Louis Koo

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Louis Koo
LOUIS KOO 2017-08-15 HKIFF SUMMER 2017.jpg
Koo in August 2017
Koo Tin-lok

(1970-10-21) 21 October 1970 (age 50)
  • Actor
  • model
  • singer
  • film producer
Years active1994–present
Height1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
  • Koo Chun-kwong (father)
  • Lee Yee-man (mother)
Hong Kong Film AwardsBest Actor
2018 Paradox

Asian Film AwardsBest Actor
2018 Paradox

TVB Anniversary AwardsBest Actor
1999 Detective Investigation Files IV
2001 A Step into the Past
My Favourite Television Character
2000 At the Threshold of an Era
2001 A Step into the Past

Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Louis Koo Tin-lok (古天樂; born 21 October 1970) is a Hong Kong actor, singer and film producer.[1][2] He began his professional career as an actor in local television series, winning TVB's Best Actor award in 1999 and 2001. After 2001, he fully focused on film career and became one of the stalwarts of the Hong Kong film industry.[3] In 2018, Koo was awarded the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor, Asian Film Award for Best Actor and the Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Award for Best Actor for his performance in the 2017 film, Paradox. Koo founded "One Cool Group Limited" in 2013. As of 2018, One Cool Group has produced 20 films.[4] He was the ambassador of Hong Kong International Film Festival from 2014 to 2018.

Early life[edit]

Koo is his family name. Louis is his English given name, as Tin-lok is the Chinese given name. Tin means “sky” or “day” , and Lok means “happy” in Cantonese.

Koo's father was an actor and then changed career to a businessman. Koo was born and received education in Hong Kong. He is an alumnus of St. Teresa's School Kowloon and Carmel Secondary School.[5]

Teenage life[edit]

When Louis was a teenager, he made mistakes with his friends in a robbery case. Convicted by the court and sentenced to 22 months in the Correctional Services Lai King Training Centre. Louis didn't mention this matter after joining the entertainment industry. After being exposed by the media in 1994, he acknowledged the matter to the public.


During 1992 to 1993, Koo was a modelling agent, sometimes he worked as a model for advertisements and karaoke videos.

Television actor[edit]

In 1993, Koo signed as a contract artist with TVB (Television Broadcasts Limited).

Koo started gaining wide recognition in 1995 with his leading role in a costume drama The Condor Heroes 95, a popular series based on a classic wuxia novel. In 1997, Koo began sporting an extreme tan (for which he is well known for), which apparently enabled him to take on more contemporary roles. In 1999, Koo received TVB's Most Popular Actor Award for Detective Investigation Files IV. In 2000, Koo received TVB's Most Favorite Character Award for At the Threshold of an Era ll. Koo took a different approach to his role in A Step Into the Past. This deviation from his usual cool aloof on-screen persona to a funnier, carefree and down-to-earth one resonated with the audience and widened his acting range. In 2001, Koo was given TVB's Most Popular Actor Award and Favorite Character Award Award once again for A Step into the Past. He then went on an indefinite hiatus from television and has since focused on his film career.

Due to the popularity of TVB dramas in the late 1990s, Koo amassed a sizeable fan base in Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China and South-east Asia.

Film actor[edit]

Since 1994, Koo began taking on roles in films, such as the paranormal Troublesome Night series and many action films including Wilson Yip's Bullets Over Summer(1999). Koo acted as a mute boy living on rural island in romantic literary film Sealed with a Kiss (1998).

During 2001 to 2004, Koo signed contract with China Star Entertainment Group and starred in many romantic comedies, such as La Brassiere and Naked Ambition.

In 2004, Koo took on the role of Sze-to Bo, a perpetually drunk and despondent former judo champion with hereditary eye disease, in Johnnie To’s Throw Down which was premiered at the 61st Venice International Film Festival. The movie was a marked departure from his usual commercial genres, and he also began his long-term collaboration with To and Milkyway Image.

Koo later received international acclaim[6] for his chilling performance in Johnnie To's Election 2 (a.k.a. Triad Election), which was screened at the "Out of Competition" section at the 59th Cannes Film Festival (Election was competitive film at the 58th Cannes Film Festival). He won the award for Most Beloved Actor in the Hong Kong UA Film Awards 2006 through public voting for his role in Election 2.

In a female perspective romantic film Happy Birthday (2006) adapted by Sylvia Chang from 'Rene Liu's novella, Koo portrayed a sensitive man who took care of ex-girlfriend after death.[7]

Koo also took supporting roles in action movies, such as Jackie Chan's Robin B Hood (2006), Donnie Yen's Flash Point (2007).

His character as an unscrupulous drug addict in Derek Yee's Protégé (2007) differed from his previous performances, as he forwent his suave image for an emaciated look. The supporting role earned him positive critical feedback and Best Supporting Actor nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards and the Golden Horse Awards.

In Sylvia Chang's female perspective gangster film Run Papa Run (2008), Koo played a reckless triad leader who tried to shield his daughter from his past misdemeanours. Koo earned Best Actor nominations in the Hong Kong Film Awards and Golden Horse Award for this role, which required him to portray a character from his late teens to his fifties.[8] Since then Koo took more chanllegings on father roles and middle-aged roles.

In the remake of Cellular, Connected(2008) directed by Benny Chan, he played an average Joe[9] cast in a race against time to save a stranger.

In Soi Cheang's Accident(2009) which was a competitive film at the 66th Venice International Film Festival, Koo acted as a high-strung killer-group leader who was good at disguising murder as accidents.

In Overheard(2009) directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, he put on 30 pounds weight to take the role of a middle-aged cop and four kids' father more convincingly,[10] and earned Best Actor nominations in Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards. This film was successful and then made into series with the same cast and directors but different stories.

In 2010 Koo signed pre-paid contracts with Pegasus Motion Pictures, then appeared in its All's well, ends well comedy series, and anti-corruption film series (Z Storm, S Storm).

In costume A Chinese Ghost Story (2011), Koo acted as a Chinese "Van Helsing" fell in love with a fox-fairy and sacrificed himself in the end. Koo made a return to his romantic comedy roots in Don't Go Breaking My Heart and sequel Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 (2014) directed by Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Hui, acted as a dissolute stock broker.

In Drug War (2012) directed by Johnnie To, Koo took the role of a ruthless and deliberate Hong Kong drug lord who dared to do anything to get away from mainland China's death penalty.

Koo received a Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor nomination again for his undercover cop role in Benny Chan's 2013 film The White Storm.

In Out of Inferno (2013), Koo acted as a resigned firefighter who encountered high building fire.

In Overheard 3 (2014), he acted as a revenge with artificial limb.

In Soi Cheang's SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015), Koo took the role of an ill and evil mastermind of a criminal organization. In Johnnie To's Three (2016), Koo acted as a cop leader at the edge of crime.

In Shed Skin Papa (2017), a competitive film at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival, Koo acted as a frustrated director understood his father after mother's funeral and a series of fantastic incidents.

In Paradox (2017), Koo play a cop who is determined to avenge his daughter and performed most of the film's action sequences without the use of a stunt double. For his performance in the film, Koo won Asian Film Award for Best Actor at the 12th Asian Film Awards as well the Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Award for Best Actor at the 12th Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Award in March 2018. Koo's performance also won him the Best Actor award at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards held on 15 April 2018.

Film producer[edit]

Koo was captivated by Star Wars film series when he was a child. After decades of actor careers in film industry, he expects the arise of Chinese own Sci-fi films, so he purchased several Visual effects and Prosthetic make-up companies. In 2013, Koo founded "One Cool Group Limited". As of 2018, One Cool Group has produced 20 films. The Sci-fi film Warriors of Future will be released on fall of 2019.

Social work in film industry[edit]

Koo has been the ambassador of Hong Kong International Film Festival[11] from 2014 to 2018.

In 2015, Koo joined the board of Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival[12] held in Hong Kong.

In Jan 2018, Koo was elected as the president of Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild.[13]

Other works[edit]


Koo has published several books over the years including his photo albums Present (1999) and Cool (2001), as well as his autobiography Find Happiness (2002).[14] He also released Toys Battle (2008), a book chronicling his love for comic book characters and movie superheroes, and donated all proceeds to UNICEF.[15] Koo has been writing blogs everyday on his own website since December 2006.[16]


Koo recorded several theme songs for the TVB dramas he had starred in and several TV advertisement songs he had endorsed. He had also cut four albums: Boyfriend and Popular Louis in 2000, optimism in 2001, Mr.Cool in 2003.[17]


Koo was a designer of his own eyewear brand ZeroX, Level Nine, and Louis Koo. He also participated in designs of his own books, websites, company logos and some endorsed brands.

Brand spokesperson[edit]

With a career spanning two decades, Koo has endorsed a large number of brands in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Some of the major brand endorsements include, Pepsi,[18] Brooks Brothers, Samsung Galaxy,[19] Xbox 360 Kinect,[20] Toyota Corolla, Yokohama Tire,[21] Lay's, Lipton, Lotte chewing gum, Tropicana,[22] Gillette, OSIM,[23] Tag Heuer, Epson printer, Matisse, Johnnie Walker, Pentax camera, Clinique, Hugo Boss Perfume, Bally, Puma, DBS Black World MasterCard.


On July 2012, Chinese microblogs caught on to the news of Koo's low profile philanthropy in China, which became a trending topic, more and more people born in different remote rural areas found that local elementary schools were built with donation of Koo, and upload photos to the microblogs. Major Chinese dailies further reported that he had helped build 49 schools to help the underprivileged in remote areas in rural China for the past three years[24] without any publicity. Koo was reluctant to comment on the issue but it was learnt that Koo set up his charity foundation after witnessing the devastation from the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.[25] According to "Grace charity" website,[26] Koo has helped build 97 elementary school buildings, 18 clinics and 751 small water supply projects in remote undeveloped areas of rural China through "Grace Charity Foundation Limited" and local government by 2017.

Koo is also a UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) ambassador[27] since 2007.



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Organized Crime & Triad Bureau Tung's underling
Let's Go Slam Dunk basketball player
1996 On Fire
Man Wanted 2 Rung
Street of Fury Lung
1997 Troublesome Night Ken Ng Chi-keung
Troublesome Night 2 Sam
1998 Troublesome Night 3 Cheng Lik
T.H.E professional Officer Jiang
God.com Officer Chan
The Suspect Don Lee
Troublesome Night 4 Wing
1999 Troublesome Night 5 Lam Chung-fat
Troublesome Night 6 Inspector Wong
Rules of the Game David Chow
Super Car Criminals
Bullets Over Summer Brian
Century of the Dragon Wong Chi-shing
Sealed with a Kiss Kam Sui
The Masked Prosecutor Tong Hiu-tai
The Young Ones Cameo
2000 For Bad Boys Only Jack Shum
Troublesome Night 7 Lok
Conman in Tokyo Cool
2001 Born Wild Tan Ho
The Legend of Zu Red
La Brassiere Wayne
2002 The Lion Roars Seasonal Chan
Fat Choi Spirit Louis
Dry Wood Fierce Fire Ryan Li
Women From Mars Servant of Hell Cameo
Mighty Baby Wayne
2003 Love for All Seasons Tiger Hung
Why Me, Sweetie?! Dong
Good Times, Bed Times Paul Ko Chi-keung
Naked Ambition Andy actor and producer
Lost in Time Ah Man Special appearance
2004 Fantasia Sam
Love on the Rocks Wong Kai-ming
Throw Down Sze-to Bo premiered at 61st Venice International Film Festival
2005 Election Jimmy Lee competitive film at 58th Cannes Film Festival
2006 Election 2 Jimmy Lee "Films out of Competition" at 59th Cannes Film Festival
Rob-B-Hood Octopus premiered at 62nd Venice International Film Festival
Happy Birthday Nam
2007 Protégé Jane's Husband Nominated - 27th Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated - 44th Golden Horse Award For Best Supporting Actor
Triangle Fai "Films out of Competition" at 60th Cannes Film Festival
Flash Point Wilson
2008 Run Papa Run Tiger Lee Tin-yun Nominated - 28th Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated - 45th Golden Horse Award For Best Actor
Connected Bob
2009 Accident Brain competitive film at 66th Venice International Film Festival
All's Well, Ends Well 2009 Dick Cho
On His Majesty's Secret Service Royal Dog
Poker King Jack Chang
Overheard Gene Yeung Nominated- 6th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards for Best Actor
2010 All's Well, Ends Well 2010 Emperor
Triple Tap Ken Kwan
2011 The Road Less Traveled Hui Shing-leung
All's Well, Ends Well 2011 Sammy Shum
Mr. and Mrs. Incredible Gazer Warrior
Don't Go Breaking My Heart Sean Cheung
A Chinese Ghost Story Yin Chek-ha
Overheard 2 Jack Ho Chi-keung
Magic to Win Wood Magician Cameo
2012 All's Well, Ends Well 2012 Peng Kin
Romancing in Thin Air Michael Lau
2013 Drug War Timmy Choi Tim-ming
Out of Inferno Keung
The White Storm So Kin-chow Nominated - 33rd Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
premiered at 10th International Rome Film Festival
2014 Hello Babies Cameo
Golden Chickensss Jiangmen Louis Koo Cameo
Naked Ambition 2 Naoki Nagasaki Cameo
Also producer
Aberdeen Cheng Wai-to
Overheard 3 Lau Wing-jau
Z Storm William Luk
Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 Sean Cheung
2015 An Inspector Calls Inspector Karl
12 Golden Ducks Rocky Cameo
Triumph in the Skies Branson Cheung
Little Big Master Tse Wing-tung
SPL II: A Time for Consequences Mr. Hung Special appearance
Paris Holiday Lam Chun-kit
Wild City T-Man
2016 Three Ken Chan
League of Gods Shen Gongbao
Line Walker Shiu Chi-long
Call of Heroes Cho Siu-lun
S Storm William Luk
Shed Skin Papa Tin Lik-hang competitive film at 29th Tokyo International Film Festival
2017 Dealer/Healer Halley Special appearance
Meow Ng Sau-lung
Paradox Lee Chung-chi Won - 12th Asian Film Award for Best Actor[28]
Won - 12th Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Award for Best Actor[29]
Won - 37th Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor
Always Be With You Sam
2018 L Storm William Luk
Kung Fu Monster Feng Si-hai
2019 A Home with a View Wong Siu-choi
P Storm William Luk
Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch Sky Ho
The White Storm 2: Drug Lords Jizo Nominated - 39th Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Original Film Song
Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy Cheng Chun-yin
A Witness Out of the Blue Sean Wong Nominated - 39th Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor
2020 Money Empire Post-production
TBD Warriors of Future Tam Bing Post-production
Sons of the Neon Night Ching Man-sing Post-production
Dynasty Warriors Lü Bu Post-production
Death Notice Post-production
Back to the Past Hong Siu-lung Post-production
G Storm William Luk Post-production
Storm Cloud 3D Duen Long Pre-production
The Strangled Truth Pre-production
When It All Begins Pre-production
Un Coevr D'Artichaut Pre-production
The Trier of Fact Pre-production


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Knot to Treasure
Class of Distinction
1995 Happy Harmony
The Condor Heroes 95 Yeung Kuo
1996 Cold Blood Warm Heart Yip Sing-hong
1997 The Hit Man Chronicles Yan Hua
War & Remembrance 4th Prince
Against the Blade of Honour Ding Pang
I Can't Accept Corruption
A Recipe for the Heart Kiu Pak-ko Nominated - 2nd TVB Anniversary Award for Best Actor
1998 Burning Flame Lau Hoi-pak
1999 Man's Best Friend Tai Jin Sek
Detective Investigation Files IV Tsui Fei Won - 3rd TVB Anniversary Award for Best Actor
At the Threshold of an Era Nick Cheung
2000 At the Threshold of an Era II Nick Cheung Won - 4th TVB Anniversary Award for Top Favourite Television Characters
2001 A Step into the Past Hong Siu-lung Won - 5th TVB Anniversary Award for Best Actor
Won - 5th TVB Anniversary Award for Top Favourite Television Characters


In 2018, 55382 Kootinlok, a main-belt asteroid discovered by Bill Yeung at the Desert Eagle Observatory in 2001, was named in honor of Koo.


  1. ^ "Louis Koo". chinesemov.com. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
  2. ^ "TV". Louis Koo Tin-Lok Official Website. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  3. ^ "2012福布斯 中国名人榜". Forbes China. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  4. ^ "One Cool Film Production Limited".
  5. ^ "2004年週記". Louis Koo Tin-Lok Official Website. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  6. ^ Kerr, Elizabeth. "Election 2". Hollywood Reporter. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  7. ^ Ho, Yi. "A nostalgic romance". Taipei Times. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  8. ^ Ho, Yi (25 April 2008). "When the going gets tough, the tough get soft". The Taipei Times.
  9. ^ Elley, Derek. "Connected". Variey. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  10. ^ Lee, Edmund. "Louis Koo interview". Time Out. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  11. ^ 香港國際電影節
  12. ^ 鮮浪潮國際短片節
  13. ^ 香港演藝人協會
  14. ^ "Publication". Louis Koo Tin-Lok Official Website. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  15. ^ Mak, Clara (15 March 2008). "Koo's comic book capers". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Louis Koo International Fansclub".
  17. ^ "Music". Louis Koo Tin-Lok Official Website. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  18. ^ Chan, Candy. "PepsiCo's Thirst For China Continues". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  19. ^ Ng, Erica. "Samsung Eyes Apple's Dominance". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  20. ^ "News". Archived from the original on 21 February 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Louis Koo is the brand ambassador for Yokohama Tire". Yokohama Tire. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  22. ^ Watson, Mark. "Tropicana Launches New Thematic TVC And Interactive Campaign". China Smack. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  23. ^ "Advertisement". Louis Koo Tin-Lok Official Website.
  24. ^ "Louis Koo helped build 49 schools". The Star. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  25. ^ "默默扶貧3年 古仔內地建49學校". Apple Daily Hong Kong. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  26. ^ "慈恩基金会".
  27. ^ "Hong Kong UNICEF Ambassadors". Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  28. ^ "Asian Film Awards: 'Youth' Wins Top Prize From 'Demon Cat'". Variety. March 17, 2018.
  29. ^ "Louis Koo wins another Best Actor award".

External links[edit]