Stephen Chow

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Stephen Chow
ChowKL1 (cropped).JPG
Chow in 2008
PronunciationJāu Sīngchìh (Cantonese Yale)
Stephen Chow Sing-chi

(1962-06-22) 22 June 1962 (age 60)
  • Director
  • Actor
  • Comedian
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
Years activeAs Director
As Actor
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese周星馳
Simplified Chinese周星驰
Cantonese YaleJāu Sīngchìh

Stephen Chow Sing-chi[1] (Chinese: , born 22 June 1962) is a Hong Kong filmmaker,[2] former actor and comedian,[3] known for Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle.

Early life and education[edit]

Stephen Chow was born in Hong Kong on 22 June 1962 to Ling Po-yee (凌寶兒), an alumna of Guangzhou Normal University, and Chow Yik-sheung (周驛尚), an immigrant from Ningbo, Zhejiang.[4] Chow has an elder sister named Chow Man-kei (周文姬) and a younger sister named Chow Sing-ha (周星霞).[5] Chow's given name "Sing-chi" (星馳) derives from Tang dynasty (618–907) Chinese poet Wang Bo's essay Preface to the Prince of Teng's Pavilion.[6] After his parents divorced when he was seven, Chow was raised by his mother.[6] Chow attended Heep Woh Primary School, a missionary school attached to the Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China in Prince Edward Road, Kowloon Peninsula.[7] When he was nine, he saw Bruce Lee's film The Big Boss, which inspired him to become a martial arts star.[8] Chow entered San Marino Secondary School, where he studied alongside Lee Kin-yan.[8] After graduation, he was accepted to TVB's acting classes.[9]


Chow began his career as an extra for Rediffusion Television. He later joined TVB in 1982. He captured the attention of the public as host of the TVB Jade children's program 430 Space Shuttle.[10][11]

Chow made his film debut in the 1988 film Final Justice, which won him the Golden Horse Award for Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Horse Awards.

Chow shot to stardom in The Final Combat (1989).[12] The following decade, he appeared in more than 40 films.[13] Fight Back to School (1991) became Hong Kong's top-grossing film of all time. In 1994, he began directing films, starting with From Beijing with Love. In the latter half of the 1990s, Chow became very famous in mainland China, leading to the Stephen Chow Phenomenon (周星驰现象).[14][15][16][17]

2001–2010 International stardom[edit]

In 2001, his film Shaolin Soccer grossed over US$50 million worldwide.[18][19][20][21] Chow won Best Director and Best Actor at the 2002 Hong Kong Film Awards, and the film went on to garner additional awards including a Blue Ribbon Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and the Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Picture and Best Director.[22] It was the highest-grossing Chinese film in Hong Kong at the time, grossing $46 million in the Asia region.[10]

In 2004, his film Kung Fu Hustle grossed over US$106 million worldwide. Chow also won Best Director at the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards and Best Picture of Imagine Film Festival as well as over twenty international awards.[23][24] Comedian Bill Murray said that the film was "the supreme achievement of the modern age in terms of comedy" .[25]

His film CJ7 began filming in July 2006 in the eastern Chinese port of Ningbo.[26] In August 2007, the film was given the title CJ7, a play on China's successful Shenzhou crewed space missions—Shenzhou 5 and Shenzhou 6.[27] CJ7 became the highest-grossing film of all time in Malaysia.[28]

For his work in comedy, he has received praise from notable institutions such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which has called him the King of Comedy.[29]

2010–present: Focus on directing[edit]

In 2010, he became the executive director and major shareholder of 比高集團(BingoGroup Limited).[30]

In 2013, his film Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons was the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time.[31][32]

In 2016, his film The Mermaid broke numerous box office records,[33] and became the highest-grossing film of all time in China.[34] The Mermaid was released in Vietnam on 10 February 2016. On 14 March, it became the third-highest-grossing film of all time in Vietnam. It has now grossed over US$553.81 million worldwide.[35] Chow became the ninth-top-grossing Hollywood Director in 2016.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Chow dated Karen Mok, who has starred alongside him in several films.[37] Chow had a ten-year relationship with Yu Wenfeng until 2010.[38]


As director[edit]

Year English title Director Writer Producer Chinese title Notes
1994 From Beijing with Love Yes Yes No 國產凌凌漆 Co-directed with Lee Lik-chi
1996 Forbidden City Cop Yes Yes No 大內密探零零發 Co-directed with Vincent Kok
The God of Cookery Yes Yes No 食神 Co-directed with Lee Lik-chi
1999 King of Comedy Yes Yes No 喜劇之王
2001 Shaolin Soccer[39] Yes Yes No 少林足球[40]
2004 Kung Fu Hustle Yes Yes Yes 功夫
2008 CJ7 Yes Yes Yes 長江七號
2013 Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons Yes Yes Yes 西遊·降魔篇 Co-directed with Derek Kwok
2016 The Mermaid[41] Yes Yes Yes 美人魚
2019 The New King of Comedy Yes Yes Yes 新喜劇之王

As actor[edit]

Year English title Chinese title
1983 The Nuts (TV series) 黑白殭屍
Crossroads - Pocket Money (TV-Short) 臨歧:零用錢
1987 Back To The Beyond 陰陽界
1988 Behind Silk Curtains (TV series) 大都會
Final Justice 霹靂先鋒
My Father's Son (TV series) 鬥氣一族
Faithfully Yours 最佳女婿
He Who Chases After the Wind 捕風漢子
1989 The Final Combat (TV series) 蓋世豪俠
The Justice of Life (TV series) 他來自江湖
Thunder Cops II 贼公差婆
Just Heroes 義膽群英
Dragon Fight 龍在天涯
1990 Love Is Love 望夫成龍
My Hero 一本漫畫闖天涯
Lung Fung Restaurant 龍鳳茶樓
Curry and Pepper 咖喱辣椒
Sleazy Dizzy 小偷阿星
Look Out, Officer! 師兄撞鬼
All for the Winner 賭聖
When Fortune Smiles 無敵幸運星
Triad Story 江湖最後一個大佬
Legend of the Dragon 龍的傳人
The Unmatchable Match 風雨同路
It runs in the Family (TV series) 孖仔孖心肝
Crazy Safari 非洲和尚
God of Gamblers II 賭俠
The Top Bet 賭霸
Fist of Fury 1991 新精武門1991
Fight Back to School 逃學威龍
God of Gamblers III: Back to Shanghai 賭俠2之上海灘賭聖
The Magnificent Scoundrels 情聖
The Banquet 豪門夜宴
Tricky Brains 整蠱專家
1992 Fist of Fury 1991 II 漫畫威龍
All's Well, Ends Well 家有囍事
Fight Back to School II 逃學威龍2
Justice, My Foot! 審死官
Royal Tramp 鹿鼎記
Royal Tramp II 鹿鼎記2神龍教
King of Beggars 武狀元蘇乞兒
The Thief of Time 群星會
1993 Fight Back to School III 逃學威龍3之龍過雞年
Flirting Scholar 唐伯虎點秋香
The Mad Monk 濟公
1994 Love on Delivery 破壞之王
Hail the Judge 九品芝麻官
From Beijing with Love 國產凌凌漆
1995 A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora's Box 西遊記第壹佰零壹回之月光寶盒
A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella 西遊記大結局之仙履奇緣
Out of the Dark 回魂夜
Sixty Million Dollar Man 百變星君
1996 Forbidden City Cop 大內密探零零發
The God of Cookery 食神
1997 All's Well, Ends Well 1997 97家有囍事
Lawyer Lawyer 算死草
1998 The Lucky Guy 行運一條龍
1999 The Tricky Master 千王之王2000
King of Comedy 喜劇之王
2001 Shaolin Soccer[42] 少林足球[40]
2004 Kung Fu Hustle 功夫
2008 CJ7 長江七號

As producer only[edit]

Year English title Chinese title
2008 Shaolin Girl 少林少女
2009 Jump 跳出去
Dragonball Evolution 七龍珠
2010 CJ7: The Cartoon 長江7號愛地球
2017 Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back 西遊伏妖篇
2019 Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons TV 劇版西遊降魔篇
The Mermaid TV 劇版美人魚[43]


Awards won
Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival
Asia Pacific Film Festival
Blue Ribbon Awards
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
Florida Film Critics Circle Awards
Golden Bauhinia Awards
  • 1996: Best Actor for A Chinese Odyssey
  • 2002: Best Director for Shaolin Soccer
Golden Horse Awards
Hong Kong Film Awards
Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards
Utah Film Critics Association Awards
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards
BAFTA Awards
  • 2006: nomination: Best Film not in the English Language for Kung Fu Hustle
Golden Globe Award

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Judgment". Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  2. ^ Stephen Chow the NO.1 star of China, PEOPLE; accessed 10 October 2018.
  3. ^ Stephen Chow earn US$420 million, PEOPLE
  4. ^ Hua (2016), p. 4-5.
  5. ^ Hua (2016), p. 5-6.
  6. ^ a b Hua (2016), p. 5.
  7. ^ Hua (2016), p. 11.
  8. ^ a b Hua (2016), p. 15-19.
  9. ^ Hua (2016), p. 69-73.
  10. ^ a b Walsh, Brian (28 April 2003). "Stephen Chow | The star of Shaolin Soccer doesn't mind if the joke is on him". Time. Archived from the original on 4 February 2004. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  11. ^ Mok, Laramie (22 June 2019). "5 Stephen Chow movies that made him Hong Kong's comedy king". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  12. ^ Over 2 million people watched The Final Combat and Hong Kong only 5.18 million people in that time
  13. ^ Hale, Mike (5 October 2014). "Lightning Fast With His Feet and His Jokes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  14. ^ Chinese watched Stephen Chow's films and grew up. So they knew Stephen Chow's words and use them customarily., PEOPLE
  15. ^ "What is Stephen Chow Phenomenon". Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  16. ^ Tencent: WeChat's icon is made of Stephen Chow's action, xinhua
  17. ^ SINA:2001年5月2日晚,周星驰到访北京大学,在百周年纪念讲堂直接面对北大的学生与网友。近5、6年来由各著名高校的学生倡导形成的“周星驰热”也终于达到了一个高潮。周星驰和他的电影的影响已经远远超出了大屏幕的范围,渗透到了当今中国的文化甚至是日常生活中。
  18. ^ "《少林足球》风靡意大利 意甲球星为电影配音_2006德国世界杯".
  19. ^ 2006 FIFA World Cup
  20. ^ "奥地利热播 周星驰粤语小调德语配音-搜狐体育".
  21. ^ "Shaolin soccer kicks an international goal". 1 August 2003. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012.
  22. ^ "Siu lam juk kau awards (2001)". 1 January 2009.
  23. ^ Chow, Vivienne (7 March 2005). "Kung Fu Hustle wins Stephen Chow top award".
  24. ^ "Kung Fu (2004) - Awards". 1 January 2009.
  25. ^ Fierman, Dan (19 July 2010). "Bill Murray Is Ready To See You Now". GQ. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  26. ^ "Stephen Chow's Sci-fi/Comedy will give 'A Hope' to audiences". 29 September 2006. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  27. ^ "Stephen Chow's Movie 'A Hope' Changes Title". Asian Popcorn. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  28. ^ box office mojo: CJ7 $3,695,033 > Titanic $2,764,733 in Malaysia
  29. ^ Hale, Mike (5 October 2014). "Lightning Fast With His Feet and His Jokes". The New York Times.
  30. ^ Yan, Pei (28 May 2010). "Movie star Stephen Chow takes control of Emcom". Retrieved 28 May 2010.
  31. ^ The Hollywood Reporter (7 December 2016). "Stephen Chow's last two films set all-time China box-office records at the time of their release". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  32. ^ "Stephen Chow: A Guide for the Perplexed". 25 February 2016.
  33. ^ "Stephen Chow in China=Star War in American". Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  34. ^ "NO.1 star in China -- Stephen Chow". Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  35. ^ "Stephen Chow Movie: The Mermaid Worldwide Box Office: US$553.81 million". Forbes.
  36. ^ Forbes (31 December 2016). "Top-Grossing Hollywood Directors". Forbes. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  37. ^ Koh, Lydia (27 July 2019). "Is Stephen Chow secretly married? Ex-girlfriend Karen Mok comments". The Independent Singapore. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  38. ^ "Stephen Chow and Yu WenFeng Split After 10 Years Together". Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  39. ^ "Shaolin Soccer the NO.1 DVD Sale of 2002 in JAPAN". 11 July 2019.
  40. ^ a b "Shaolin Soccer grossed over 3.5 Billion in JAPAN". 11 July 2019.
  41. ^ "Stephen Chow casting his new Mermaid movie with a public talent search". Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  42. ^ "Shaolin Soccer the NO.1 DVD Sale of 2002 in JAPAN". 11 July 2019.
  43. ^ "掘金星爷:爱奇艺为剧版《美人鱼》和《西游降魔篇》花了7.08亿".


  • Hua, Cheng (2016). 《周星驰:做人如果没有梦想,跟咸鱼有什么分别》 [Stephen Chow: Without Dream, What's the Difference between Men And Salted Fish] (in Chinese). Xicheng District, Beijing: Sino-Culture Press. ISBN 978-7-5075-4635-4.

External links[edit]