Chew Chor Meng

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Chew Chor Meng
Chinese name 周初明
Pinyin Zhōu Chūmíng (Mandarin)
Birth name Chew Chor Meng
Born (1968-11-20) 20 November 1968 (age 47)
Singapore Singapore
Other name(s) Ah Meng
Occupation Actor
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) Deon Chew
Children 2 daughters
Ancestry Chaozhou, Guangdong, China
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Chew.

Chew Chor Meng (born 20 November 1968), also known as Zhou Chuming, is a Singaporean television actor. Since 1990, he has been working with MediaCorp on the Chinese-language Channel 8 as a contracted artiste.


Chew started his career in showbiz after winning Star Search in 1990, a bi-annual nationwide talent search. Since then, he has never failed to make it to the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes in the Star Awards, an award ceremony for TV personalities, since its inception in 1994. In 2004, Chew was awarded the All Time Favourite Artiste Award with Li Nanxing and Zoe Tay.

He first earned his acting nomination for his role as Hong San in the 1995 epic The Teochew Family, which he's still known to audiences in China. This was also evident when he bagged the Best Actor Award in Star Awards 2000 in Hainan Kopi Tales. His popularity has also spread across the causeway as he was voted the Most Popular MediaCorp Male Artiste in Malaysia. He made his first crossover to English sitcom in Mr. Kiasu. During the late 1990s to early 2000s, he was best known for his role as Jacky Chang aka Ah Bee, a salesman with a penchant for grabbing 'lobangs' (good opportunities that cannot be missed) in the popular Channel 8 sitcom Don't Worry, Be Happy, which spanned for six seasons. Chew initially dropped out from the role of Ah Bee after the 3rd season due to fear of being typecast, and also because he wanted to focus more on drama and variety shows. He eventually reprised the role for the latter half of the 6th (and final) season for Don't Worry Be Happy, and appeared in a spinoff series Lobang King focusing on Ah Bee and his new league of friends.

Chew is known for his versatility and ability to portray different characters that leave a lasting impression. At the 25th anniversary special in 2007, his character Ah Bee was named as one of the most memorable TV roles and his role as the villain Li Kechun in The Reunion was voted the Top 10 most memorable villains. In 2009 he won the Best Supporting Actor award, despite the nominations being dominated by cast of the popular blockbuster series The Little Nyonya, for his portrayal of a promising young doctor driven to vice and insanity by unfortunate circumstances in The Golden Path.

Now a well-known household name, Chew has gone from acting in drama series to hosting shows and large-scale events including overseas collaborations with Taiwan and China. He was nominated for the Best Info-Ed Host Award at the Star Awards 2010 for co-hosting Food Hometown.

Chew's contract with MediaCorp was set to expire in October 2010.[1] Due to his illness, Chew initially did not expect his contract to be renewed.[1] However, reports surfaced in November 2010 that Chew's contract was renewed for a further two years, with particular emphasis on hosting and new artiste training duties.[2] He made his acting comeback began with Channel U's Show Hand and followed by Channel 8 30th anniversary drama special Joys of Life.

Before the contract extension, Chew was planning to enter the restaurant business before his contract renewal,[1] which would have been Chew's second foray into the eatery business.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Chew was educated from Holy Innocents' High School. He is married to Deon Tan and they have two daughters, born in 2002 and 2004. He revealed during a celebrity talk show in early 2008 that he did not have a happy childhood, often being abused by his overly strict father (a compulsive gambler and alcoholic), who committed suicide when Chew was still in primary school. He began attending a Charismatic church, Renewal Centre from 2007 and was baptised in late November 2008 with his daughters.[3]


On 19 December 2008, Chew announced during a church event that he was suffering from Kennedy's disease, a muscular dystrophy illness that resulted in him limping while filming for his latest role as Wang Zhongkun in Love Blossoms II.[4] Chew said that he was diagnosed with the illness in September 2008, and that he alerted the local press as to his condition, but asked the press to not report it yet, as he was psychologically not ready for it. Chew originally planned on officially announcing his illness during the Star Awards 2008 ceremony, due to be held in March 2009. However, signs of his illness can be clearly seen already, and the news was hard to keep under wraps.[5] The illness has also brought on cardiac problems and diabetes for Chew.[1]

Since the illness was revealed, Chew became a member of the local disabled sports club, and has been taking swimming lessons to strengthen his body.[6]



Year Title Role
2011 It's A Great, Great World (大世界) Ah Meng


Year Title Role
2016 I Want To Be A Star 小咖大作战 Zhong Datian 钟大天
My First School 快乐第一班 Xu Zhengbo 徐政博
Don't Worry, Be Healthy 家有一保 Wu Jiabao 吴家宝
2015 118 Hong Daming 洪达明
2012 The Day It Rained on Our Parade (那一年我们淋着雨)
Joys of Life (花样人间) Zhao Dagou 赵大狗
Show Hand (注定) Lai Jianxin 赖建新
Rescue 995 (995) Leo
2011 Secrets For Sale (拍。卖) Xie Guanghui 谢光辉
2009 Police & Thief 6
2008 Love Blossoms II 心花朵朵开II Wang Zhongkun 王仲琨
2007 The Golden Path (黄金路) Huang Kaida黄凯达
My Dear Kins (亲本家人) Zhang Wanglai张望来
2005 My Lucky Charm (情来运转) Zhang Fengshou张丰收
You Are The One (二分之一缘分) Raymond
Oh Mother! (哎哟我的妈!) Yang Dafu 杨大富
2004 Chronicles of Life (我爱我家真情实录之风雨同舟) Ray
2003 Lobang King 我是Lobang King Ah Bee
2002 Springs of Life (春到人间) Cai Dapao 蔡大炮
Mr Kiasu II Kiasu
2001 The Hotel (大酒店) Fang Baiming 方白明
The Reunion (顶天立地) Li Kechun 李克淳
Mr Kiasu Kiasu
2000 Hainan Kopi Tales (琼园咖啡香) Long Ah Sing 龙亚星
The Voices Within (心灵物语)
The Legendary Swordsman (笑傲江湖) Lin Pingzhi 林平之
1999 Wok of Life (福满人间) You Ri'an/You Yongfu 游日安/ 游永福
1998 Riding The Storms (陌生人) Cai Guinan蔡贵南
The New Adventures of Wisely (卫斯理传奇) Wen Baoyu 温宝裕
1997 Immortal Love (不老传说) Chen Xiaogui 陈小贵
For Better or Worse (精英份子) Lin Tianming 林天明
Crimes and Tribulations (狮城奇案录之凶兆吉日) Xie Baoxing 谢宝兴
1996 Don't Worry, Be Happy (敢敢做个开心人) Ah Bee
The Unbeatables II (双天至尊II) Ding Zhaohui 丁照辉
Santa, The Happy Ghost (我爱好兄弟) Shuai Mingjie 帅明杰
1995 Embroidered Banner (花帜) Hou Yisheng 侯奕升
Ah Xue II (阿雪II) Lu Ah He 陆阿和
The Teochew Family (潮洲家族) Hong San 洪三
1994 Romance in the 7th Month (七月幽情) Hong Dazhi 洪达智
The Valiant One (昆仑奴) Mo Ge 摩勒
Challenge of Truth (铁证柔情) Lin Haoming 林浩明
Young Justice Bao (侠义包公) Bao Zheng 包拯
1993 The Witty Advisor (金牌师爷) Mo Bairen 莫百忍
The Brave Ones (荡寇英雄) Yu Jun 余俊
Angel of Vengeance (暴雨狂花) Yang Jingui 杨金贵
Heavenly Beings (再战封神榜) Fire God 华光/火神
Heaven's Will (天机风云) He Zhenhong 贺震宏
1992 Crazy Chase (富贵也疯狂) Li Xiaofei 李小飞
Memories of June (六月的童话) Zhang Yidan 张一凡
Fiery Passion (烈焰焚情) Chen Jiaqi 陈家齐
1991 The Last Swordsman (最后一个大侠) Yingwu 英武
The Future Is Mine (锦秀前程) Luo Dawei 罗大威
1987 On the Fringe (边缘少年) Extra


Year Title Role
2011 Living the Golden Age '11 (黄金年华之光辉岁月) Host
Community Chest Truehearts (公益献爱心) Host
2010 Living the Golden Age '10 (黄金年华之光辉岁月) Host
2009 Food Hometown 2 (美食寻根 2) Host
2008 The Fairprice Show (平价与你迎旺年) Host
Let's Go Shopping (我们逛街去) Host
2007 Never Too Old (新领屋) Host
My Beautiful Life (好想美一下) Host
True Files V (真实档案 V) Host
2006 Fortune Festival at Giant'06 (爱上Giant过肥年'06) Host
Kungfu Chef (神厨双怪) Host
My Star Guide (Dubai) (我的导游是明星 (迪拜)) Co-Host
Trivia Trove 2 (不说你不知 2) Host
Citispa Beauty Perfection (Citispa完美大挑战) Host
True Files IV (真实档案 IV) Host
Let's Party With Food 4 (食福满人间 4) Host
2005 Trivia Trove (不说你不知) Host
Fortune Festival at Giant'05 (爱上Giant过肥年'05) Host
True Files III (真实档案 III) Host
Perfect 10 (十分十全十美) Host
National Day Parade 2005 Co-Host
Where in Singapore (到底在哪里) Host
Let's Party With Food 3 (食福满人间 3) Host
Kungfu Chef (神厨双怪) Host
Renci Charity Show 2005 (仁心慈爱照万千) Host
2004 Flavours of Australia (澳妙新滋味) Co-Host
NKF Charity Show 2004 (群星照亮千万心之星光再现人间情) Host
Spring and Slide (威力无比加油站) Host
2003 Tiger Club Crawl (Tiger寻Fun作乐) Host
True Hearts'03 (公益献爱心) Host
2001 Tonite With Chor Meng (夜猫行动) Host
Super Movie Fan Club (超级影迷俱乐部) Host
Lunar New Year Special 2001 (金蛇运转贺新年) Co-Host
All Stars Variety 2001 (全星展艺献温情) Host
2000 Affairs of the Heart (心手相连) Host
1999 Star Search (才华横溢出新秀) Host
1995 City Beat (城人杂志) Co-host
Star Search (才华横溢出新秀) Host
Variety Tonight – Now You Know (1995 原来如此) Host
1994 Chew on Eight (河畔飘香尝美食) Host
1993 Star Search (才华横溢出新秀) Host


Year Award / Achievement Representative Work Notes
2013 Star Awards 2013, Best Actor Joys of Life Nominated
2010 Star Awards 2010, Best Info-ed Programme Show Host Food Hometown 2 Nominated
2009 Star Awards 2009, Best Supporting Actor The Golden Path (TV series) Won
2004 Star Awards 2004, All Time Favourite Award Won
2003 Star Awards 2003, Best Actor Springs Of Life Nominated
2003 Star Awards 2003, Best Comedy Performer Lobang King Nominated
2003 Star Awards 2003, Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
2002 Star Awards 2002, Best Actor The Reunion Nominated
2002 Star Awards 2002, Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
2001 Star Awards 2001, Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
2000 Star Awards 2000, Best Actor Hainan Kopi Tales Won
2000 Star Awards 2000, Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
1999 Star Awards 1999, Best Actor Wok of Life Nominated
1999 Star Awards 1999, Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
1998 Star Awards 1998, Best Actor Immortal Love Nominated
1998 Star Awards 1998, Best Comedy Performer Don't Worry Be Happy 4 Nominated
1998 Star Awards 1998, Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
1997 Star Awards 1997, Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
1996 Star Awards 1996, Best Actor The Teochew Family Nominated
1996 Star Awards 1996, Top 5 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
1995 Star Awards 1995, Best Actor Challenge Of Truth Nominated
1995 Star Awards 1995, Top 5 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
1994 Star Awards 1994, Top 5 Most Popular Male Artistes Won
1990 Star Search 1990 Won


  1. ^ a b c d e "明年10月约满 周初明计划进军饮食业 (Translation: Artiste Contract Due to Expire in October of Next Year, Chew Plans Eatery Business Venture)" (in Chinese). Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore). 7 July 2009. Retrieved 13 July 2009. 
  2. ^ "周初明獲續約2年 或轉戰主持教學 (Translation: Chew Chor Meng's Contract Renewed For Two Years, Might Turn to Hosting and Training)". 1 November 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  3. ^ Tan, Dawn Weie (21 December 2008). "'I may need a wheelchair'--But actor Chew Chor Meng refuses to let muscular atrophy get him down". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  4. ^ "Chew Chor Meng diagnosed with muscular atrophy". AsiaOne. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "患肌肉萎缩症 周初明受访: 坐轮椅也要 看女儿长大 (Translation: Suffering from muscular atrophy, Chew Chor Meng's Exclusive Interview: "I will watch my daughter grow up, even if I have to watch from a wheelchair")" (in Chinese). Lianhe Wanbao (carried on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008. 
  6. ^ "成为残疾人士体育理事会会员 周初明每周4天游泳健身 (Translation: Becoming a member of a disabled sports organisation, Chew Chor Meng swims 4 times a week for fitness)" (in Chinese). Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore). Retrieved 13 July 2009. 

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