John Cheng

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John Cheng Yeow Nam
Background information
Chinese name 鍾耀南
Chinese name 鍾耀南 (traditional)
Chinese name 钟耀南 (simplified)
Pinyin zhōng yào nán (Mandarin)
Jyutping chung1 yiu4 nam2 (Cantonese)
Birth name Cheng Yeow Nam
Origin Singapore
Born 1961
Died 22 January 2013(2013-01-22) (aged 52)
Resting place Singapore
Other name(s) 阿南, Ah Nan, Ah Nam, Zhong Yaonan
Occupation Actor, getai singer and compére
Genre(s) Getai
Instrument(s) Singing
Years active 1998 – 2013 (Deceased : 2013)
Spouse(s) Leong Yoke Ching alias Lung Yoke Ching (second wife)

John Cheng Yeow Nam (also credited as Zhong Yao Nan; known in entertainment circle as Ah Nan or Ah Nam) (1961 – 22 January 2013) was a Singaporean actor and Getai compere who made his screen debut in Money No Enough and was most notable for his criminal figure roles in various media. Liang Po Po: The Movie was one of his most notable performances of a gangster figure.[1]


Cheng's first screen appearance was in the 1998 film Money No Enough, and the following year he was cast in Liang Po Po: The Movie. Cheng was best known for portraying thuggish, brutal types prone to violence, as a homage to his alleged past career as a loan shark. I Not Stupid was a noticeable first reversal of this stereotypical role – he was cast in a minor role as a police officer tasked with rescuing hostages. Other stereotype role reversals included a minor role as a friend of the three men in That One Not Enough (also his first on-screen appearance without his beard), his portrayal of an effeminate hairdresser in 2004's I Do, I Do, and his last film role as a medium in the 2013 film Judgement Day.

Cheng was more active in the getai scene as a compere, along with other part-time actors like Lin Ruping, Liu Lingling and Wang Lei.

Personal life[edit]

In a 1996 interview, Cheng opened up on his past as a hooligan.[2] As one of five children with two parents working to support the family, Cheng was neglected and turned to smoking, violence and acts of gangsterism, under the influence of friends. He later joined a loan-shark syndicate and became a runner. Cheng worked several menial jobs before entering showbiz in 1987.[3] He received his secondary education in Chai Chee Secondary School.[4]

He was arrested on charges of abusing Ecstasy in 2006, and was jailed for a year. Cheng maintained the drug was slipped into his drink while he was unaware.

Cheng courted controversy when he shouted at journalists during Jack Neo's 2010 press conference on the latter's marital affairs. Netizens were divided over his behaviour, with some rapping him for passing off Neo's affair as a norm.

Cheng married twice and had three daughters.[5]


In the early hours of 22 January 2013, Cheng collapsed backstage following a performance in Club Cleopatra, in Parklane Shopping Mall. He died shortly thereafter aged 52, apparently from a heart attack.[6] K Reports later emerged that Cheng had an unhealthy habit of guzzling 10 bottles of Coca-Cola daily, to sustain energy levels for his long working hours.[7] He was also suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and was taking medication for these conditions.[8][9]



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