife are very loving and devoted to each other… I really cannot imagine her pain currently.
        This is truly a sad…

  2. So sad…one of the legends. So many memorable roles in the HK films and TVB series. He was my favorite Wong Yeuk-si in The Legend of the Condor Heroes, with such charisma in all his roles.

  3. I’m truly sad that 曾江 passing he was a wonderful I wonder if the hotel staff have done welfare check on him earlier he might still be here its very heartbreaking on how he passed alone Mr Tsang may you RIP you will be sorely miss!!

    1. Linda Wong’s mother (Kenneth Tsang’s sister) was Lin Tsui, one of the most popular stars of the 60s. She was contracted with Cathay (MP&GI) Studio, along with Grace Chang , Yu Min, and Ye Feng.

  4. RIP Legendary Actor! Played a huge role in the more classics than anyone! Legend/Return of the Condor Heroes, Greed of Man, Flying Fox, New Heavens Sword, the final verdict, Big Family, Blood of Good and Evil just to name a few..

  5. I’ll always remember him as Wong Yeuk-si. When I saw him in Rush Hour 2, I didn’t realize his English was so good. At the time, I didn’t know he was in the US for school. RIP.

  6. One of the all time greats of the HK TVB Series. You could not have grown up in the 80s and not watched Mr Tsang in a TVB series. I have such fond memories of him. He was much loved. RIP dear Sir Mr Tsang.