A tragic loss. I had heard he wasn't doing well.

Legendary Hong Kong actor Ng Man-tat dies of liver cancer at 70
Born in Xiamen in 1951, he came to city as a child and rose to fame in 1980s, eventually becoming a household name for co-starring with Stephen Chow
His friend Tenky Tin says he died peacefully in his sleep at Tai Wai’s Union Hospital at 5.16pm, accompanied by his children and wife
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Phila Siu
Published: 9:56pm, 27 Feb, 2021

Actor Ng Man-tat was equally popular in mainland China. Photo: Weibo
Legendary Hong Kong actor Ng Man-tat, best known for co-starring alongside “king of comedy” Stephen Chow Sing-chi in many popular films, died on Saturday afternoon of liver cancer. He was 70.
Ng’s friend, Tenky Tin Kai-man, chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, said the famous actor died peacefully at Tai Wai’s Union Hospital at 5.16pm, accompanied by his children and wife.
“He left peacefully,” Tin said at the hospital. “He died in his sleep.”
Tin said earlier in the day Ng did not know his condition was so serious and had expected to recover.
Ng was born in Xiamen, in southeastern China, in 1951, and came to Hong Kong at the age of five. In the 1970s he attended acting classes organised by Television Broadcasts, and was a classmate of Chow Yun-fat, another renowned actor.
He started drawing public attention for his roles in the television programme called Chor Lau-heung, which was first broadcast in 1979.

Ng Man-tat attended acting classes organised by Television Broadcasts in the 1970s. Photo: Weibo
His first film in 1981, Heroic Cops, was about illegal immigrants in Hong Kong.
Just when Ng started rising to fame in the 1980s, he fell into a haze of drinking, gambling and womanising that left him with a debt of HK$300,000 (US$38,680). He sought help from his friend Chow Yun-fat, but was rejected.
“I’d feel ashamed if I had to declare bankruptcy. I realised that I needed to figure a way out. I didn’t dare telling my family at the beginning and so I went to find [Chow Yun-fat],” Ng said in an interview in mainland China some years ago.
“He did quite well in Hong Kong. He was popular and had made a lot of money. I asked him to lend me HK$300,000 in the 1980s, but he would not do so. I was upset. He wouldn’t lend me the money and wouldn’t say why.”

Ng Man-tat died peacefully at Tai Wai’s Union Hospital at 5.16pm, accompanied by his children and wife. Photo: Weibo
He realised that Chow would not give him money because that would not ultimately help him. He declared bankruptcy, worked hard, and worked his way up again. He was later thankful that Chow did not lend him the money.
He starred with Stephen Chow in the television dramas The Final Combat and The Justice of Life in the late 1980s and viewers fell in love with the pair’s chemistry.
Thereafter, he took part in many comedies with Stephen Chow, including All for the Winner in 1990 and Shaolin Soccer in 2001, which was the pair’s last film together.
Earlier this month, Ng was asked in a mainland Chinese television programme if he would work with Stephen Chow again on a film.
He replied: “I’m not dead yet and he hasn’t retired. There’ll definitely be a chance.”
Ng was also a household name on the mainland. He starred in the mainland Chinese sci-fi blockbuster, The Wandering Earth, in 2017.
The news of his death has attracted more than 2.1 billion views on Weibo, China’s microblogging site.

Phila Siu

Phila Siu, also known as Bobby, has been a journalist since 2009. He has reported on human rights, security, politics, and society in Hong Kong, mainland China and Southeast Asia. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Hong Kong Baptist University and a human rights law master's degree from the University of Hong Kong.