Legendary Hong Kong actor Ng Man-tat, best known to the western world as disgraced soccer play turned manager Golden Leg Fung in Stephen Chow‘s Shaolin Soccer passed away this afternoon after batlling liver cancer. He was 70 years old. His good friend Tenky Tin Kai-man, chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, stated that “he left peacefully…he died in his sleep” at at Tai Wai’s Union Hospital at 5.16pm, accompanied by his children and wife.
Ng was born in Xiamen, in southeastern China, in 1951, moving 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. He started drawing public attention for his roles in the television programme called Chor Lau-heung, which was first broadcast in 1979. He gained fame with his roles in Chor Lau Heung and Police Cadet 84.
His first film in 1981, Heroic Cops, was about illegal immigrants in Hong Kong. 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. Later, he appeared 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.”
He starred in the sci-fi blockbuster, The Wandering Earth, in 2017 and also appears in this year’s Rising Shaolin: The Protector.