|Chinese name||陳自強 (traditional)|
|Chinese name||陈自强 (simplified)|
|Pinyin||chén2 zì4 qiang2 (Mandarin)|
|Jyutping||can4 ji6 keung4 (Cantonese)|
22 May 1941|
24 October 2017 (aged 76)|
Willie Chan Chi-Keung (22 May 1941 - 24 October 2017) was a Malaysian-born Hong Kong film producer and talent manager. He is best known for helping to establish the career of Jackie Chan, serving as his manager and later as the actor’s producing partner in both Asia and North America. He also managed the career of singer-rapper and actor Edison Chen.
Chan graduated from the East-West Center in Hawaii in 1966 with a master's degree in marketing. He later moved to Hong Kong from his native Malaysia in 1970 to pursue a career in the film industry. He was a film producer in the mid-1970s when he met Jackie Chan, who was, at the time, a stuntman in Lo Wei's New Fist of Fury, which was released during the "Bruceploitation" era, and was hailed as a "follow-up" to Bruce Lee's Fist of Fury. Willie had shown a keen interest in Jackie's willingness and ability to perform dangerous stunts.
After Jackie, fed up with a staggering career, moved to Australia for a few months to work as a cook, Willie brought him back to work as a leading actor for Lo's production company, "Lo Wei Motion Picture Company", a subsidiary of Golden Harvest. The films, which included Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin, were not financially successful, and both Jackie and Willie left the company to join Golden Harvest, with Willie serving as Chan's personal manager.
After Raymond Chow launched Jackie's career with films such as Fearless Hyena and Dragon Fist, Jackie Chan went to the United States, attempting to make a career move in the American film market, while studying English at the Berlitz Language School with Willie Chan.
After Jackie’s unsuccessful career in the United States, Willie returned to Hong Kong with an interest in artist management. In 1985, he formed The JC Group, and at its peak of success, the company had 43 actors on its books. In the 1990s the triads began to gain a strong influence in the Hong Kong film industry, forcing Willie to join marches against gangsterism in the industry.
In later years, Chan served as a producing partner for Jackie Chan's JCE Movies Limited. He worked alongside him in his career in both Asia and North America.
Chan died in his sleep in Hong Kong at age 76.