|Chinese name||午馬 (traditional)|
|Chinese name||午马 (simplified)|
|Pinyin||Wǔ Mǎ (Mandarin)|
|Jyutping||Ng5 Maa5 (Cantonese)|
|Birth name||馮宏源 (Traditional)
Féng Hóngyuán (Mandarin)
Fung4 Wang4jyun4 (Cantonese)
|Born||22 September 1942
|Died||4 February 2014
Fung Wang-yuen (22 September 1942 – 4 February 2014), better known by his stage name Wu Ma, was a Hong Kong actor, director, producer and writer born in Tianjin, Republic of China. Wu Ma made his screen debut in 1963, and with over 240 appearances to his name (plus 49 directorial credits within a fifty year period), he was one of the most familiar faces in the history of Hong Kong Cinema and best known as the Taoist ghosthunter in A Chinese Ghost Story.
The early years
Wu was born Feng Hongyuan in Tianjin. At 16 he moved to Guangzhou and became a machinist before migrating to Hong Kong in 1960. In 1962, Wu enrolled in the Shaw Brothers acting course. Graduating a year later, he became a contract player for the studio and made his first appearance in Lady General Hua Mu-lan. He then appeared in such films as Temple Of The Red Lotus (1965), The Knight Of Knights (1966) and Trail Of The Broken Blade (1967). He took on the stage name 'Wu Ma' as it reflected the animal in the year of his birth (the horse), and believed it was short enough for audiences to remember.
During an interview, Wu explained that he had stumbled upon directing when he was offered an unexpected trip to Japan for a movie. The film's original assistant director was unable to clear his visa in time, and Wu was called upon to take his place. After the experience, Wu decided to become a director.
In 1970, Wu became a director in his own right. His directorial debut, Wrath Of The Sword, was released the same year. In 1971, Wu released one of his seminial works, The Deaf And Mute Heroine. He concentrated on directing in the 1970s, directing several movies - such as Young Tiger (1973) and Wits To Wits (1974). Wits To Wits has been noted as one of the precursors of the knockabout comedy kung fu genre that was later made famous by Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan. Another movie Wu directed, Manchu Boxer (1974), featured Sammo Hung, then a young choreographer and later one of the trend-setters of Hong Kong cinema. This marked the beginning of a strong working relationship between the two, which would become prominent towards the 1980s. He co-directed with his former mentor Chang in several movies - The Water Margin (1972), The Pirate (1973), All Men Are Brothers (1975) and Naval Commandos (1976).
While most of his output during this period was as a director, Wu continued to appear as an actor and appeared both in his own movies and in several others, although his roles were generally limited to small appearances. During the mid-1970s, Wu joined a small exodus who were leaving Shaw Brothers due to corruption within the studio and became an independent director. Despite becoming an independent director, Wu was still able to work closely with some Shaw Brothers stars such as Ti Lung (The Massive (1978)).
As the 1970s and the era of the martial arts film wound down, Wu Ma's output as a director also slowed. His acting output, however, increased as he became increasingly well known as a character actor. Wu had made appearances in Sammo Hung's 1970s movies (such as Iron Fisted Monk), his association with Hung began in earnest in the early 1980s. Wu appeared in Encounters of the Spooky Kind (1980). Throughout the 1980s, Wu and Hung had a close working relationship, often with Wu as the director and Hung as the producer (such as My Cousin The Ghost (1986)). Wu worked in Hung's production company Bo Ho as the production manager, and made appearances in Hung-directed films during the 1980s, including Millionaire's Express (1986) and Wheels on Meals (1984).
Towards the mid-1980s, Wu became one of the most prolific character actors in Hong Kong, his now-rubbery face able to shift effortlessly across a spectrum of emotions. During the 1980s, he received three Hong Kong Film Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor - for Righting Wrongs (1986), where he played a policeman having to deal with his son's death; A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) as Yin Chek-Ha; and in The Last Eunuch In China (1988), as Lord Ting. He began a working relationship with Tsui Hark, and appeared in several of Hark's movies. Aside from A Chinese Ghost Story, Wu also appeared in the earlier Peking Opera Blues (1986).
After A Chinese Ghost Story, said by Wu to be amongst his favourite movies, Wu began to focus on the supernatural genre. Much of his directorial efforts after 1987 were within that genre, such as Portrait Of A Nymph (1988), Burning Sensation (1989) and Fox Legend (1991).
Wu continued his working relationship with Hark, and appeared in Once Upon A Time In China (1991) and Swordsman (1991). The early 1990s were an especially prolific period in Wu's career - with Wu appearing in over 14 movies during one year. As the Hong Kong film industry began to slump, Wu's career also slowed considerably. After appearing in High Risk (1995), many of his appearances were either in low-budget movies or in television series.
Wu was diagnosed with lung cancer and it was announced that the disease started to spread ten months ago. His wife stated that "He have enjoyed every precious minute with his family, which explained that he had casually walked his path with pride and dignity." He died peacefully at his home in Hong Kong on 4 February 2014 at the age of 71.
|This section is incomplete. (March 2012)|
|1965||Temple of The Red Lotus|
|1969||The One-Armed Swordsman
|1971||The Deaf and Mute Heroine||Director|
|1972||The Water Margin
|1974||Wits To Wits||Director||aka From China With Death and Conman and the Kung Fu Kid|
|1977||The Iron-Fisted Monk
|Boatman in brothel|
|1978||Showdown at the Cotton Mill||Director|
|1980||By Hook or By Crook|
|1980||Encounters of the Spooky Kind
|1983||The Dead and The Deadly
|Ma Lun Cheung||Nominated - Hong Kong Film Award for Best Director|
|1984||Hong Kong 1941
|Police station employee|
|1985||Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars
|Rice shop boss|
|1986||Peking Opera Blues
|Uncle Tsai||Nominated - Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1987||A Chinese Ghost Story
|Yin Chek Hsia||Nominated - Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1988||Mr Vampire IV|
|1988||Picture of a Nymp|
|1988||Last Eunuch in China
|Lord Ting||Nominated - Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1990||A Chinese Ghost Story II
|Yin Chek Hsia|
|1990||Story of Kennedy Town
|Detective Sergeant Huang|
捉鬼合家欢 II - 麻衣传奇
|Ma Yi ancestor Priest|
|1991||The Gambling Ghost|
|1991||The Magnificent Scoundrels
|1991||Once Upon a Time in China
|1992||The Ghost's Bride
|1993||The Sword Stained with Royal Blood
|1994||Master of Zen
|1996||Iron Monkey 2
|2005||House of Fury
|2010||Here Comes Fortune|
|2010||Jeet Kune Do|
|2011||I Love Hong Kong|
|Imperial Tutor Pang|
|2011||What's Under the Bed|
|2011||Hand in Hand|
|2012||If I Were You
|2012||The Immemorial Magic|
|2013||Mark of Youth|
|2013||Don't Talk about High - Rich and Handsome|
|2013||A Funny Wedding|
|2014||A Stupid Journey|
|2003||Diao Man Gong Zhu Xiao Yao Wang
|2005||Lost City in Snow Heaven
|2007||The Legend and the Hero
|2007||Sword Stained with Royal Blood
|2008||When East Meets West
|2008||Taste of Happiness
|Mei Lan's grandfather|
|2008||The Qin Empire
|2010||Journey to the West
|2012||Cong Ming De Kong Kong
|Monk of Black Mountain|
- "Wu Ma (1942-2014)". Film Business Asia. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- "Wu Ma, Best Supporting Actor of A Chinese Ghost Story, dies following lung cancer battle". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- "Wu Ma profile". imdb.com. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
- "Wu Ma profile". chinesemov.com. Retrieved 27 February 2010.
- A short biography and filmography
- A detailed biography - bottom of page
- Wu Ma at the Internet Movie Database
- A Chinese Ghost Story - commentary by Bey Logan
- Interview in Chinese
|Awards and achievements|
|Golden Horse Award|
for The Lunatics
|Best Supporting Actor
for A Chinese Ghost Story
for Final Justice