Jack Neo

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Jack Neo
Chinese name 梁智強 (traditional)
Chinese name 梁智强 (simplified)
Pinyin Liáng Zhìqiáng (Mandarin)
Birth name Neo Chee Keong
Ancestry Chinese
Origin Singapore
Born (1960-01-24) 24 January 1960 (age 56)
Occupation Film director, actor, host
Spouse(s) Irene Kng
Children 4

Jack Neo (born Neo Chee Keong, 24 January 1960), PBM, is a Singaporean film and television actor, host and director. He is best known for his cross-dressing roles, as Liang Popo (literally: Granny Liang) in the 1999 film Liang Po Po: The Movie and as Liang Ximei in the late 1990s television comedy show Comedy Night.


Neo found his calling when at the age of 14, he wrote and acted in a comedy skit for Tanjong Katong Secondary School.[1][2][3]

Neo started his career on television in 1980 and became one of the most successful and recognisable celebrities in MediaCorp for his comedic roles on film and television. His two most notable cross-dressing roles on film and television are that of Liang Po Po and Liang Xi Mei, both skits in the long-running comedy variety show Comedy Night. Neo made his directorial debut in That One Not Enough (1999) and he set up his own artiste management company, J Team Productions, whose members include comedians Mark Lee, Henry Thia and John Cheng.

Neo's films satirise several aspects about Singapore in comical ways, including societal issues such as negligent parenting and school corporal punishment, and foreign issues such as the water disputes between Singapore and Malaysia. Apart from his film and TV career, Neo has also recorded and produced a number of albums.

Neo received the Best Director Award at the Silver Screen Awards in 1998 for his short film and was also awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award in the following year in recognition of his contributions to Singapore's media industry. Since then, he became a filmmaker and created his first film, Money No Enough, directed by Tay Teck Lock and released into cinemas on 7 May 1998. In 2004, Neo became the first filmmaker in Singapore to be honoured with the Public Service Award. He also received the Cultural Medallion on 21 October 2005 together with musician Dick Lee.[4]

In 2008, Neo and Mark Lee bought the Singapore master franchise rights for Old Town White Coffee, a coffee retail concept from Ipoh, Malaysia. Their first store at Big Splash opened on 30 March in that year.

In 2013, Neo announced the creation of J Team Academy, an educational institute which aimed to bring together industry experts to groom new film-making talent. The academy opened on 6 April 2013.[5]

In October 2014, the Madame Tussauds Singapore museum unveiled a wax figure of Neo. The statue depicts Neo dressed in a denim shirt with rolled-up sleeves giving two thumbs up - a pose he has struck previously in several media interviews.[6]

2015 saw the release of Neo's short film as part of the omnibus 7 Letters to commemorate Singapore's 50th year of independence.[7] Malaysian censors took offence with Neo's segment when it was submitted to them for a screening at Kuala Lumpur's Titian Budaya Festival. They initially requested a cut to the vulgar phrase in Cantonese, “curse your whole family”, but a successful appeal was made by organisers, CultureLink. [8]

Personal life[edit]

Neo married Irene Kng in 1988 and they have four children.[9][not in citation given] It is reportedly his second marriage.[9][not in citation given]

Extramarital affair scandal[edit]

In March 2010, a two-year-long extramarital affair between Neo and freelance model Wendy Chong was publicised and Neo admitted to the affair. Chong, who played a minor role in Neo's 2008 film Money No Enough 2, claimed that Neo initiated the affair. Neo later attempted to break the affair but Chong threatened to hurt herself and the exposé caused shock-waves amongst the conservative entertainment circle of Singapore.[10]

On 9 March 2010, additional reports were released about Neo having or attempting extramarital affairs with up to 11 women. He tried to ask actress-host Foyce Le Xuan and French student Maelle Meurzec for sexual favours, both unsuccessfully.[11] On 11 March, Neo and Kng held a five-minute press conference, in which Neo admitted his mistake and asked the media to let him off.[12] After that, Kng reiterated her love for Neo and also requested for the media to spare her.[12]

Subsequently, his endorsement deal with Mitsubishi Electric Asia was dropped and TV advertisements featuring the director were taken off air. Other advertisers, such as Bee Cheng Hiang and Goh Joo Hin, initially adopted a "wait-and-see" attitude, but otherwise similarly dropped all endorsement deals.[13]


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Money No Enough Chew Wah Keong Writer, actor
1999 That One Not Enough Hong Haoren Writer, director, actor
Liang Popo: The Movie Liang Popo/Liang Ximei Writer, actor
2002 I Not Stupid Mr Liu Writer, director, actor
2003 Homerun Beng Soon's father Writer, director, Cameo
2004 The Best Bet Writer, director
2005 I Do I Do Member of Parliament Neo Director, actor, writer
One More Chance Reporter Writer, director, Cameo
2006 I Not Stupid Too Mr Yeo (Steven) Writer, director, actor
2007 Just Follow Law Doctor Writer, director, narrator, Cameo
2008 Ah Long Pte Ltd Composer Writer, director, Cameo
Money No Enough 2 Yang Baoqiang Writer, director, actor
2009 Love Matters Writer, director
Where Got Ghost? Yang Baoqiang Writer, director, actor
2010 Being Human Waiter Director, Cameo
2011 Homecoming Karen Neo Actor
The Ghosts Must Be Crazy Executive Producer, writer
2012 We Not Naughty Mr. Sng Writer, director, actor, Voice Cameo
Ah Boys to Men Writer, director
2013 Ah Boys to Men 2 Writer, director, Cameo
Everybody's Business Executive Producer
2014 The Lion Men Writer, director
The Lion Men: Ultimate Showdown Writer, director
2015 Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen Writer, director
My Papa Rich Pokok Lim actor
7 Letters - Segment "That Girl" Writer, director
2016 Long Long Time Ago[14] Writer, director, Cameo


  1. ^ Walsh, Bryan (1 April 2002). "Neo is the One". TIME Asia magazine. Retrieved 25 November 2006. 
  2. ^ "Socio-Political Commentary in the films of Jack Neo". Archived from the original on 17 May 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007. 
  3. ^ "Jack Neo – Tanjong Katong schoolboy". 
  4. ^ http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Showbiz/Story/A1Story20100312-204275/4.html
  5. ^ http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Showbiz/Story/A1Story20130317-409292.html
  6. ^ Singh, Bryna (26 October 2014). "Readers vote: Which Madame Tussauds Singapore wax figure looks most like the real McCoy?". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Chan, Boon (20 August 2014). "One film for Singapore's 50th year from seven top local directors, including Eric Khoo and Jack Neo". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Chua, Genevieve (4 January 2016). "Malaysian censors take issue with Singapore films". MediaCorp. TODAY. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  9. ^ a b [1] Archived 14 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Model exposes affair with S'pore director Jack Neo, 7 March 2010, Channel Newsasia
  11. ^ French girl spills on Neo, http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_500254.html
  12. ^ a b Foong Woei Wan (12 March 2010). "He sobs, she collapses: Neo and wife face the press". The Straits Times (Singapore).
  13. ^ Jack Neo loses Mitsubishi Electric endorsement deal
  14. ^ Han, Wei Chou (29 May 2015). "Jack Neo unveils cast of new film Long Long Time Ago". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2015-06-06. 

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