Hong Kong actress, Yammie Lam (藍潔瑛), was found dead at her home on November 3 in the early a.m. hours. She was 55 years old. As she was one of the most prominent beauties to grace TVB dramas in the 1980s, Yammie’s star once shone very brightly. A series of tragedies, including two alleged rapes, made Yammie mentally unstable over the last two decades. Her health was steadily in decline leading up to her death.
Cause of Death is Not Clear
A friend, Ms. Lui, was visiting Yammie’s home in Ma Hang Village, in the Stanley district today. She became alarmed when no one came to the door after repeatedly ringing the bell, yet the television set was on. As there was a putrid smell in the air, Ms. Lui immediately called the police. When the police broke into the apartment, Yammie was found dead in the toilet. It was estimated that she has been dead for approximately two days. Police said there was no foul play, and suspected she had fainted and died.
Due to her battle with mental illness for nearly 20 years, Yammie has been taking prescription drugs which may have had side effects of damaging her nervous and cardiovascular systems.
Steady Decline After Multiple Tragedies
Joining TVB in 1983, Yammie was quickly promoted at the station due to her striking beauty. Her most notable works include: TVB dramas Looking Back in Anger <義不容情> and Greed of Man <大時代>, as well as Stephen Chow‘s (周星馳) A Chinese Odyssey <西遊記> film series.
Although once a prolific actress, her work halted after 2000 when Yammie’s mental instability grew more distressing. That year, Yammie had a mental breakdown at the Vancouver airport, where security were called in to suppress her. Yammie eventually checked into a mental institution for ten days.
Multiple tragedies were speculated to have contributed to her tragic breakdown. In 1986, her boyfriend had committed suicide. Yammie subsequently got involved with the wrong men and was let down by the failed relationships. In the 1990s, both of Yammie’s parents passed away.
However, Yammie kept the most devastating secret inside her for years. In an interview in 2013, Yammie publicly revealed for the first time that she was raped by two men in the Hong Kong film industry nearly 30 years ago. Although the men’s names were removed from the clip, one of them was already dead, while the other man had allegedly violated her in Singapore. Scared to call the police since both men were power players, Yammie fell into deep depression and attempted suicide multiple times by cutting her wrists.
As she was unable to work due to mental illness, Yammie ran into financial troubles. Although friends initially tried to lend her money, those resources were not sustainable. In 2005, Yammie filed for bankruptcy and relied on government welfare checks of $3,700 HKD each month.
When she was spotted publicly in recent years, Yammie often appeared disheveled and in a daze. Her hair had turned white and she had aged significantly, due to all the suffering she has gone through.
Friends tried to help Yammie by bringing her to church and instilling faith in her life, and even introduced her to possible suitors. But it was too late, as Yammie’s trust in people had disappeared a long time ago.
In the beginning of 2018, Yammie’s condition worsened. She became increasingly withdrawn and didn’t want to leave her home. She stopping reading newspapers and going on the Internet. A friend commented, “I could tell that her situation wasn’t good.”
This article was updated on November 3, 2018 at 9:41 a.m. to reflect additional details of Yammie Lam’s death.
This article is written by Jayne for JayneStars.com.