Connie Chan (actor)

(Redirected from Connie Chan Po-chu)

Connie Chan Po-chu (Chinese: 陳寶珠, born 1 January 1947) is a Chinese actor who has made more than 230 films in a variety of genres, from traditional Cantonese opera and wuxia movies to contemporary youth musicals; action films to comedies; melodramas and romances. Owing to her popularity, she was dubbed "The Movie-Fan Princess". During the 1960s, Connie Chan was one of Hong Kong cinema's most beloved teen idols.

Connie Chan
Chinese: 陳寶珠
Born (1947-01-01) 1 January 1947 (age 76)
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Other namesConnie Chan Po-chu, Chan Poh-Chee, Chan Pao-Chu, Chen Po-Chu, Pearl Chan
Occupation(s)Singer, actress
Years active1956–present
SpouseJimmy Yeung (1974–1982)
ChildrenDexter Yeung (b. 1975)
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese陳寶珠
Simplified Chinese陈宝珠
Musical career
OriginHong Kong, China
GenresCantonese opera, Cantopop

Chan is one of at least nine siblings who were born to impoverished parents in Guangdong, China. To increase their children's chances of survival, Chan's birth parents gave away some of their youngest to other families. Chan was adopted by renowned Cantonese opera stars Chan Fei-nung and Kung Fan-hung. Her godfather is actor Cho Tat Wah. She has a son named Dexter Yeung, who stars in the 2008 TVB series Wasabi Mon Amour and Moonlight Resonance.

Early life and careerEdit

At the age of five-and-a-half, she started learning Cantonese opera from her adoptive parents, later becoming an apprentice of Peking opera master Fen Juhua, who was one of the first wuxia actresses in Shanghai during the 1920s. When Connie was nine, she began performing onstage. One year later, she and Leung Bo-chu – daughter of the great comic actor and opera clown Leung Sing-po – were the leading stars of the Double Chu Opera Troupe. In 1958, Connie made her film debut in the Cantonese opera Madam Chun Heung-lin. The following year, she played in two Mandarin-language productions for the MP&GI studio: as a widow's daughter in Yue Feng's melodrama For Better, For Worse, and as a young boy in Tao Qin's comedy The Scout Master. That same year, she also played the role of a filial son in Breaking the Coffin to Rescue Mother.

During her teenage years, Connie appeared more and more frequently on the silver screen – at first, mostly in Cantonese operas, often with the legendary Master Yam Kim-fai, who had taken Connie as her beloved student; but later, almost exclusively in wuxia movies, usually in the company of veteran action stars Yu So Chow, Cho Tat Wah, and perennial bad guy Shih Kien. She also joined the Sin-Hok Kong-luen Film Company's stable of young stars – which included Suet Nei, Nancy Sit Ka-yin, and Kenneth Tsang Kong – and took part in director Chan Lit-ban's ground-breaking adaptations of Jin Yong's serialised novels The Golden Hairpin (1963–64) and The Snowflake Sword (1964). Released in three and four parts, these films were blockbuster extravaganzas, popular for their intricate plots, special effects, and complex action choreography. Two films in 1965 would give a boost to Chan's career: The Six-Fingered Lord of the Lute, in which she played the lead male role and was publicised with the creation of her very own fan-club; and The Black Rose, in which director Chor Yuen had the foresight to change her image by putting her in a contemporary role as a modern-day Robin Hood.

In 1966, her most frequent on-screen partner was Josephine Siao, who had also studied opera under Fen Juhua. The two were often cast as disciples of the same master and sometimes – when Connie played the male lead – as young heroes in love. Capitalizing on their chemistry, veteran director Lee Tit gave them the lead roles in Eternal Love, his remake of a popular opera from the 1950s. Even more successful was Chan Wan's Colourful Youth, which became the box office champ of the year and set the trend for Western-style musicals in Cantonese cinema. From then on, Connie and Josephine appeared increasingly in films with contemporary settings, but less frequently in each other's company; both were paired off with a variety of leading men in a profusion of comedies, musicals, romances, and action movies. Movie-Fan Princess was a prototype combo of all four genres, and more significantly, was the beginning of Connie's four-year on-screen romance with her most popular leading man, Lui Kei. Then, there was Lady Bond, Cantonese cinema's answer to 007, which spawned three sequels and fueled the transition from traditional wuxia pictures to contemporary action movies.

Connie's frenetic film output of the previous two years started to slow; her contemporary action films had played themselves out, and she settled down on-screen with leading man Lui Kei, who now became her most frequent costar in a medley of comedies, musicals, and romances – most of them directed by Wong Yiu and Chan Wan, who were responsible for the Chi-luen Film Company's signature youth musicals. With the help of her mother, Connie founded her own film company in 1968. Hung Bo's inaugural feature Teenage Love (1968) paired her with Lui Kei. Connie's mother produced the film, and she and Connie's father had small roles. Love With a Malaysian Girl (1969) and Her Tender Love (1969), both written and directed by Lui Kei, were the only other films produced through Hung Bo. Within a year, Connie stopped making films altogether and moved to San Francisco to finish her education. When she returned to Hong Kong in 1972, she made one last film with director Chor Yuen, who had recently signed on with Shaw Brothers. The Lizard, a Mandarin-language production, was Connie's final farewell to the silver screen.

After an absence of more than 25 years, Connie Chan emerged from retirement in 1999 to star in a stage production based on the life of her Master, Yam Kim-fai. Sentimental Journey won great acclaim and broke records with its 100-performance run; it was brought back for a six-week revival in 2005. After Sentimental Journey, Connie starred alongside Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Carina Lau in the stage play Red Boat, which ran for 64 performances. The play is an homage to the Cantonese Opera troupes that traditionally travelled by boat through the Pearl River delta region of China. In 2003, she staged a series of spectacular concerts, delighting fans with her cherished film songs and some Cantonese opera classics; her guest stars included Fung Bo-bo, Nancy Sit Ka-yin, and Maggie Cheung Ho-yee, who played the character based on Connie in the TVB television series Old Time Buddy and the film Those Were the Days.

On 4 February 2006, she performed with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. Later that year, she starred with Adam Cheng in the stage play Only You, which ran for 70 performances. In January 2007, Connie was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Hong Kong Drama Awards.


Selected filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1959 For Better, for Worse
1959 Breaking the Coffin to Rescue Mother
1960 The Unroyal Prince
1960 Filial Piety
1960 Good Humanity
1961 Han Gong Gate
1961 Beauty
1962 The Monkey King Stormed the Sea Palace
1962 Battle at Sizhou
1962 How the Magic Boy on the Mythical Crane Slew the Dragon and Saved His Mother
1963 The Golden Coat Two-part film
1963 Red Thread Steals a Precious Box
1963–64 The Golden Hairpin Four-part film
1963–65 Story of the Sword and the Sabre Four-part film
1964 The Snowflake Sword Four-part film
1964 The Flying Fox aka The Purple Lightning Sword [1]
1965 The Black Rose
1965 The Six-Fingered Lord of the Lute Three-part film
1965 The Furious Buddha's Palm
1966 Eternal Love
1966 Movie-Fan Princess
1966 Aftermath of a Fire Two-part film
1966 Girls Are Flowers Ng Hoi-Yin [2]
1966 Lady Bond Kong Yin [2][3]
1966 The Dutiful Daughter Zhu Zhu
1966 Spy with My Face Chan Mei-Ling [4][5]
1967 A Gifted Scholar and a Beautiful Maid Lun Man-chui, a scholar aka Merry Maid [6][7]
1967 A Girl's Secret [8][9]
1967 The Black and the White Cats [10]
1967 The Black Killer [11]
1967 The Black Swan Lang Yan [12]
1967 The Brave Girl [13]
1967 The Charming Little Bird Yuen-Ming, Stewardess Kau [14][15]
1967 First Love Wong Yee-Wah [16]
1967 The Flying Killer Kong Yin [17]
1967 Girl in Red [18][19]
1967 The Girl With Long Hair Lok Oi-Lin [20]
1967 The Golden Swallow [21]
1967 Good Wife Lan Chen, Wong Choi's wife [22]
1967 How the Sacred Fire Heroic Winds Defeat the Fire Lotus Array [23]
1967 The Iron Lady Against the One-Eyed Dragon [24]
1967 Lady With a Cat's Eye Hoh Ling Chu [25]
1967 The Sweetest Moment Lee Ching Yu [26]
1967 The Three Swordsmen [27]
1967 Waste Not Our Youth Ching Wai-Bing [28][29]
1967 A Glamorous Christmas Night
1967 Paragon of Sword and Knife [30]
1968 The Blossoming Rose Ho Siu Ping [31]
1968 Opposite Love
1968 Four Gentlemanly Flowers
1968 The Reincarnation of Lady Plum Blossom
1968 Won't You Give Me a Kiss?
1968 Teenage Love
1968 Young, Pregnant, and Unmarried
1968 The Dragon Fortress
1968 Beauty in the Mist
1969 Love With a Malaysian Girl
1969 Her Tender Love
1970 The Young Girl Dares Not Homeward Yu Feng aka Girl Wanders Around [32]
1970 I'll Get You One Day Lee Wai-Fung [33][34]
1972 The Lizard last film role


Additional sourcesEdit

  • Chan Po-chu – The Princess of Movie Fans. Hong Kong: Urban Council of Hong Kong, 1999.
  • The Making of Martial Arts Films – As Told By Filmmakers and Stars. Hong Kong: Urban Council of Hong Kong, 1999. ISBN 978-962-8050-06-2
  • The Restless Breed: Cantonese Stars of the Sixties. Hong Kong: Urban Council of Hong Kong, 1996. ISBN 978-962-7040-50-7
  • A Study of the Hong Kong Swordplay Film (1945–1980); Hong Kong: Urban Council of Hong Kong, 1981.
  • Fonoroff, Paul. Silver Light: A Pictorial History of Hong Kong Cinema 1920–1970. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing, 1997. ISBN 978-962-04-1304-9
  • Kar, Law and Frank Bren. Hong Kong Cinema: A Cross-Cultural View. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8108-4986-0
  • Teo, Stephen. Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions. London: British Film Institute, 1997. ISBN 978-0-85170-514-9


  1. ^ "The Flying Fox". 18 March 1964. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Ms Connie Chan Po Chu, 1947-". Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Lady Bond". 1 August 1966. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  4. ^ Hu, Brian; Kwok, Winghei; Hartzheim, Bryan; Tseng, Ada (28 November 2008). "APA Top 10: Asian James Bond Knock-offs". Archived from the original on 13 May 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)()
  5. ^ "Spy with My Face". 6 April 1966. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Press Release – HK Film Archive to screen opera films by director Wong Hok-sing to celebrate Cantonese Opera Day 2013 (with photos)". 15 November 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  7. ^ "A Gifted Scholar and a Beautiful Maid". 31 May 1967. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  8. ^ "A Girl's Secret (1967)". 1 November 1967. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  9. ^ "A Girl's Secret". 1 November 1967. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  10. ^ "The Black and the White Cats (1967)". 22 November 1967. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  11. ^ "The Black Killer (1967)". 1967. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  12. ^ "The Black Swan". 19 April 1967. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  13. ^ "The Brave Girl". 19 February 1967. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  14. ^ "The Charming Little Bird (1967)". 10 August 1967. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  15. ^ "The Charming Little Bird". 10 August 1967. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  16. ^ "First Love". 16 November 1967. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  17. ^ "The Flying Killer (1967)". 23 July 1967. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  18. ^ Stadtman, Todd (1967). "Girl in Red (1967)". Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Girl in Red". 15 November 1967. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  20. ^ "The Girl with Long Hair". 12 April 1967. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  21. ^ "The Golden Swallow (1967)". 16 August 1967. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Good Wife". 7 September 1967. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  23. ^ "How the Sacred Fire Heroic Winds Defeat the Fire Lotus Array". 14 February 1967. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  24. ^ "The Iron Lady Against the One-eyed Dragon". 20 September 1967. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  25. ^ "Lady With a Cat's Eyes (1967)". 1967. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  26. ^ "The Sweetest Moment (1967)". 1967. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  27. ^ "The Three Swordsmen". 1967. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  28. ^ Wells, Dave (1967). "Waste Not Our Youth (1967)". Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  29. ^ "Waste Not Our Youth". 29 November 1967. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  30. ^ "Paragon of Sword and Knife". 20 December 1967. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  31. ^ "The Blossoming Rose". 3 February 1968. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  32. ^ "The Young Girl Dares Not Homeward". 25 April 1970. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  33. ^ "I'll Get You One Day". Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  34. ^ "I'll Get You One Day". 13 May 1970. Retrieved 23 April 2021.

External linksEdit