Hwang Jang Lee
|Hwang Jang Lee|
December 21, 1944 |
Aomori, Honshu, Japan
|Occupation||Martial artist, actor|
|Years active||1974–1996; 2009|
|Revised Romanization||Hwang Jeong-ri|
Hwang Jang Lee, (born December 21, 1944) is a Japanese-born Korean martial artist and film actor. He played the contract killer, "Thunderleg" in the film, Drunken Master (1978); "Sheng Kuan" in Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978); and Wong Chin in Hitman in the Hand of Buddha. Variations of his name include Wong Cheng Lee and Wong Cheng Li, in the Cantonese Chinese equivalents. His nicknames are Silver Fox (the name of his most popular movie character); "Thunderleg" and "Thunderfoot" (from his role in Drunken Master (1978)).
Hwang was born in Aomori, Honshu Island, Japan to Korean parents. His family moved back to Korea when he was a baby.
Hwang took Tae kwon do lessons from age 14 and achieved his 7th dan (rank) black belt. In 1965 at age 21, Hwang, he became a martial arts instructor for the Korean and South Vietnamese Armies, specializing in Tae kwon do. In January 2003, Hwang received his 9th dan black belt in Taekwondo. In addition, he currently holds a 9th dan rank with the World Tang Soo Do General Federation.
He still actively teaches martial arts. He is currently an instructor with the World Tang Soo Do General Federation and serves as Technical Advisor. He recently has completed a tour of the USA and Canada in which he, along with other Korean grand masters, promoted the study and practice of traditional martial arts.
Hwang began his acting career in Korean movies. In 1976, Ng See-yuen offered Hwang employment in Hong Kong. Hwang took the lead in many martial arts movies, usually playing a villain. The Secret Rivals was the first film where Hwang appeared as the "Silver Fox". Hwang's nicknames, "King of the Legfighters" and "Thunderleg" relate to his style of martial arts performance where he uses his legs in a particular way. In the mid 1970s, Hwang performed in two Jackie Chan movies Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master. as "Sheng Kuan" and "Thunderfoot" ("Thunderleg"). In 2002, Mike Leeder, a writer and producer, interviewed Hwang for the "Contender films" Hong Kong Legends DVD range. After a long absence from acting, Hwang appeared in the The Return of Iljimae (2009). Hwang featured in the documentary film, "The Anonymous King" in which Jon James Hodson examines Hwang's life in Seoul, Korea and Hong Kong.
In 1981, Hwang directed his first movie, Hitman in the Hand of Buddha (credited as as Wong Chin).
In the early 1990s, Hwang returned to South Korea, where he ran a golf-tee manufacturing company and an hotel in Seoul. Later on, Hwang managed a bodyguard agency. Since then he has made only occasional film appearances, in movies such as Emperor of the Underworld (1994) and Boss (1996).
- Hitman in the Hand of Buddha (1981)
- Canton Viper (1983)
- Not Again! (1990)
- Art of High Impact Kicking (1982)
- Shaolin Temple (Taiwanese TV series) (1984)
- Mighty Weapon (1985)
- Return of Iljimae (2009)