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Andy Lau

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Andy Lau
Lau Fuk Wing (劉福榮)

(1961-09-27) 27 September 1961 (age 62)[1]
Other names
(Dharma name)
Alma materHo Lap College
  • Actor
  • singer
  • film producer
  • lyricist
  • composer
  • businessman
Years active1981–present
(m. 2008)
ChildrenHanna Lau
  • Lau Lai (father)
RelativesLau Tak-sing (brother)
AwardsFull list
Musical career
OriginHong Kong
LabelsCapital Artists (1985)
EMI Music Publishing (1987–1989)
Polygram (1990–1992)
UFO Record (1992–1995)
Bertelsmann Music Group
Catchy Entertainment Ltd. (2002–2004)
Focus Music
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
WebsiteAndy Lau Official Website

Andrew Lau Tak-wah BBS MH JP[3] (simplified Chinese: 刘德华; traditional Chinese: 劉德華; pinyin: Liú Déhuá; Jyutping: Lau4 Dak1 Waa4; born 27 September 1961) is a Hong Kong actor, singer-songwriter and film producer. He was named the "Fourth Tiger" among the Five Tiger Generals of TVB in the 1980s as well as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop in the 1990s.[4]

Lau won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor three times, the Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actor twice, and was entered into the Guinness World Records for the "Most Awards Won by a Cantopop Male Artist" in 2000, with a total of 444 music awards by 2006.[5] Forbes magazine has ranked Lau as one of the world's highest-paid actors.[6] In 2018, Lau became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[7][8] In 2024, Lau was elected vice chairman of the 11th China Film Association.[9] Over a career of four decades, Lau has been one of the most commercially and critically successful artists in the Chinese world.[10][11][12]

Early life[edit]

Lau was born Lau Fook-wing in Tai Po, British Hong Kong to fireman Lau Lai (1934–2023). He is the fourth of six siblings and has three elder sisters, one younger sister, and a younger brother named Lau Tak-sing. Although his family was wealthy due to his grandfather being a landowner with farmland and villages, his father moved them to the slums of Diamond Hill when he was six years old so he could receive a bilingual education to improve his English. The area was full of wooden houses, which unfortunately burnt down when he was eleven. During his childhood, Lau had to fetch water for his family up to eight times a day as their house lacked plumbing.[13] He graduated from a Band One secondary school, Ho Lap College in San Po Kong, Kowloon.[14] He also practices Chinese calligraphy and hair styling.[15] He was raised in a nominally Buddhist household and is a follower of the Lingyan Mountain Temple in Taiwan.[16]



In 1980, Lau enrolled in TVB's actor training program and graduated the next year, signing a contract with TVB. [1] He was propelled to fame by the TVB series The Emissary (1982). His popularity soared the next year with his role as Yang Guo in the TVB wuxia series The Return of the Condor Heroes; at the end of the year, Lau was featured in the TVB Anniversary Gala Show, alongside Tony Leung, Michael Miu, Felix Wong, and Kent Tong. Since then they were known as the "Five Tiger Generals of TVB".[17]

Meanwhile, Lau also started his film career. He made a guest appearance in one of Susanna Kwan's music videos in 1981 and caught the eye of the manager Teddy Robin, who gave Lau his first minor role in the film, Once Upon a Rainbow.[18] Lau then landed a role in Ann Hui's 1982 film, Boat People.[1] In 1983, he had his first leading role in the Shaw Brothers-produced action film, On the Wrong Track.[19]

Since TVB insisted on a binding five-year exclusive contract, which Lau declined to sign, leading to his blacklisting by the network. In the late '80s, Lau departed from TVB and shifted his focus towards films.[13] He established himself for his performances in films such as The Truth (1988), Wong Kar-wai's As Tears Go By (1988) and Benny Chan's film A Moment of Romance (1990). His first major acting prize came with A Fighter's Blues, which was his first Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Actor.[20] He won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor award that year for Running Out of Time.[21] In 2004, he won the Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actor for his performance in Infernal Affairs III.[22]

Since the early 21st century, Lau has started working with filmmakers from China and beyond, notably in Zhang Yimou's House of Flying Daggers (2004) and Feng Xiaogang's A World Without Thieves (2004). In 2006 he starred in the pan-Asian blockbuster A Battle of Wits (2006), followed by a series of big-budget historical films such as The Warlords (2007), Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon (2008), and Tsui Hark's Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010).

Lau being interviewed at the 2005 Hong Kong International Film Festival

In 2005, Lau received the "No.1 Box office Actor 1985–2005" award of Hong Kong, yielding a box office total of HKD 1,733,275,816 for shooting 108 films in the past 20 years.[13][15] The aforementioned figure is as compared to the first runner-up Stephen Chow's (HKD 1,317,452,311) and second runner-up Jackie Chan's (HKD 894,090,962). For his contributions, a wax figure of Lau was unveiled on 1 June 2005 at the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.[23] In 2007, Lau also received the "Nielsen Box Office Star of Asia" award by the Nielsen Company (ACNielsen).[3]

April 2017, he starred in the Hong Kong action film Shock Wave,[24] which earned him another Best Actor Award at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2018.[25] In February 2021, Lau reunited with Tony Leung since the Infernal Affairs series in the action film The Goldfinger.[26]

Film production[edit]

In 1991, Lau set up his own film production company, Teamwork Motion Pictures, which in 2002 was renamed to Focus Group Holdings Limited. He was awarded the "Asian Filmmaker of the Year" in the Pusan International Film Festival in 2006.[3] The films Lau has produced include Made in Hong Kong, A Simple Life, A Fighter's Blues, Crazy Stone, Firestorm and Shock Wave.


Andy Lau in concert 2011

Lau released his first album Just Know I Only Love You (1985) under the record label Capital Artists to minimal commercial success.[13] However, he achieved mainstream success in 1990 with the release of the album Would It Be Possible which won Lau his first RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Award.[27] The following year, he released the single "The Days We Spent Together" which topped Hong Kong's music charts and was an international hit across Asia. The song was lauded by Time Out which described its popularity as 'practically a national anthem' and 'one of the most notable hits' in Lau's career.[28] His subsequent albums brought him further recognition spawning hit singles such as "Ice Rain" (1993), "Forget Love Potion" (1994), and "Stupid Fellow" (1998). His popularity as a music artist was such that Lau was dubbed as one of the Cantopop Four Heavenly Kings along with Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, and Leon Lai.[4] His album Love Notes Written in Bone Upon My Heart (1997) is certified 2x Platinum in Taiwan and is one of the best-selling albums with 640,305 copies sold. His other albums Because of Love (1996) and Love is Mysterious (1997) also reached 2x Platinum status there.[11]

At the Jade Solid Gold Top 10 Awards, he won the "Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist" award 7 times and the "Asia Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist" award 15 times.[13] By April 2000, he had already won an unprecedented total of 292 awards.[13] That same year, he entered the Guinness World Records for "Most Awards Won by a Cantopop Male Artist" and again in 2021 for "Most Douyin Followers Gained in 24 hours" and "Fastest Time to Reach Ten Million Followers on Douyin".[29][30][31]

At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Lau sang "Please Stay, Guests From Afar" alongside Jackie Chan and Emil Chau during its closing ceremony. In addition, Lau, who has been supporting disabled athletes in Hong Kong for more than a decade, was appointed as the Goodwill ambassador for the 2008 Summer Paralympics.[32] He led other performers in singing and performing the song "Everyone is No.1" at the Beijing National Stadium before the 2008 Paralympics opening ceremony began.[33] He also sang the theme song "Flying with the Dream" with Han Hong during the Paralympics opening ceremony on 6 September 2008.[32]

In 2022, Lau set records when an online concert he held via Douyin attracted more than 350 million viewers.[34]

In addition to singing in Cantonese and Mandarin, Lau has also sung in other languages such as English, Japanese and Taiwanese Hokkien. He has held concerts in Asia, North America, Europe, and Oceania, and continues to tour with an upcoming Mainland China leg set for Summer 2024.[35]


Lau has written two books, This Is How I Grew Up (我是這樣長大的) (1995), an autobiography,[36] and My 30 Work Days (我的30個工作天) (2012), a collection of his 30 personal diaries written while working on the 2011 film, A Simple Life.[37]

Art exhibition[edit]

In 2023, Lau opened his debut art show titled the 1/X Andy Lau X Art Exhibition, which ran on 25 August at the Freespace venue located in the West Kowloon Cultural District. The exhibit includes a sculpture which Lau designed, a projection of images from his films and concerts, paintings made by him and his daughter, and works where he collaborated with other artists, such as collaborating with Hong Kong artists Sticky Line on a statue of his character from Running on Karma, collaborating with Beijing artist Xu Zhuoer in glass covered film props from A Moment of Romance, and a collaboration with ink painter where Lau showcases his calligraphy.[38][39]


In 1994, Lau established the Andy Lau Charity Foundation which helps people in need and promotes a wide range of youth education services.[3] In 1999, he received the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World award, being the third person from Hong Kong at that time to receive this distinguished honour.[3] In 2008, Lau took a main role in putting together the Artistes 512 Fund Raising Campaign for relief toward the victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.[40]

Personal life[edit]

In 2008, Lau secretly married Carol Chu in America and acknowledged his marriage the following year, ending decades of speculation over their relationship. Both Lau and Chu are vegetarians and Buddhists.[41] On 9 May 2012, Chu gave birth to a daughter Hanna.[42]

In January 2017, Lau sustained a serious pelvic injury after being thrown off and stomped on by a horse during a commercial shoot in Thailand.[43][44] He made a full recovery by the end of the year.[45][46]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Lau's hand print and autograph at the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong
Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1983 Hong Kong Film Awards Best New Performer Boat People Nominated
1989 Best Actor As Tears Go By Nominated
1990 Golden Horse Film Festival Best Supporting Actor Kawashima Yoshiko Nominated
1992 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Actor Lee Rock Nominated
Best Original Film Song (Singer) Casino Raiders II Nominated
1995 Tian Di Nominated
1996 Best Actor Full Throttle Nominated
Best Original Film Song (Singer/Lyricist) Nominated
1998 Best Film (Producer) Made in Hong Kong Won
Best Original Film Song (Singer) Island of Greed Nominated
1999 The Longest Summer Nominated
A True Mob Story Nominated
Best Film (Producer) The Longest Summer Nominated
2000 Best Actor Running Out of Time Won
Golden Bauhinia Awards Nominated
2001 Hong Kong Film Awards A Fighter's Blues Nominated
Golden Bauhinia Awards A Fighter's Blues Won
Golden Horse Film Festival Love on a Diet Nominated
2002 Hong Kong Film Awards Nominated
Best Original Film Song (Singer/Lyricist) Shaolin Soccer Nominated
2003 Best Actor Infernal Affairs Nominated
Best Original Film Song (Singer with Tony Leung) Won
Golden Horse Film Festival Best Actor Nominated
Golden Bauhinia Awards Nominated
2004 Hong Kong Film Awards Running on Karma Won
Golden Horse Film Festival Infernal Affairs III Won
Golden Bauhinia Awards Nominated
Running on Karma Nominated
2005 A World Without Thieves Nominated
2006 Hong Kong Film Awards Wait 'Til You're Older Nominated
Best Original Film Song (Singer/Lyricist) Nominated
Golden Bauhinia Awards Best Actor Nominated
2007 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Asian Film (Producer) Crazy Stone Nominated
Golden Bauhinia Awards Best Actor Battle of Wits Nominated
2007 Asian Film Awards Battle of Wits Nominated
2008 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Supporting Actor Protégé Won
Best Actor The Warlords Nominated
Best Original Film Song (Singer with Eason Chan/Lyricist) Brothers Nominated
2011 Best Film (Producer) Gallants Won
Golden Horse Film Festival Best Actor A Simple Life Won
2012 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Film (Producer) Won
Best Actor Won
Best Original Film Song (Singer/Lyricist) Shaolin Nominated
Asian Film Awards Best Actor A Simple Life Nominated
2014 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Original Film Song (Singer with Sammi Cheng) Blind Detective Nominated
2015 Golden Rooster Awards Best Actor Lost and Love Nominated
2016 Hong Kong Film Awards Nominated
Huabiao Awards Won
2018 Hong Kong Film Awards Best Film (Producer) Chasing the Dragon Nominated
Shock Wave Nominated
Best Actor Nominated
2021 Huading Awards Shock Wave 2 Won


Lau was noted for his highly positive energy, his hard work and active involvement in charity works throughout his 30 years in showbiz and honoured as a "Justice of Peace" by the Hong Kong SAR government in 2008.[47] In May 2010, he received the "World Outstanding Chinese" award and an "honorary doctorate" from the University of New Brunswick, Canada.[48] On 14 December 2017, Lau was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree from the Hong Kong Shue Yan University, with the citation highlighting his popularity among locals which stated: "His low-key, modest, friendly and approachable personality has endeared him to millions of fans and ordinary folks alike, who also consider him to be a 'heartthrob' and the 'unofficial Chief Executive of Hong Kong'".[49]

In 2018, asteroid 55381 Lautakwah, discovered by Bill Yeung at the Desert Eagle Observatory in 2001, was named for Lau. The asteroid measures approximately 8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles) in diameter and is located in the outermost region of the asteroid belt, just inside the Hecuba gap. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 11 July 2018.[50]

In 2023, Lau was presented with a Special Tribute award at 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.[51]

See also[edit]

Awards and achievements[edit]

Awards and achievements
Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards Presentation
Preceded by Most Popular Male Artist
Andy Lau
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Asia Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist
Andy Lau
Succeeded by
Preceded by Most Popular Male Artist
Andy Lau
Succeeded by
Preceded by Asia Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist
Andy Lau
Succeeded by
Preceded by Most Popular Male Artist
Andy Lau
Succeeded by
Preceded by Asia Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist
Andy Lau
Succeeded by
Preceded by Most Popular Male Artist
Andy Lau
Succeeded by
Hong Kong Film Awards
Preceded by Best Actor
Andy Lau
for Running Out of Time
Succeeded by
Preceded by Best Actor
Andy Lau
for Running on Karma
Succeeded by
Preceded by Best Supporting Actor
Andy Lau
for Protégé
Succeeded by
Ming Pao Power Academy Awards
Preceded by
Honorary Award
Andy Lau
& Leslie Cheung
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Outstanding Actor in Film
Andy Lau
for Needing You...
Succeeded by
Andy Lau
for Love on a Diet
Preceded by
Andy Lau
for Needing You...
Outstanding Actor in Film
Andy Lau
for Love on a Diet
Succeeded by
Preceded by Performance Power Award
Andy Lau
Succeeded by
Preceded by Outstanding Actor in Film
Andy Lau
for Running on Karma
Succeeded by
Preceded by Performance Power Award
Andy Lau
Succeeded by
Preceded by Honorary Award
Andy Lau
Succeeded by


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  27. ^ "1990 RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs". RTHK Memory.
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  30. ^ "Most Douyin followers gained in 24 hours". Guinness World Records. 28 January 2021.
  31. ^ "Fastest time to reach ten million followers on Douyin". Guinness World Records. 28 January 2021.
  32. ^ a b "Beijing Paralympic theme song shows love for life". Sina.com. 6 September 2008.
  33. ^ "Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games". peopledaily.com.cn.
  34. ^ Cao, Ann (4 September 2022). "Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau's online concert on Douyin sets record 350 million viewers on a wave of Canto-pop nostalgia". South China Morning Post.
  35. ^ "声明函 – 刘德华2024年中国内地巡回演唱会". AWC. 14 November 2023.
  36. ^ "劉德華--我是這樣長大的".
  37. ^ "My 30 Working Days: Diary of Shooting A Simple Life". 22 April 2012.
  38. ^ "Meet Andy Lau, artist. Actor and Cantopop star shows off a new string to his bow in an exhibition in Hong Kong of collaborations with other artists". 29 August 2023.
  39. ^ "Hong Kong icon Andy Lau unveils his first art show, that looks at his career, life as a dad and more, in new West Kowloon exhibition".
  40. ^ "Artistes 512 preparation pictures". Sina.com. Retrieved 31 May 2008.
  41. ^ "Andy Lau admits to marrying Carol Chu last year". Channel News Asia. MediaCorp. 30 August 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
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  46. ^ "Andy Lau speaks out about his recovery process". Archived from the original on 4 September 2018.
  47. ^ "[Unknown]". Xinhuanet.com. 2 July 2008.[dead link]
  48. ^ "Ta Kung Pao[permanent dead link]." Retrieved on 6 May 2010.
  49. ^ "Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau receives honorary doctorate, hopes to be role model for young people". 15 December 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2018.[permanent dead link]
  50. ^ "(55381) Lautakwah = 2001 SX264 = 1978 WY3 = 1992 EP35 = 1998 FA86 – IAU Minor Planet Center".
  51. ^ Kay, Jeremy (22 August 2023). "TIFF adds Carolina Markowicz, Lukasz Zal, Andy Lau to tribute line-up". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 16 September 2023.

External links[edit]