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Tony Leung Chiu Wai
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Tony Leung Chiu Wai

One of the most sought-after actors in East Asia, Tony Leung Chiu Wai made his mark on world cinema for his work with high profile directors including John Woo, Wong Kar Wai, and Hou Hsiao Hsien. Leung has earned the Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award for his performance in Wong Kar Wai's 'In the Mood for Love' (2000) opposite Maggie Cheung, as well as Best Actor at the 1995 Golden Horse Awards for his portrayal of a dreamy, lovelorn policeman in Wong's 'Chungking Express' (1995).

Leung began his acting career at the Hong Kong based Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), and quickly through supporting roles to play the lead in numerous TV Dramas in the early 1980s. He subsequently made the jump into Hong Kong's thriving mid-'80s film industry, where he proved his versatility in a string of movies by Hong Kong directing heavyweights including Stanley Kwan ('Love Unto Waste', 1986), Patrick Tam ('My Heart Is That Eternal Rose', 1987) and Sammo Hung ('Seven Warriors' 1989). But it wasn't until his first foray outside of Hong Kong's movie industry a moving portrayal of a hearing-impaired photographer in Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien's historical epic 'A City of Sadness' (1989) that the full range of his talent became apparent.

International recognition began to come Leung's way in the 1990s. With powerful roles in John Woo's operatic action thrillers 'Bullet in the Head' (1990) and 'Hard-Boiled' (1992), and a long-term collaboration with the acclaimed Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai, Leung solidified his position as a major Asian star. His gently humorous performance as a lovesick policeman in Wong's international cult hit 'Chungking Express' (1995) earned him a Best Actor Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards, as did his turn as a depressed homosexual exile going through a stormy breakup in 'Happy Together' (1997). He won top honors at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his performance as a newspaper editor who suspects his wife of having an affair in the sumptuous chamber romance 'In the Mood for Love' (2000).

Leung's extensive filmography is testament to his extraordinary acting range. While he is known worldwide for his high-profile work with Hou, Wong, and Woo, he is an even bigger star in his native Hong Kong, where he continues to earn accolades from critics and audiences.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Tony Leung Chiu Wai Facts

BirthdayJune 27, 1962 (60)
BirthplaceCanton, People's Rep. of China

Selected Filmography

Not available.