|Chinese name||鄧光榮 (traditional)|
|Chinese name||邓光荣 (simplified)|
|Pinyin||Dèng Guāngróng (Mandarin)|
|Jyutping||Dang6 Gwong1 Wing4 (Cantonese)|
20 September 1946|
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
|Died||29 March 2011
Ho Man Tin, Kowloon, Hong Kong
|Other name(s)||The Student Prince (學生王子)|
|Occupation||Actor, film producer, film director|
|Genre(s)||Cinema of Hong Kong|
|Spouse(s)||Janet Yim Chan-nap (1975–2011)|
|Children||Tang Yip Yan Yvette and Tang Yip Wai Ellie|
|Ancestry||Shunde, Guangdong, China|
Tang was born in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, He is the youngest of four children, having two older brothers and one older sister. His first starring role was actually at age 16 in the 1963 film The Student Prince, a role he had gotten after some school friends showed his picture to the people making a movie at their secondary school. His role in this early movie earned him the nickname of "The Student Prince."
His secondary education was at the New Method College. After graduation, he received a full scholarship to the University of Hong Kong Law School. He deferred his acceptance to pursue an acting career.
Upon graduation from secondary school, Tang acted in Hong Kong youth films starring Josephine Hsiao Fang-fang, Chen Chen, and Connie Chan Bo Jue throughout the 1960s. Tang was often voted "Best Male Actor" by film magazines.
Tang found fame when he moved to Taiwan during the 1970s, where he had made over 60 feature films. The films he made were often dramas and romances, where he would often pair off with Brigette Lin Qing Xia, in such films as Run Lover Run.
It was reported that Tang made a salary of HK$150,000 per picture because of his popularity. In one 1974 article, Tang said that he was working on six movies at the same time, however, he only worked on one film a day and that made it difficult for producers. In 1974, Tang not only starred in the Splendid Love in Winter with Chen Chen but he also produced it. Also that same year the film, Dynamite Brothers was released. He co-starred with American Football hero Timothy Brown and James Hong. Tang continued his popular film career in both Hong Kong and Taiwan in the late 1970s. In 1977, Tang starred in director John Lo Mar's romance movie Impetuous Fire with up-and-coming teenage star Candice Yu, later the first wife of Chow Yun-Fat. The movie was primarily shot in Macau which opened up Tang's business ventures there. Candice Yu, seventeen at the time, became the youngest actress to appear as Tang's leading lady.
Later in 1977, he formed the production company, The Wing-Scope Company.
With Tang working in Taiwan, and his girlfriend at the time (Janet Yim) in Hong Kong, the pair had occasional difficulties especially since the press reported their every move. Tang and Janet, however, remained together, in spite of living under constant scrutiny.
In 1987, Tang established another production company, In-Gear Film Production Co., Ltd., working alongside his brother, producer/presenter Rover Tang, and continued to produce and act in films, establishing himself as an action star. He appeared in a number of films—generally of the triad genre—such as Flaming Brothers, Gangland Odyssey, Return Engagement, Gun n' Rose and The Black Panther Warriors. He has also produced two films directed by Wong Kar-wai--As Tears Go By and Days of Being Wild.
Working with Wong Kar-wai
In the mid-1980s, Wong Kar-wai became a scriptwriter/director at Wing-Scope and In-Gear. He had written the scripts for the films, Return Engagement and Flaming Brothers which both starred Tang.
Wong's current nostalgic artsy style took shape during his apprenticeship with Tang, who invested in the first movie Wong directed, As Tears Go By. Wong's career took off when he directed the film Days of Being Wild in 1990, despite Tang losing millions of invested dollars.
Following his retirement, Media Asia Group had gained rights to release his In-Gear film titles on DVD. Throughout the 1990s, Tang pursued a second career in the restaurant business. Additionally, he is an active philanthropist in Hong Kong and mainland China as both an individual and an involved Rotarian. According to the posthumous memoirs of democracy activist Szeto Wah, Tang lent significant financial and material support to help activists flee from China after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Szeto said Tang helped out Operation Yellowbird by exerting his great influence in Macau and "got involved personally to save time but he remained low-key and never claimed his share of glory."