Karl Maka

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Karl Maka
Chinese name 麥嘉
Chinese name 麦嘉 (traditional)
Chinese name 麦嘉 (simplified)
Birth name Mak Ka-seung (麥嘉尚)
Origin Hong Kong
Born (1944-02-29) 29 February 1944 (age 71)
Taishan, China
Years active 1975 — present

Karl Maka (Chinese:麥嘉) is a Hong Kong film producer, director, actor and presenter. He was born on 29 February 1944 in Taishan, China. He is known for being the "bald " detective comedian in Hong Kong and won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor at the 2nd Hong Kong Film Awards. One of his popular movie roles is in Aces Go Places (最佳拍檔) in which he acted alongside Sam Hui.


Karl Maka moved to Hong Kong in 1958 from Taishan, mainland China. Five years later he emigrated to New York City where he studied as an engineer. While in America he worked for the telephone company in New Jersey. During this time he acquired the brand of humor, markedly American in style, that was to become a hallmark of his later work. Maka returned to Hong Kong in 1973. He quickly got into the film business – first as an assistant director and then in 1976 directed his first film.

It was in 1980 though when he formed the film company Cinema City along with Dean Shek and ]]Raymond Wong Pak-ming|Raymond Wong]] that Maka was fully able to put his Western influenced comedic imprint upon his films. In 1982, Maka made the first Aces Go Places film with Sam Hui and Sylvia Chang (who he was married to but has since divorced). These films were tremendously popular in Hong Kong. During the first part of the '80s, Cinema City was extremely successful – producing a number of comedies that did well and introducing many stars to the public. They also acted as the producers for Tsui Hark’s production company, Film Workshop, and therefore are partly responsible for such classics as Shanghai Blues, Peking Opera Blues and A Better Tomorrow and they also produced films such as Ringo Lam’s On Fire series. Towards the end of the '80s, Cinema City fell upon hard times when a number of their films collapsed at the box office, with Dragon from Russia (1990) being the final nail in their financial coffin. Maka essentially left the film industry by 1991 and began focusing on the real estate business – but the downturn in the real estate sector during the Asian crash of the late '90s generated large financial losses for Maka.

In 2000 ,Maka returned to the film business with his old partner Sam Hui in the geared for the Chinese New Year film ,Winner Takes All, but it unfortunately did not fare well at the box office and Maka admitted that perhaps his style of family comedy is no longer popular.


Year Title Notes
1976 Sathesh writer/director
1977 He Has Nothing But Kung Fu actor
Winner Takes All writer/director
1978 Dirty Kung Fu actor
Dirty Tiger, Crazy Frog actor/writer/director
1979 His Name Is Nobody actor/director
Iron Fists actor/director
Knockabout actor
Odd Couple cameo/producer
1980 By Hook or by Crook actor/director
Crazy Crooks actor/director
The Victim actor/producer
1981 All the Wrong Clues actor/producer
Beware of Pickpockets actor/producer
Chasing Girls cameo/director/producer
Laughing Times actor
1982 Aces Go Places actor/producer
It Takes Two [actor/director]
Life After Life [producer]
1983 Aces Go Places 2 [actor]
Esprit d'amour [producer]
1984 Aces Go Places 3 actor
Lifeline Express producer
Merry Christmas actor
The Occupant producer
1985 For Your Heart Only producer
1986 Aces Go Places IV actor/writer
Lucky Stars Go Places actor
1987 City on Fire producer
Prison on Fire producer
The Thirty Million Dollar Rush actor/writer/director/producer
1988 The Eighth Happiness cameo
School on Fire producer
Tiger on Beat producer
1989 Aces Go Places 5: The Terracotta Hit actor/producer
Triads: The Inside Story producer
1990 Chicken a La Queen producer
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon actor/producer
Tiger on the Beat 2 producer
Undeclared War producer
1991 The Banquet cameo
In the Lap of God producer
The Magnificent Scoundrels actor/producer
Prison on Fire 2 [producer]
2000 Winner Takes All actor

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Michael Hui
for Security Unlimited
Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
for Aces Go Places
Succeeded by
Tony Leung Ka-Fai
for Reign Behind the Curtain