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Statistics :
11630 Movies
19215 People
1448 Studios
29 Articles
73 Interviews
12 DVD Reviews
32452 Screenshots
3722 Videos
Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing

Other names : 哥哥
Cheung Gwok Wing
Leslie Cheung
Gor Gor
Zhāng Gu Rng
Zhang Guo Rong
Zhang1 Guo2 Rong2
Birthdate : 12/9/1956
Date of death : 1/4/2003
Nationality : Hong Kong
Workplace : Hong Kong
Activities : Director (1), Producer (1), Writer (1), Singer (9), Actor (57), Brief appearance (3), Cameo (1)


His youth
Born in Hong Kong on 12th September 1956, Leslie Cheung had 10 brothers and sisters. His father was a tailor, and one of his patrons was William Holden, a famous English actor (Sunset Boulevard). Young Leslie had to face a chaotic family situation that quickly led to the divorce of his parents. In 1971, he was sent to Great Britain, to Leeds to be exact, where he enrolled at the University to study design.

His first steps in the show business
As soon as Leslie finished university, he came back to HK and in 1977 and joined a competition for non professionals at the local TV station ATV for the ATV Asian Music Contest. He finished second and the following year he released his first music album ("I Like Dreaming"). In the meantime he had his first experience on TV and landed very quickly a lead role in Erotic Dreams Of Red Chamber (1978), a erotic production that Leslie himself called an indecent disaster.

His two passions: Canto-pop and cinema
Between 1980 and 1986, Leslie entirely focused on his singing career, and became as early as 1983 one of the most important stars of the canto-pop scene along with Anita Mui and Alan Tam. For a decade this trio of singers would monopolise the music scene in HK. In the same time, Leslie appeared in only a few Shaw Brothers movies such as the tearjerker Teenage Dreamers or an adaptation for the big screen of a Jing Yongs novel (Return of the Condor Heroes) called Little Dragon Maiden.

A talented actor
Leslie was already an established name in the canto-pop world. He was nevertheless late to prove himself on the big screen as no worthy role was ever offered to him. In 1986, his hard work and patience was rewarded by John Woo who offered him the role of Kit, the young brother of Ti Lung in A Better Tomorrow and A Better Tomorrow II. Since then Leslie would collaborate with the biggest names in the HK film industry. In 1987, he landed one of the most crucial parts in his career, the nave and romantic tax collector in Ching Siu-tungs A Chinese Ghost Story.

Again the film was a success. Then Leslie became a sought-after actor and had to put his singing career on hold. Whats more, in 1990, he left HK to Canada, but carried on working in the Brit colony.

This is also around that time that Wong Kar-wai saw in Leslie an actor capable of playing complex characters. Their first collaboration was on Days of Being Wild, the film that helped Leslie to really show off his thespian qualities. He created a touching character from a role which on paper was especially mean to women. Later, Wong would cast Leslie for two more films Ashes of Time and Happy Together.

On top of the world
In the 1990s, Leslie would shot 3 or 4 films a year, alternating auteur films with more mainstream fares. The later were varied and in any given genres: fantasy wu xia pian with The Bride with White Hair by Ronny Yu, romantic comedy with He's A Woman, She's A Man by Peter Chan Ho Sun and Its a Wonderful Life by Clifton Ko, the laugh-out-loud farce with The Eagle Shooting Heroes by Jeff Lau and the culinary comedy with The Chinese Feast by Tsui Hark, to name but a few.

In 1993, looking for more challenges, Leslie took on the lead in a Chinese mainland production, Chen Kaiges Farewell My Concubine. The film was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and pocketed the Golden Palm. This is also around that time, while at the height of his popularity, that Leslie hinted about his sexual orientation, he came out, a rare thing in the HK film industry.

Wind of change
At the end of the 1990s, Leslie decided to slow down his work pace and chose projects more carefully. He worked for Wong Kar-wai on the above-mentioned films and also on Daniel Lees Moonlight Express and Gordon Chans Okinawa Rendez-Vous.
In 2000 Leslie directed his first film, an anti-smoking campaign spot with Anita Mui and Karen Mok playing themselves. In 2002, Leslie played a tormented and suicidal psychiatrist in his ultimate film, Law Chi-leungs Inner Senses.

A bitter end
On 1st April 2003, depressed and desperate, Leslie Cheung jumped for the roof-top of the HK Mandarin Hotel. His legacy comprises of many exceptional films and songs, the image of a young man who will never grow old and the sound of his suave voice.

Stphane Jaunin - April 2003,
translated by Thomas Podvin, April 2010
See our tribute page to Leslie on HKCinemagic 1

 [ Director - Producer - Writer - Singer - Actor - Brief appearance - Cameo ] 
 Alternate lists by alpha / genre / year
Title    ( HK -  All ) Year  Activity (  Year - Title )
 From Ashes To Ashes 2000 Director
 Phantom Lover, The 1995 Producer
 From Ashes To Ashes 2000 Writer
 Temptress Moon 1996 Singer
 Phantom Lover, The 1995 Singer
 He's A Woman, She's A Man 1994 Singer
 Once A Thief 1991 Singer
 Chinese Ghost Story 2, A 1990 Singer
 Better Tomorrow II, A 1987 Singer
 Chinese Ghost Story, A 1987 Singer
 Better Tomorrow, A 1986 Singer
 Duke Of Mount Deer, The 1984 Singer
 Ashes Of Time Redux 2008 Actor
 Inner Senses 2002 Actor
 Double Tap 2000 Actor
 From Ashes To Ashes 2000 Actor
 Okinawa Rendez-Vous 2000 Actor
 Buenos Aires Zero Degree : The Making Of Happy Together 1999 Actor
 Kid, The 1999 Actor
 Moonlight Express 1999 Actor
 Ninth Happiness 1998 Actor
 Happy Together 1997 Actor
 Shanghai Grand 1996 Actor
 Temptress Moon 1996 Actor
 Tristar 1996 Actor
 Viva Erotica 1996 Actor
 Who's The Woman, Who's The Man 1996 Actor
 Yang Ying : Gender In Chinese Cinema 1996 Actor
 Chinese Feast, The 1995 Actor
 Phantom Lover, The 1995 Actor
 Ashes Of Time 1994 Actor
 He's A Woman, She's A Man 1994 Actor
 Its A Wonderful Life ! 1994 Actor
 Long & Winding Road, The 1994 Actor
 Alls Well Ends Well, Too 1993 Actor
 Bride With White Hair 2, The 1993 Actor
 Bride With White Hair, The 1993 Actor
 Eagle Shooting Heroes, The 1993 Actor
 Farewell My Concubine 1993 Actor
 All's Well Ends Well 1992 Actor
 Arrest The Restless 1992 Actor
 Days Of Being Wild 1991 Actor
 Once A Thief 1991 Actor
 Aces Go Places V : The Terracotta Hit 1990 Actor
 Chinese Ghost Story 2, A 1990 Actor
 Fatal Love 1988 Actor
 Rouge 1988 Actor
 Better Tomorrow II, A 1987 Actor
 Chinese Ghost Story, A 1987 Actor
 Better Tomorrow, A 1986 Actor
 Last Song In Paris 1986 Actor
 Crazy Romance 1985 Actor
 For Your Heart Only 1985 Actor
 Intellectual Trio, The 1985 Actor
 Behind The Yellow Line 1984 Actor
 Double Decker 1984 Actor
 Fallen Family, The 1984 Actor
 Drummer, The 1983 Actor
 First Time 1983 Actor
 Little Dragon Maiden 1983 Actor
 Energetic 21 1982 Actor
 Nomad 1982 Actor
 Teenage Dreamers 1982 Actor
 Islander 1981 Actor
 Job Hunter 1981 Actor
 Encore 1980 Actor
 Heritage, The 1980 Actor
 Dog Bites Dog Bone 1978 Actor
 Erotic Dreams Of Red Chamber 1978 Actor
Brief appearance
 Anna Magdalena 1998 Brief appearance
 All's Well, End's Well 97 1997 Brief appearance
 Banquet, The 1991 Brief appearance
 Knock Off 1998 Cameo

 Article    Review    Poster/Gallery    DVD Captures    Trailer    DVD Captures/Trailer  

 Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing pictures :  (Hide)
Ashes Of Time Redux
Ashes Of Time Redux
Buenos Aires Zero Degree : The Making Of Happy Together
Moonlight Express
Happy Together
Shanghai Grand
Temptress Moon
Viva Erotica
The Phantom Lover
The Phantom Lover
Ashes Of Time
The Bride With White Hair 2
The Eagle Shooting Heroes
Days Of Being Wild
Once A Thief
Once A Thief
A Chinese Ghost Story 2
Fatal Love
A Better Tomorrow II
A Chinese Ghost Story
A Better Tomorrow
A Better Tomorrow
Behind The Yellow Line
 Other Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing pictures :  (Hide)
Ashes Of Time Redux (1)
Inner Senses (2)
Double Tap (2)
Buenos Aires Zero Degree : The Making Of Happy Together (4)
Moonlight Express (4)
All's Well, End's Well 97 (1)
Happy Together (10)
Shanghai Grand (4)
Temptress Moon (4)
Viva Erotica (3)
More pictures in the gallery

Article Links
 Secondary Article Links   (Show)

Article Links (French only)  
 Secondary Article Links (French only)   (Show)

Interview Links   (Hide)  
 Interview with Derek Yee (preview)
HK talents > Film directors > Other directors
Author(s) : Thomas Podvin, Arnaud Lanuque
Date : 6/1/2005
Type(s) : Interview
Page(s) : 5  - index
 Secondary Interview Links   (Show)

Interview Links (French only)  
 Secondary Interview Links (French only)   (Show)

DVD Review Links (French only)   (Show)  
 Secondary DVD Review Links (French only)   (Show)

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