Rebecca Chan: A Single Mother’s Choice

Thirteen years ago, TVB veteran actress, Rebecca Chan (陳秀珠) was adamant to give birth to her son without getting married. Bearing a high-risk pregnancy at 39 years old at the time, Rebecca suffered from severe pelvic pain and gritted her teeth throughout the pregnancy. Being a single mother, she experienced many hardships to raise and support her son. Motherhood has dramatically changed Rebecca’s lifestyle and inspired her to work harder in life.

Rebecca said, “I chose not to get married at that time, and insisted on giving birth to my son. He is my motivation for more than ten years. I did not make the wrong decision; I enjoyed the process. We led peaceful lives for many years, and I lived according to my plan. It was challenging at that time, but I do not find it to be suffering. There are so many people who are worse off than me. We take one step at a time. We need to live, so I have to work. It’s important that the child is happy and healthy, this is enough, and I did it. After all, it’s my own decision; nobody forced me. I can’t complain. I won’t think about it and will always face it positively.”

Rebecca Endures Hardships for Son

Rebecca’s son, Tiga Chan (陈迪加) adopted her surname and was named after the Japanese animated hero, Ultraman Tiga. Rebecca revealed that her 13-year-old son was unable to adapt to the stressful education system in Hong Kong. In order to reduce his pressure, Rebecca transferred him to an international school when he was in his third grade. Later on, he was successfully accepted by a school in San Francisco, United States.

Initially, Rebecca planned to postpone Tiga’s studies in the United States by two years. However, she had a filming accident on the set of Bottled Passion <我的如意狼君>, in which she fell and injured her chest, and needed to recuperate for a lengthy time. This prompted her to bring forward her plan to send Tiga to study in the States. She then stopped working for a year, to accompany her son to San Francisco.

Rebecca recalled that she and her son had a difficult time adapting to life in San Francisco. “We needed to rent an apartment and buy furniture. Language is a barrier; English is commonly used in the schools. Help! I need to take English lessons. I told my son, ‘We will give ourselves 1 year. If we can’t adapt, we will leave.’”

Rebecca disclosed that she took notes for her son’s school assignments, and they studied together. Rebecca said, “Rome’s history, Islam’s history and America’s history…I copied more notes than him! I went back to work after giving birth for a year; I never experienced taking care of my son for the entire day. Initially, I was not accustomed to it. I need to prepare three meals a day, and do household chores. We do not have a maid in the Unites States.”

Tiga’s Happiness 

When asked if Tiga had inquired about his father before, Rebecca said, “I thought about it before and came up with many answers, but he seldom asked. Sometimes, when he watched dramas in which fathers would ill-treat their children, he would say, ‘Luckily I do not have a father.’ It’s okay for him to say that, because he feels he is happy with his mother. There is nothing lacking in his life; I try to give him everything. Although other kids have their fathers, but if you are happy and enjoy your life, it is enough. I often teach him to think this way.”

Rebecca Encourages Single Mother, Shirley Yeung

Rebecca said that the modern society is able to accept unmarried women that have children. Even her father who is more than 80 years old has learnt to accept it. Rebecca understands the level of pressure in which TVB colleague and single mother, Shirley Yeung (楊思琦), currently is going through. Rebecca sent Shirley an encouraging text message. “I sent her a text message to encourage her. I wrote, ‘Women are very capable; we are able to carry all the burdens in life. You can do it!’ She is so young, it’s so much better than me.”

Rebecca Seeking For a Partner

Rebecca’s most memorable romantic relationship was with a wealthy Malaysian businessman from many years ago. The pair met when Rebecca filmed in Malaysia, in which they dated for several years. Although she almost became a Malaysian bride, the timing for the relationship was not right, which eventually led to their breakup. Rebecca said, “The timing was off; it is a pity. He is my most memorable boyfriend. He is a great person; the people [in Malaysia] are very pure and simple. He is not complicated; I like simple people.”

Dedicating the last 13 years on her son, Tiga, Rebecca also longs to find her other significant half. Rebecca disclosed that she only thought about it when she envied her American friends who had their spouses with them. Tiga is also older now, and hence she also needs to plan for herself. Fifty-three-year-old Rebecca said, “At my age, I also wish for a partner, someone who can support me and listen to my troubles,” said Rebecca.

Rebecca was not choosy over the requirements for her other half, “It doesn’t matter what nationality and age he is. Most importantly, we have to click. Even if he is a Caucasian, it’s fine.  We need to interact well. I am single for so many years, and I am used to it sometimes. If there is such a man in my life, he needs to get along with my son. It’s important that my son likes him too.”

Before giving birth to Tiga, Rebecca enjoyed going out every night for drinks. “I like to drink until I become ‘high’; it makes me very happy.” Reflecting back, Rebecca felt as if she had wasted her time. Since the birth of her son, Rebecca re-evaluated her priorities in life, making her work much harder. Still enjoying the taste of alcohol, Rebecca will drink a bit while her son is in school. Admitting that she had mixed alcohol in her son’s milk when he was an infant, Rebecca said that her son has been trained since young to strengthen his alcohol tolerance.

Rebecca Could Not Remember Her Lines in “Master of Play”

Rebecca shared that she was very satisfied with her acting in TVB drama, Master of Play <心戰>, but complained about the producer’s frequent changes of the script. She said, “I like Jonathan Chik’s (戚其義) work. His style is special, but I do not like that he wrote his script at the last minute. Most of the lines were given too last minute! During the broadcast, someone asked me about the plot. I had no idea at all; ‘Ah, so Maggie Shiu (邵美琪) has murdered so many people?’ I told Jonathan, please do not include me in his next drama. At my age, I really can’t remember the lines in a short time!”

Source: Ming Pao Weekly #2283 via

This article is written by Stella for

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  1. Good luck Rebecca you are a great actress and hell no Shirley is not better than you. She can’t act and a cheating liar!

    Hope she hooks up with the wooden cheater who also can’t act, LOL

    1. Rebecca’s acting was just so-so when she was young, but I must say that her acting has improved tremendously over the years. She is a great actress now. Shirley Yeung will be same, too, in future. It applies to many other veteran actresses, such as Sharon Tang, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Maggie Cheung Hor Yee, Maggie Siu May-Kee, etc.

      1. I personally have always enjoyed Rebecca’s acting and feel that acting just like singing is an inborn talent. If you just are not born with it, you can act for many years and still not be as good as someone who has lesser experience but of course experience can really make a big difference.

      2. I actually do not think Shirley will be that good of an actress even in the future because iny opinion she just does not have that inborn talent to act well.

      3. I also don’t think she has the talent to reach great status.

        Sure she will improve with time at a decreasing rate.

    2. I think she’s referring to Shirley’s position in life… she’s saying that Shirley having her child at a younger age is so much better than her because Shirley will be able to keep up with the child.

  2. I had no idea that she was so advanced in years. She is quite beautiful still. In addition, I also had no idea that she was a single mother, especially choosing to do so in a time when society was even less flexible than it is now.

    Her son…he is a young boy. Hopefully, he will toughen up a bit over time and his mother will eventually be able to depend on him in return.

    1. I guess many are too focused on the younger generation so many tend to forget the veterans.

  3. she looks so good.. her son has a great role model look up 2

  4. “Admitting that she had mixed alcohol in her son’s milk when he was an infant, Rebecca said that her son has been trained since young to strengthen his alcohol tolerance.” WHAT? Omg is that legal?

      1. No way it is genuine Chinese culture. I’ve never heard of it. I’m truly appalled that Rebecca did that to her infant son.

    1. heard of ppl mixing brandy wth childs milk so the child sleep better or somewht like tht.

    2. i know right? WTH, that’s just insanity.
      I doubt anyone does that in the states. good thing the son grows up? hahha lol insane.

  5. I knew that she was a single mother for many years since there was news before that she had a baby in wedlock. It is great that she is so strong and independent. Good luck Rebecca and hope to see more of your acting!!

  6. I think the roles she played in Chik’s series are her best: Empress in “War and Beauty”, Bowie Lam’s auntie in “The Dance of Passion”, Melissa in “The Gem of Life” and of course Angela in “Master of Play”.

  7. Her acting was EXCELLENT in Bottled Passion, she should given TVB Best supporting Actress; IMO

  8. Yes she is a good actress and props to her for toughing it out during her most difficult times. A mother can do wonders for her child, they have this inner stength that will allow them to conquer all obstacles that come their way.

  9. Why she had to mic alcohol in her son milk? I am confused..

  10. Is she staying in the States and not coming back to film for TVB? I’m confused 😛

    1. she is working on another TVB series, so she can be living in both places and still work with TVB…just like other TVB actors/actress doing at it.

      1. Yea, many artists do that. Years ago before the handover in 1997, many artists panicked so they bought houses overseas in Canada and other countries so that they can flee HK in case of anything happening after the handover. However, things are fine for the most part so many have houses overseas but also work for Tvb in HK, therefore, they just go back and forth. I think that is what Rebecca is doing.

      2. I don’t think Rebecca owns any houses or condos in the States. The article stated:“We needed to rent an apartment and buy furniture.”

      3. I was not talking about Rebecca in particular but about other artists that do own houses and/or apartments abroad. I never knew before that she came to the US. Hopefully she and her son can adapt well.

  11. Acting aside. Am I the only person here thatfind this article disturbing? Mixing alcohol with your child’s milk is abuse! I’m not judging here but from the sound of it, the baby is either the result of one night stand or with a married man…nothing worth applauding, she made her bed so she should sleep in it, it’s called consequence. She was 39 when she had her child, so she’s mature enough to handle the situation, plus she had a nanny so most of the hard motherly work was done for by the nanny…as she had mentioned she had no idea how hard it is to prepare three meals a day for son for the first time.

    1. Btw, why would she want to prepare her child to handle alcohol when he was an infant? She could of caused him brain damage or other health issues. If he grow up to be an alcoholic he has his mother to thank for. Totally stupid & irresponsible on her part. And she screams “Alcoholic” to me…no normal person has a drink during the day when your child is at school, that’s pathetic!

    2. Yeah I bet she is an alcoholic. Either she is dumb that she got played by a guy or she likes to screw around n love to have fun. which might b both. One of a friend that I used to have loves to party, drink, smoke n do drugs. She loves to hang with bad boys and she sleeps around all the time and gambles in Chinatown mahjong parlors. now she is a single mother of a four year old boy. Her partying days r over in which she stats at home all the time.

    3. NO, you are not. I find it disturbing i mean WTH mixes anything for a baby????? talk about an insane mom. exactly, in HK they can have those cheap philly maids they can all afford them i heard. phewww, exactly it’s called consequence but if it’s from a one night stand, how sad it is for the son never to know who the father is in life? awwwwww….

  12. Hmm I live in SF as well, maybe I’ll see her xD

    It’s definitely a challenge to be a single mother but it seems like she can handle it well.

    All the best to her!

    1. But why SF where it is one of the most expensive US cities to live in, not to mention, the high HK-US foreign exchange rate making it even more expensive?

      1. It’s not as expensive as in Hong Kong. Rent in Hong Kong is quite high and you don’t much space

      2. Actually there’s limited foreign exchange risk involved since HKD is pegged to the USD (interval) through the currency board.

        I do think the USD is overvalued relative to HKD. Sure the system has provided stability to the economy for a long time. However think it’s time to break the currency peg will give more freedom to play with monetary tools.

        Guess politicians in HK are too lazy or incompentent since they have limited experience in using monetary tools.

      3. HK is expensive in terms of housing. To them 400 feet is great enough for 2 people, for me that is way too small for even 1 person.

      4. Can’t blame the ppl living in HK. HK must have one of the highest “price/annual salary” ratios due to limited space, growing population and most importantly chinese buyers bidding up the prices.

        Poor HKers have to buy with a partner which will cause trouble if the relationship ends.

      5. I once read that Singapore had the highest population density in the world but not sure if that is still the case. Hk definately does as well due to the high population and limited land… No wonder only the really rich and well can afford to live well…

      6. Agreed I had lived in SF for three months. I can’t bear living there for even a month. People always say that Cali is so fun n how great they r but it’s all lies. By 7pm the streets are dead and people have to work so hard to be able to pay for their living. It is like china there. Too much Chinese. Cali is only fun to hang out there but not to live. You’ll be lucky if you can find people to go out with you. They’re workaholics. I love my life when I don’t have to hustle like that. Cali is not the place to be. They say there are beautiful girls there but all lies. There’s non even guys looks better. Those Cali people are untrustworthy. NYC is an expensive place as well but at least they ae more real. I woulnt want to live there either but new Yorkers are better that Calis!!!!

      7. It is interesting to learn about the lives in California vs. New York City. Both are expensive places to live, but I think the weather should be nicer in California, warmer and snow free. I know houses are very expensive in California. I think houses are expensive in New York City as well, but people don’t have to live in the Manhattan area. People can choose to buy houses in the suburban areas of New York City, or in New Jersey, and still manage to work downtown.

      8. Actually, I don’t know why Rebecca Chan had to pick San Francisco to send her son to school there. Everyone knows that the cost of living in San Francisco is very expensive. Perhaps she wanted to live in a place with more Chinese people and good weather. I don’t think it is a good idea for her son to go to school with so many Chinese students as her son will not have to speak English at all times.

      9. @screamooh:

        If u can’t find people to go out w/, then maybe it’s your attitude that’s to blame, not the location.


        Maybe SF was the first place that accepted her son for admission. And her son is still young enough to learn English w/o any problems. Kids can basically pick up English watching tv.

      10. Many Chinese kids, or even university students, would just watch TVB drama series. If they hang out with Chinese kids, they won’t bother to watch other local channels. This happens to many Chinese students living in big cities, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Vancouver and Toronto. Besides going to school, they don’t bother to speak English or read English newspapers.

    2. wow didnt know tht. assume if u were overseas u wll hve at least basic english…screamooh cali ithink u r refering to california. its a great place. wat u talking abt streets being dead. where exactly were u in cali. dont u think its a bit too harsh to say tht cali ppl r untrustworthy..

  13. Rebecca is a great actress. Her portrayal of Mo Chak Tin in The Greatness Of Hero is excellent. Good luck in raising your son!

  14. Wow didn’t know she been thru so much. I love watching Rebecca, she’s a great actress! This is a good read. I hope she find her other half who love her and get along with her son.

  15. She’s right. Woman are capable to handle any burden! Living in the US with kids are tough. Especially, if you are a working Mom. You need to drop off/pick up. Make at least 2 meals a day and clean the house/wash clothing. etc etc. Unlike living in Asia where you can afford to hire someone to help with all those chores.

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