Josephine Siao

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Josephine Siao
Chinese name 蕭芳芳 (traditional)
Chinese name 萧芳芳 (simplified)
Pinyin Xiāo Fāngfāng (Mandarin)
Jyutping siu1 fong1 fong1 (Cantonese)
Birth name Siao Liang (蕭亮)
Origin Hong Kong
Born (1947-03-13) 13 March 1947 (age 67)
Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Other name(s) Sister Fong Fong (芳芳姐)
Occupation Actress, singer
Genre(s) Cantopop
Instrument(s) Voice
Years active 1960s – 1990s
Spouse(s) Clarence Chang

Josephine Siao Fong-Fong MBE is a Hong Kong film star who became popular as a child actress and continued her success as a mature actress, winning numerous awards including Best Actress at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival (for Summer Snow).[1] Since retiring from show business (partly due to her increasing deafness), she has become a writer and a psychologist, known for her work against child abuse.

Biography[edit]

Josephine Siao Fong-Fong was born as Siao Liang in Luzhi in Suzhou, Jiangsu. At the age of two, she was brought to Hong Kong by her parents.

Siao's first movie appearance was at age six, and she became one of the biggest teen idols in Hong Kong during the late 1960s, along with frequent co-star Connie Chan Po-chu. The two were often cast in wuxia films as disciples of the same master and sometimes—when Connie played the male lead—as young heroes in love. Back in the 1960s, Josephine's and Connie's fans maintained a heated rivalry. News of their fans getting into catfights was not uncommon in those days.

Unlike many child stars, Siao made a successful transition to adult stardom, remaining one of Hong Kong's most prolific and popular actresses. She was also one of the directors (co-directing with Leung Po-Chih 梁普智) and writers of Jumping Ash (跳灰). This film is regarded as a prelude to the Hong Kong New Wave in the 1980s by film critics.

Having largely missed out on formal education because of her acting career as a child, Siao pursued her studies in later years despite the handicap of increasing deafness and the demands of raising a family (she has two daughters by her second husband). During this time she made fewer films, but her output included highly praised work such as her award-winning performance in Summer Snow (1995) as a middle-aged housewife trying to cope with a father suffering from Alzheimer's Disease.

Western fans of martial arts films will probably know her best from the Fong Sai-yuk films made in 1993, in which she played Jet Li's kung fu–fighting mother. (These films were released on Western DVD as The Legend.)

Siao has retired from show business since 1997 in favour of her work in child psychology. In particular, she is a noted campaigner against child abuse, and founded the End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation, which she now chairs, in 1999. She is also a published author.

Some of the milestones in her life include:

  • 1970: Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications and Asian Studies at Seton Hall University
  • 1974: won the best actress award at Spain Film Festival and Taiwan Film Festival
  • 1990: obtained a Master's degree in child psychology from Regis University
  • 1995: won the best actress award at the Berlin Film Festival for Summer Snow
  • 1996: member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • 2009: Life Achievement Award of the 28th Hong Kong Film Awards

Selective Filmography[edit]

[2] [3]

Book by Siao Fong Fong[edit]

  • 洋相 : 英美社交禮儀

Siao Fong Fong Performing Art Hall[edit]

The Siao Fong Fong Performing Art Hall was established in 1998 at Shantang Street of Luzhi township in Siao family's former residence.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Berlinale: 1995 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Josephine Siao". imdb.com. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Josephine Siao". chinesemov.com. Retrieved 15 April 2010. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Sylvia Chang
for Passion
Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actress
1988
for The Wrong Couples
Succeeded by
Anita Mui
for Rouge
Preceded by
Crissy Rock
for Ladybird, Ladybird
Silver Bear for Best Actress
1995
for Summer Snow
Succeeded by
Anouk Grinberg
for Mon Homme
Preceded by
Joan Chen
for Red Rose, White Rose
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards for Best Actress
1995
for Summer Snow
share with Siqin Gaowa
Succeeded by
Maggie Cheung
for Comrades: Almost a Love Story
Preceded by
Anita Yuen
for He's a Woman, She's a Man
Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actress
1996
for Summer Snow
Succeeded by
Maggie Cheung
for Comrades: Almost a Love Story
Preceded by
None
Golden Bauhinia Awards for Best Actress
1996
for Summer Snow
Succeeded by
Maggie Cheung
for Comrades: Almost a Love Story
Preceded by
Raymond Chow
Hong Kong Film Awards Life Achievement Award
2009
Succeeded by
Lau Kar-leung