- Not to be confused with film director Andrew Lau.
Andy Lau Tak-Wah MH, JP is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer, film actor, and producer. He has been one of Hong Kong's most commercially successful film actors since mid-1980s, performing in more than 120 films while maintaining a successful singing career at the same time. In the 1990s, he was branded by the media as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop (四大天王) with Aaron Kwok, Jacky Cheung and Leon Lai.
Despite the fact that Lau was born from a family with little fortune, he is well-known as one of the most hardworking and dedicated actors and singers in Hong Kong. As a young boy he had to fetch water for his family up to eight times a day because their house was not equipped with plumbing. He later graduated from a Band One Secondary School, Ho Lap College in San Po Kong, Kowloon. He is also known as a talented Chinese calligrapher. Lau still remains as one of the strongest icons in Asia.
In 1999, Lau signed up for the artist training program offered by TVB, which is where his acting career began. The first lead role that made his initial popularity was the 1982 TVB series The Emissary. In 1983, Lau's role as "Yang Guo" in the TVB series The Return of the Condor Heroes further increased his popularity. From then on, he would take on many of the lead roles in many of the TVB series.
In September 1983, TVB was looking to increase their ratings in competition with Korea and Japan for the best variety show. The station then created the show TVB All-star challenge (星光熠熠勁爭輝) featuring almost the entire lineup of the most popular actors and singers at the time. Lau along with Tony Leung, Michael Miu, Felix Wong, and Kent Tong were branded as "TVB's Five Tigers" (無線五虎將) due to their popularity on the show.
In the late 80s, Lau left TVB due to contract problems. TVB wanted to bind him to an exclusive five-year contract which Lau refused to sign, so TVB blacklisted him. He then focused on his film career.
Template:Seealso In 1981, Lau made a guest appearance in one of Susanna Kwan's music video and caught the eye of the manager Teddy Robin. Teddy Robin then gave Lau a chance to play a small role in the movie Once Upon a Rainbow. This was the first step in Lau's film acting career. He was then given a role in Ann Hui's 1982 film, Boat People. Later in 1983 he had his first leading role in a Shaw Brothers film called On the Wrong Track.
One of his early leading roles included the more serious 1988 film The Truth (法內情). However, Lau is best known in movies for his (often) recurring roles as a "Heroic Gangster" such as Wong Kar-wai's 1988 film, As Tears Go By and Johnnie To's 1990 film, A Moment of Romance.
Though a respectable actor, Lau in the early days was known more for his good looks. The people he works with say he is an idol, but he has claimed to be an artist. Lau has proved his acting skills in many of his movies. His first major acting prize came with A Fighter's Blues, which was his first Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Actor. He would win the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor award that year for Running out of Time. In 2004, he won the prestigious Golden Horse Award for his performance in Infernal Affairs III, the sequel to the popular Infernal Affairs. Western audiences may also be familiar with his performance in the House of Flying Daggers.
In 2005, Lau was awarded "No.1 Box Office Actor 1985-2005" of Hong Kong, yielding a total box office of HKD 1,733,275,816 for shooting 108 films in the past 20 years. It is compared to the first runner-up Stephen Chow (HKD 1,317,452,311) and second runner-up Jackie Chan (HKD 894,090,962). "I've never imagine that it would be as much as 1.7 billion!" he told the reporters. For his contributions, a wax figure of Lau was unveiled on June 1, 2005 at the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong. In 2007, Lau was also awarded the "Nielsen Box Office Star of Asia" by the Nielsen Company (ACNielsen).
In 1991 Lau has set up his own film production company called Teamwork Motion Pictures Limited, which in 2002 was renamed to Focus Group Holdings Limited. His contributions in the film industry as well as his involvement in nurturing new talents in the Asian film industry led him to being awarded the "Asian Filmmaker of the Year" in the Pusan International Film Festival in 2006. Some of the films he produced include the award-winning Made in Hong Kong and the mainland digital film Crazy Stone.
Template:Seealso Lau released his first album "Only Know that I Still Love You" (只知道此刻愛你) under Capital Artists in 1985. However, his first album was not a big hit. Despite having a voice not traditionally associated with popular music, his hard work and perseverance resulted in him being one of the most successful singer. His singing career reached stellar status in 1990 with the release of the album entitled "Would It Be Possible" (可不可以), and his subsequent releases only solidified his status as a marketable singer. For that song, he would win his first 1990 RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards. He would then win at least one RTHK award category every year consecutively until the year 2007.
From Jade Solid Gold Top 10 Awards, he has won the “Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist” award 7 times and the “Asia Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist” award 15 times. He also entered into Guinness World Records for "Most Awards Won By A Cantopop Male Artist". By April 2000, he had already won a total unprecedented 292 awards.
Many of his songs quickly topped the music charts, not only in Hong Kong, but also in Taiwan, Mainland China, and in many different parts of Asia. Some of the most notable hits by Lau include "The Days We Spent Together" (一起走過的日子), "If You Are My Legend" (如果你是我的傳說), "The Tide" (潮水), "Forget Love Potion" (忘情水), "True Forever" (真永遠), "Chinese people" (中國人), "Love You Forever" (愛你一萬年), "You Are My Woman" (你是我的女人), "Secret Admiration" (暗裡著迷). Besides singing in Cantonese and Mandarin, he also sang in other languages, such as English, Japanese, Malay, and Taiwanese. One example of a Taiwanese song was (世界第一等).
Lau sang alongside Jackie Chan during a part of the 2008 Summer Olympics closing ceremony on August 24, 2008. In addition Lau, who has been supporting the disabled athletes in Hong Kong for more than a decade, was appointed as the Goodwill ambassador for the 2008 Summer Paralympics. He led other performers in singing and performing the song "Everyone is No.1" at the Beijing National Stadium just a few hours before the 2008 Paralympics opening ceremony began to show his support for the disabled athletes. He also sang the theme song "Flying with the Dream" with Han Hong during the Paralympics opening ceremony on September 6, 2008.
Lau has performed some duets.
- With Anita Mui - "Dance of a Dream", "Don't Say Love Hurts", "Moon Represents My Heart"
- With Rosamund Kwan - "Forever appointment" (相約到永遠)
- With Kelly Chen - "I Don't Love You Enough" (我不夠愛你)
- With Sammi Cheng - "Happily Ever After"
- With Sharon Cuneta - "In Your Eyes"
- With Sandra Ng - "Love Is Like A Dream"
Appearance in other mediaEdit
Lau is alleged to have been featured as a non-player character (NPC) as a random pedestrian in a sandbox-style action video game called PROTOTYPE. On 6 July, the Hong Kong local newspapers Headline Daily and Sing Tao Daily reported on Lau's cameo.
In 1994, Lau established the "Andy Lau Charity Foundation" which helps people in need and promotes a wide range of youth education services. In 1999, he was awarded the "Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World", being the 3rd person from Hong Kong at that time to bestow this distinguished honor. In 2008, Lau took a main role in putting together the Artistes 512 Fund Raising Campaign for donation relief toward the victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. It was one of the largest and most ambitious charity event ever assembled in the territory.
Lau has been noted for his active involvement in charity works throughout his 30 years of showbiz career and was honored "Justice of Peace" by the Hong Kong SAR government in 2008. In May 2010, he received the "World Outstanding Chinese" award and an "honorary doctorate" from the University of New Brunswick, Canada.
Yang Li-juan fan caseEdit
Lau experienced unexpected notoriety with the encounter of 29 year old mainland Chinese fan Yang Li-juan (楊麗娟), who idolized him for 13 years. After her parents sold the family house to pay for a trip to Hong Kong, Yang finally met Lau on March 26, 2007. One day later, Yang's father committed suicide by throwing himself into the sea in Hong Kong. Possible reasons being bankruptcy, shame and pressure from the media. This was the second trip to Hong Kong for the Lanzhou family, and a third trip was even considered but the late father Yang would have had to sell his kidney, which stirred up an outcry from the public.
Since late 1980s Lau has been in a secret relationship with Carol Choo Lay Keng (朱麗倩) of Penang, Malaysia. Choo just won local beauty contest at that time and therefore had the chance to meet Lau. In Feb 2009 Lau said he was not married in a public Cable TV Hong Kong interview. Later the official website of Clark County, Nevada revealed an online search record of their marriage on June 23, 2008. This caused a media uproar. Lau later apologized for lying to fans and the media. Some of his friends have pointed out that Lau must pretend to be single for the sake of his work.
Before Carol Choo, in 2004 Lau also admitted his 3-year relationship with Taiwanese actress Yu Ke-Hsin (喻可欣) back in the mid-1980s, after Yu revealed the story in her sensational memoir Ocean of Love, Starry Sky – Andy Lau and I published that year. Yu claimed Lau signed a marriage certificate with her in 1985. They did not officially register and Lau did not deny it.
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Best New Performer Nomination for Boat People
- Best Actor Nomination for As Tears Go By
- Best Actor Nomination for Lee Rock
- Best Original Film Song Nomination for Casino Raiders II (Singer)
- Best Original Film Song Nomination for Heaven and Earth (Singer)
- Best Actor Nomination for Full Throttle
- Best Original Film Song Nomination for Full Throttle (Singer/Lyricist)
- Best Film for Made in Hong Kong (Producer)
- Best Original Film Song Nomination for Island of Greed (Singer)
- Best Film Nomination for The Longest Summer (Producer)
- Best Original Film Song Nomiantion for The Longest Summer (Singer)
- Best Original Film Song Nomination for A True Mob Story (Singer/Lyricist)
- Best Actor for Running Out of Time
- Best Actor Nomination for A Fighter's Blues
- Best Actor Nomination for Love on a Diet
- Best Original Film Song Nomination for Shaolin Soccer (Singer/Lyricist)
- Best Actor Nomination for Infernal Affairs
- Best Original Film Song for Infernal Affairs (Singer with Tony Leung)
- Best Actor for Running on Karma
- Best Actor Nomination for Wait 'Til You're Older
- Best Original Film Song Nomination for Wait 'Til You're Older (Singer/Lyricist)
- Best Best Asian Film Nomination for Crazy Stone (Producer)
- Best Actor Nomination for The Warlords
- Best Supporting Actor for Protégé
- Best Original Film Song Nomination for Brothers (Singer with Eason Chan/Lyricist)
(10 Best Actor Nominations, 10 Best Original Film Song Nominations, 2 Best Film Nominations, 1 Best Supporting Actor Nomination, 1 Best New Performer Nomination, 1 Best Asia Film Nomination)
- Andy Lau's Official Website (Chinese)
- Andy World Club - Andy Lau's Official Fan Club (Chinese/Japanese/English)
- Focus Group Holdings Limited
- Focus Films Limited
- Focus Music
- Andy Lau Forum - Andy Lau Forum (English)
- Andy Lau Forum - Andy Lau Forum (Chinese)