1. Chow Yun-fat, SBS born 18 May 1955, previously known as Donald Chow, is a Hong Kong actor.
2. He mainly plays in dramatic films and has won three Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor and two Golden Horse Awards for Best Actor in Taiwan.
3. In 2014, Chow was the second-highest earning actor in Hong Kong, earning HK$170 million .
4. Chow was born in Lamma Island, Hong Kong, to a mother who was a cleaning lady and vegetable farmer, and a father who worked on a Shell Oil Company tanker. He woke up at dawn each morning to help his mother sell herbal jelly and Hakka tea-pudding on the streets; in the afternoons he went to work in the fields.
5. At seventeen, he left school to help support the family by doing odd jobs including bellboy, postman, camera salesman and taxi driver.
6. His life started to change when he responded to a newspaper advertisement and his actor-trainee application was accepted by TVB, the local television station.
7. He signed a three-year contract with the studio and made his acting debut.
8. Chow became a heartthrob and a familiar face in soap operas that were exported internationally.
9. Chow has been married twice; first in 1983, to Candice Yu, an actress from Asia Television; the marriage lasted nine months.
10. When Chow appeared in the 1980 TV series The Bund on TVB, it did not take long for him to become a household name in Hong Kong.
11. The series, about the rise and fall of a gangster in 1930s Shanghai, was a hit throughout Asia and made Chow a star.
12. Although Chow continued his TV success, his goal was to become a big-screen actor.
13. Success finally came when he teamed up with director John Woo in the 1986 gangster action-melodrama A Better Tomorrow, which swept the box offices in Asia and established Chow and Woo as megastars.
14. A Better Tomorrow won him his first Best Actor award at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
15. It was the highest-grossing film in Hong Kong history at the time, and set a new standard for Hong Kong gangster films.