Gregory Charles Rivers

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Gregory Charles Rivers
Chinese name 河國榮 (traditional)
Chinese name 河国荣 (simplified)
Born (1965-04-30) 30 April 1965 (age 51)
Gympie, Queensland, Australia
Years active 1988–present

Gregory Charles Rivers (Chinese: 河國榮; Cantonese Yale: Ho4 Gwok3wing4; born 30 April 1965) is a Hong Kong actor of Australian heritage.

Biography[edit]

Rivers hails from Gympie, Queensland, and attended medical school at University of New South Wales, where he was friends with students from Hong Kong who introduced him to Cantopop. After obtaining his degree in 1987, he moved to Hong Kong.[1] Two weeks after he landed, he ran into some band members of Alan Tam, whose driver he had been during a Sydney visit, and was invited to sing with him.[1]

As a debutant with a modicum of Cantonese, Rivers auditioned and was chosen for a Caucasian role at Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB).[1] Rivers adopted the Chinese name Ho Kwok-wing, the surname meaning River and the given name being that of his idol Leslie Cheung. He went on to become TVB's staple stereotypical 'gweilo' (Caucasian) for two decades.[2]

In 2005, Rivers appeared on stage beside Teresa Teng in an opera production.[2]

In October 2007, Rivers was one of the four non-Chinese TV actors featured in an in-depth interview and feature story 'Hello Neighbour' in Muse, discussing his sense of cultural identity and how he saw his work.[3]

Rivers' stint with TVB ended in 2008.[4]

In a TV interview aired on 19 March 2007 on TVB, Rivers mentioned his reason for learning Cantonese was his association with Hong Kong Cantonese-speaking friends during his time at the University of New South Wales. It was this close friendship and the songs of Leslie Cheung that sparked his interest in learning the language.

Rivers has quipped that he was "TVB's token Caucasian for 20 years straight", having played many different stereotyped roles in more than 200 dramas for TVB.[1] The Aussie often says that in Hong Kong, he's found America.[citation needed] He is also a frequent YouTube poster, having his own prolific number of video clips of himself and his many colleagues within the Hong Kong media industry.[5]

His performance of the song "Forever ATV", which made fun of the apparent government support for Asia Television (the doomed Hong Kong No. 2 broadcast television station that was then on the brink of collapse and finally to be stripped of its broadcasting licence and close its doors) was awarded "Hong Kong's most popular male singer 2015" at the satirical "TVMost 1st Guy Ten Big Ging Cook Gum Cook Awards Distribution" (TVMost's First Top Ten Wonderful Songs, Golden Songs Awards Ceremony) in January 2016. His rendition of his own Cantonese rap song 香港地 (This Hong Kong) was welcomed as a defence of localism during difficult political times. [6][1][6]

Filmography[edit]

TVB (1988–2008)
Movies

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "From Gympie schoolboy to Asian pop star: Hong Kong celebrates Gregory Rivers with top award". ABC News. 14 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Leung, Daren. "Gregory Rivers / Ho Kwok-wing : The Unforgettable White Face". Ethnicityhk. Retrieved 2 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Chow, Vivienne (October 2007). "Hello Neighbour". Muse Magazine (9): 44–57. 
  4. ^ 文國駿 (5 May 2014). 嘆生活艱難河國榮擺檔賣首飾. 蘋果日報 (in Chinese). 
  5. ^ HoKwokWing – via YouTube. 
  6. ^ a b "How TVMost show made its audience feel like Hongkongers". EJ Insight. 12 January 2016. 

External links[edit]