1981:The prodigal Son
1988:On The Run
When i think about some of the greatest Kung Fu stars that have graced our screens, the usual names will pop up such as Bruce lee, Jackie Chan, jet Li and so on. After being a fan of Yuen Biao for many years now and it was his movie The prodigal Son that really caught my attention within Hong Kong cinema, he as to be one of the very best to grace our screens. Not only as Biao appeared in so many great movies, he as also doubled a large number of stars over the years, some of these stars include Jet Li, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Hwang Jang Lee, casanova Wong, lau Kar Wing, Leung Kar Yan to females such as kara Hui and Cynthia Rothrock.
Yuen Biao was born in Hong Kong, he was the fifth child in a family of eight children. At the age of six he was enrolled at the Peking Opera School The China Drama Academy. He was given the stage name Yuen Biao (Little Tiger) and trained alongside schoolmates Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Corey Yuen, Yuen Wah and several others, under master Yu Jim-yuen. Biao remained at the Peking opera school for 10 years, learning many things including Kung Fu, acrobatics, singing, dancing and miming.
Yuen Biao started out as a stuntman on movies, working on early Bruce lee films such as Enter The Dragon, Fist Of Fury and also worked on the 1978 version of Game Of Death. In the early 70’s, if you are good at spotting these stars in the old movies, you will notice Biao popping up from time to time in the fight scenes and backgrounds of mainly Sammo hung movies, before Sammo eventually convinced Biao to perform in front of the camera as a lead actor and not as a extra or stuntman. This happened in 1979 when Biao starred in the Kung Fu classic Knockabout, along with Sammo Hung, Leung Kar yan and lau Kar Wing. here we would see Biao in epic form, the training scenes in the movie are some of the most impressive i have ever seen in any movie, showcasing excellent acrobatic work from stat to finish.
From 1979 to 1985 Yuen made some excellent movies, some of these included The Prodigal Son, Dreadnaught, The Magnificent Butcher, Project A, Wheels on Meals and My Lucky Stars. In these movies, Yuen performed some breath-taking moves, is Wing Chin skills are top notch, his flexibility is second to none and his comedy timing and excellent. By this time, Biao was in top form starring with big names in the movie industry, choreographing fights and stunt doubling actors who couldn’t perform certain movements. In the 80’s he made three movies being the starring role along side fellow Peking opera brothers Sammo hung and Jackie Chan, they are Project A, Wheels On meals and dragons Forever as well as small parts in Winners And Sinners and My Lucky Stars. My favorite out of these as to be Dragons Forever, it is an epic modern day action movie with great fight scenes and excellent stunt work. Another great movie in the 80’s would be Righting Wrongs, starring along side Cynthia Rothrock and a very young Louis Fan.
Some of my favorite work of his in the late 80’s would have to be Eastern Condors, The Iceman Cometh and the under-rated On The Run, a movie that showcases his finest acting performance to date. At the start of the 1990’s, he appeared in the Jet Li classic Once Upon a Time in China, when making this movie he was promised by director Tsui Hark, that his character would be the lead role and that Jet would only appear at certain points throughout the movie, but as filming started, Jet was in cast as the lead role and Biao felt like he was misled and that he didn’t get a proper chance to showcase his fighting skills on screen. This was the main reason he never came back to make the second movie when asked, so he went on to make his own movie based on Wong fei Hung and his disciples in a film called Kick-boxer. Here we can see Biao in fine fighting form, performing some brilliant kicks and was cast along side one of my favorite villains Yuen Wah.
As the 90’s drifted along, Yuen only got chance to star in a few good movies, some of these include A Kid from Tibet, Deadful Melody and the remake of The Boxer From Shantung called Hero. Most of the other movies were cheaply made and even though they had good casts and scripts, they just didn’t live up to previous Biao movies. Since 2000, Biao as only appeared in around 15 or so movies, in 2000, Yuen went to the United States to work with Jackie Chan as the action choreographer on Shanghai Noon and he also doubled for a few fighters in the movie and can be seen helping Jackie in the making of the movie. He did at some stage go to live back in Canada as he did and retire for a short while from movie making. He starred in No problem 2 a fun movie with some good fight scenes, a movie which he also helped choreograph the action.
In the past few years, he as started to get back into the lime light, in 2010 he made the movie The Legend Is Born – Ip Man, alongside Sammo Hung and Louis Fan. Last year he co-starred in the hit film Tai Chi O and is rumored to feature at some point in the 2013 remake of Iceman Cometh, starring Donnie yen. I would love him to star with Donnie in the next Ip man 3, i think both there wing chun skills are excellent and it would make for an epic fight scene between them both. As well as making movies, Biao as made quiet a few tv series, some of his best work are The Legend of the Martial Alliance, Real Kung Fu and Wing Chun. He recently starred in another Wing Chun based series titled ‘The Legend of Wing Chun’ along side newcomer Xu Huihui.
1998:Kingdom and the Beauty
1998:The Legend of a Chinese Hero
2000:The Legend of the Martial Alliance
2005:Real Kung Fu
2007:The Ultimate Crime Fighter
2009:Legend of Shaolin Kungfu
2012:The Legend of Wing Chun
2012:12 Deadly Coins
Please enjoy the video tribute i have made here and be sure to check out my You Tube page and my face book link, thank you.