Lam Ching Ying est un Acteur, Réalisateur, Producteur, Action Director, Directeur de la Photographie et Cascadeur Chinois né le 27 décembre 1952
Lam Ching Ying
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Nom de naissance 林根寶 Lín Gēnbǎo Lam4 Gan1bou2Nationalité ChineNaissance 27 décembre 1952Mort 8 novembre 1997
(à 44 ans)
Lam Ching Ying (Chinese: 林正英; birth name: Lam Gun-bo 林根寶; 27 December 1952 - 8 November 1997) was a Hong Kong stuntman, actor, film producer, action director and director. A physically talented and graceful martial artist, Lam was best known for playing the stoic Taoist priest in Mr. Vampire (1985). He had a reputation for being disciplined, headstrong, restrained, and self-willed. As an actor, action choreographer, martial artist, and teacher he touched many people with his candor and uncompromising professionalism. He left behind a lasting cinematic legacy, which can be enjoyed and respected by generations all over the world. Lam died in 1997 of liver cancer.
Lam Ching Ying (林正英) was born Lam Gun Bo (林根寶) on December 27, 1952 in the year of the Dragon, in Hong Kong. His family originated from Shanghai, in the Republic Of China. Both of his parents made a living by doing catering services. Lam was the third child of six children. His family was poor, and his parents weren't educated. Lam attended Shun Yi Association Elementary School in Hong Kong, but eventually dropped out after 2 years. His father sent him to Chun Chau Drama Society to learn the Peking Opera style under the guidance of Madame Fan Fok Fa.
Due to his slender and fragile body structure, Lam specialized in female roles and often performed stunt-doubling for actresses. However, he was reported as a mischievous and disobedient child. Thus, after half a year of training, Madame sent him on stage to express himself and control his drive. Lam's first show was called "White Beach", but his Beijing Opera career only lasted for 5 years. He realized that there was not much demand for opera styles anymore. Through a friend's introduction, Lam joined the film industry.
At age 17, Lam became a stuntman and martial arts coach at the Shaw Brothers Studio. Due to his slender build, he was often called upon to substitute female actors. He received $HK60 a day, $HK20 of which went to his master, and another $HK20 he took home to his parents. Lam used the remaining money to treat his brothers to snacks. Lam once mentioned those were his happiest days in his life.
There was a story that Lam challenged Bruce Lee in a hotel room because he didn't believe Lee was as strong as the rumors said. Lam put a pillow over his chest and stomach, then Bruce struck the pillow and sent him flying across the room. Bruce Lee was so impressed that he hired Lam as his personal assistant. Lam was 19 at the time.
Lam started to work as an co-action choreographer, and personal assistant to Bruce Lee on Lee's movies including The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Enter the Dragon, Return of the Dragon, and Game of Death. In his youth, Lam seemed to have quite a temper and always got into fights. During the filming of "The Big Boss", Lam was arrested for fighting, and Lee had to bail him out of jail.
Despite having little education, Lam impressed Lee with interesting philosophical discussions. Although they hardly talked about their relationship, Lee liked good conversations, and this self-willed young man soon became Lee's favorite.
When Lee died, Lam was devastated. He later joined Hung's stuntman association (known as the Hung Kar Pan).
Lam worked behind the camera as assistant director and became Sammo's right-hand man of the stunt team. His talent as an actor and martial artist was revealed in The Magnificent Butcher. Lam played the fan-wielding assassin who fought against Yuen Biao.
In 1982, Lam won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Action Direction, in the film Prodigal Son. Prodigal Son featured what is widely acknowledged as among the best Wing Chun caught on film, performed by Lam. Lam played the strict kung fu master Leung Yee Tai. This was probably his most historic role. Lam even shaved his own eyebrows to give Master Leung a more feminine portrayal. He was able to bring a cool, sweet quality to this sharp and hard-nosed character.
He also played a frail, elderly Taoist priest in The Dead and the Deadly (1983).
Lam's star did not rise until 1985, with the release of Mr. Vampire, the movie that fueled the hopping vampire genre. Lam was nominated for Best Actor for his role as the Taoist priest. The character was an engaging mixture of naivety and stoic authority, and became a favorite for audiences. Lam was to reprise this role many times throughout his career.
Shortly after the release of Mr. Vampire, the Golden Harvest film company attempted to make an English version of the movie with Tanya Roberts (of Charlie's Angels) and Jack Scalia. Lam's role was played by longtime kung fu film actor Yuen Wah. Due to various difficulties, the film was never made.
In the following years, Lam starred as the Taoist Priest in countless sequels and spin-offs of Mr. Vampire such as Mr. Vampire II (1986), Mr. Vampire III (1987), Vampire Vs. Vampire (1989), Magic Cop (1990), Encounters of the Spooky Kind II (1990)
He also appeared in different movie genres such as The Return of Pom Pom (1984), School on Fire (1988), Painted Faces (1988), and Her Vengeance (1988). Lam proved that his dramatic acting skill was just as good as his kung fu skill. It is argued that whether the huge success of Mr. Vampire was the best thing happened in his career because it forever typecast him as the vampire slayer. Yet Lam had many heartbreaking and mind-stirring portrayals in other movie genres.
In 1989, Lam directed his first movie Vampire Vs. Vampire. The movie starred him as the usual One Eyebrow Priest, Chin Siu Ho and Liu Fong as his naughty disciples. Due to the production cost going over budget, he didn't take his director's fee. The movie showed light of his moving-making style which was prone to realistic fights and dark humor. The movie didn't become a huge success, but his candor made people re-think the purposes of film-makings. It also suggested new ideas in the genre which later influenced other Hong Kong ghost movies. Vampire Vs. Vampire offered a new look about the encounter between Chinese and Western culture. The One Eyebrow Priest also raised a vampire kid in his own house. This went against traditional rules of Maoshan Taoism. Even until now, people often find Lam Ching Ying's shadow in later Chinese ghost movies.
The success of Mr. Vampire eventually became burdensome on Lam, who found himself typecast in the role. As the Hong Kong movie industry began to experience a decline, quality roles for Lam also began to dry. However, he continued to take on his usual role as the Taoist priest as well as supporting roles in low budget movies.
In 1990, Lam became the film producer for Magic Cop (1990), a underrated action movie. He starred in and action directed the movie. The fight scenes between him and the Japanese again showed his excellence as an action choreographer.
Some of his other ghost movies during these years are Crazy Safari (1991), An Eternal Combat (1991), The Ultimate Vampire (1991) Spiritual Trinity (1991), Mad Mad Ghost (1992), Banana Spirit (1992). Again, his serious acting side can be seen in Pom Pom and Hot Hot (1992), Lover's Tear (1992). He had supporting roles in these movies, but his roles are very memorable.
In 1995, although the film market was in a depression, ATV offered Lam the starring role in a television series called Vampire Expert (殭屍道長). He was hired with a million HK dollars salary to work in the series. It was a far cry from his time as $HK60 a day stuntman. The series was a success and revived Lam's career. The story followed Mo Siu Fong (Lam Ching Ying) who destroyed ghosts and saved the day. During the filming, Lam developed a relationship with his co-star Kingdom Yuen. In the series, Yuen played a female priest who fell in love with Mo Siu Fong (Lam Ching Ying). At the end of the filming, they were actually in love.
The second series was filmed and aired in 1996. The series starred Lam Ching Ying again as the humble priest, Mang Hoi, Frankie Lam and Annie Man as his disciples. Like the first series, the second series received high rating and support from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Soon after that, Lam signed for another TV series called Coincidentally (情定阴阳界). The series borrowed the cast of Vampire Expert and had Lam in a supporting role. Lam played a priest who tried to prevent a man from becoming a cruel spirit. However, this series didn't mark the end of his career. Lam's last role was in A Monk at Thirty (一枝花和尚). The role was so heartbreaking that many of his fans doubted he was actually playing his own death.
In 1997, production on the third series of Vampire Expert began. The production was halted because Lam died. Contrary to rumors that the cancer was caused by years of heavy drinking, the cancer was hereditary.
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