Tony Leung

Photo The Boston Globe/Getty Images

An acting legend, Tony Leung’s beautifully restrained, poignantly emotional performances have won him unparalleled respect


Widely acclaimed as Hong Kong’s greatest actor, Tony Leung’s stature in the Chinese-language movie world is second to none. Over a career lasting four decades, he has demonstrated huge versatility in his choice of roles, always bringing to them a pensive, soulful, restrained approach to acting, conveying intense emotion with minimal movement.

He started out as a comic actor on Hong Kong TV, breaking into films at the end of the 1980s. He is perhaps best known for his long term association with Hong Kong’s global star of arthouse filmmaking Wong Kar-wai, starring in seven of the auteur’s films, and winning best actor at the Cannes Film Festival for In the Mood for Love (2002). He has also worked with Zhang Yimou on Hero (2002) and Ang Lee on Lust, Caution (2007), and starred in epoch-making Hong Kong crime movies Hard Boiled (1992) and Infernal Affairs (2002). He recently broke into Hollywood with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021), in which he plays the protagonist’s villainous father.

Among the numerous awards he has received, he has been best actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards a record five times. Also popular as a singer, he is known as a quiet, intensely private person.

Tony Leung is married to fellow actor Carina Lau.

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Did you know?

He spent five years training in wing chun before taking on the role of Ip Man in 2013’s The Grandmaster.

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