Ng Man-tat, the star Shaolin football and frequent collaborator of Kung Fu Hustle filmmaker Stephen Chow, has passed away.
The iconic Hong Kong actor, accompanied by his wife and children, died peacefully on Saturday liver cancer. He was 70 years old.
Born in the Chinese province of Fujian in 1951, Ng began his career with acting lessons at TVB Hong Kong at the age of 19. A few years later he appeared in Tit Lee’s 1975 comedy Gu huo lao xun chun, scoring the vet’s first screen credit.
After gaining experience in a number of film and television titles throughout the ’70s and’ 80s, Ng landed a recurring role in the adventure series. The legend of the Condor heroes. The series, adapted from the novel of the same name by Louis Cha, saw Ng play Elder Peng.
In 1989, Ng first starred alongside Stephen Chow, who would soon become a frequent contributor to the films “mo lei tau,” a popular Hong Kong genre comprised of slapstick comedy. Chow and Ng, who went on to become one of the genre’s leading directors, began their collaboration and appeared in a number of mo lei tau titles, including both A Chinese odyssey installments. They also acted together in Sixty million dollar man, The God of Cooking and Chow’s King of comedy.
Shaolin Football, however, has become one of the best-known Ng-Chow collaborations. Directed by Chow, the 2001 comedy film starred Ng as Golden Leg Fung, a jaded football star who helps bring in an unlikely gang of powerful aliens named Shaolin Team, to glory.
The comedic sports film won Best Picture and Best Director at the 2002 Golden Bauhinia Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards.
More Ng credits include The hospital, heard 3, time is money and Oolong Court: KungFu School. He last appeared in Stanley Tong’s Rising Shaolin: the protector.