Chinese language cinema
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Tony Leung Ka-fai poses on the red carpet during the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2016, in which he received a best actor nomination for his role in The Taking of Tiger Mountain. Photo: Edward Wong

In pictures: Tony Leung Ka-fai, four-time Hong Kong Film Awards best actor, turns 60

One of Hong Kong’s most recognisable screen legends, Tony Leung Ka-fai has made nearly 150 films in an incredible career that has spanned 35 years. We take a look at some of his best moments

Sometimes dubbed “Big Tony” in English to avoid confusion with his namesake Leung Chiu-wai, Hong Kong film star Tony Leung Ka-fai, who turns 60 today, has enjoyed a distinguished acting career which more than differentiates him from his peers.

Leung Ka-fai with actress Miriam Yeung Chin-wah backstage at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards in 2013. Photo: Sam Tsang
Aaron Kwok Fu-shing (centre, left) and Leung (centre, right) in 2012 police drama Cold War.
Leung and actress Cecilia Ip pose with their best leading actor and actress trophies at the 3rd Hong Kong Film Awards in 1983. Photo: Sam Chan
Leung in 2005 after the filming of Election. Photo: Ricky Chung
(From left) Kenny Bee, Maggie Cheung Man-yuk and Leung arriving at the 18th Hong Kong Film Awards in 1998. Photo: Dickson Lee

A winner of the best actor prize at the Hong Kong Film Awards in each of the last four decades – for Reign Behind a Curtain in 1983, 92 The Legendary la Rose Noire in 1992, Election in 2005 and Cold War in 2012 – Leung has made nearly 150 films, establishing himself as one of the city’s most recognisable screen legends.

Leung with Chinese actress Zhou Xun at the 25th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2006 after winning a best actor award for his role in Election. Photo: Reuters
Leung in 1992 after being nominated as best actor for King of Chess and 92 The Legendary Rose Noire at the 12th Hong Kong Film Awards. Photo: SCMP
Leung and actress Maggie Cheung arriving at the Academy for Performing Arts in 1993 for the 13th Hong Kong Film Awards. Photo: SCMP
Leung in a scene from 1992 film The Lover, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud.

‘I am very lucky’: Tony Leung Ka-fai on the three women in his life

Leung and Maggie Cheung at the 12th Hong Kong Film Awards in 1992. Photo: Wan Kam-yan

The actor has starred in films by most of Hong Kong’s best filmmakers, from Ringo Lam (Prison on Fire), Stanley Kwan (Centre Stage), Johnnie To (Election) and Wong Kar-wai (Ashes of Time) to Tsui Hark ( The Taking of Tiger Mountain) and Ann Hui (the recent Our Time Will Come), among others.

(From left) Anthony Wong Chau-sang, Leung, Eric Tsang Chi-wai and Karl Maka make handprints for the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui in 2006. Photo: Dickson Lee
Leung (seated, right) and singer-actress Sally Yeh Chen-wen (seated, left) shooting the film I Love Maria in 1988.
Leung (centre) and Nicholas Tse Ting-fung (right) at the 4th Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong in 2010.

Although he has been describing himself as a “semi-retired” actor for years, Leung still appears in feature films every year. The next major Hong Kong production that he will feature in is likely to be Juno Mak’s Sons of the Neon Night, a star-studded crime thriller also starring Takeshi Kaneshiro, Lau Ching-wan and Louis Koo.

Want more articles like this? Follow SCMP Film on Facebook