A tribute site dedicated to the late Chinese actor, martial artist, action director, director, Lam Ching Ying.
Please light a candle for His memory or leave your tribute or condolences.
On one autumn day, in 2006 a gentleman paid his tribute to Lam Ching Ying on this Memorial Site.
I thanked the heartfelt words and invited him to join the Forum. And he did, the very same day. We started to exchange messages first on the Forum, e-mails went back and forth, and later on we started to chat online. Gradually, but surprisingly quickly we became not only the best of friends, but we realized this is much more then that. A great love evolved, based on mutual respect, appreciation and admiration.
I understood what fate and destiny really means. When two people, even though they live an ocean away, speak different languages are supposed to meet, they will. We are kindred. Our souls are bound, we have the same taste, the same values in life, the same thoughts.
We lived a between-season, separated life for two years, but eventually we got married on the 22nd of February 2009.
Thank you Lam Sifu.Rest in peace!
Lam Ching Ying (林正英) was a Chinese actor, stuntman, action director and director. He was born in Hong Kong on December 27th 1952, under his real name, Lam Gun Bo( 林根寶).
As an actor, action choreographer, director, martial artist, and teacher he touched many people with his candour and uncompromising professionalism. He left behind a lasting cinematic legacy, which can be enjoyed and respected by generations all over the World.
Ching Ying passed away of liver cancer at the St. Theresa Hospital in Hong Kong on the 8th of November, at the age of 45.
After an elementary school education lasting only two years he enrolled in the Peking Opera School of Madame Fan Fok Fa for a period of five years.
At the age of 17 Ching Ying began his carrier as a stuntman and an action choreographer at the famous Show Brothers Studio.
After a two year apprenticeship Ying came to the attention of the team at Golden Harvest Studio and he appeared in a supporting role in 1971's box office hit The Big Boss, starring Bruce Lee. Lee was very impressed with his martial artistry and technical knowledge, and promptly hired him as his personal assistant and co-action-director for Fist Of Fury. Ying also worked with Bruce as assistant-action-director on Enter The Dragon and was stunt double for actor Shek Khin, who played the villain.
After Bruce Lee's death, which greatly saddened him, he joined his good friend Sammo Hung, becoming a core member of his stunt team, Hung Ga Ban. Their friendship and professional respect deepened and they collaborated on classic films such as Enter The Fat Dragon, Warriors Two, The Magnificent Butcher. In the last Lam's fight with Yuen Biao demonstrates his expert skill in fighting with a fan and double knives. It is one of the movie's highlights.
In 1982 Ying won his first award for best action-direction for the matchless action-drama The Prodigal Son. Even today this film plays to full houses on festivals. Ching Ying stole the show as the effeminate, but lethal Leung Yee Tai. His Wing Chun style is precise, powerful, compelling and the audience's empathy for his character is always high.
The following year Winners And Sinners won the award for Best Action Choreography at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
In 1985 for Mr Vampire Lam created his most memorable character, the cool Taoist Priest. This role defined his screen image and brought broader recognition for him. The movie won 5 awards including Best Picture, Best Art Design and Best Cinematography. Ying missed out on the award for Best Supporting Actor. He irreversibly type-casted as the "World's Number-One High-Kicking Vampire-Buster" going on to reprise this role several times. Mr Vampire II and III, The Musical Vampire, Magic Cop, Vampire Vs Vampire etc. followed the first success.
Until this very day (5th December 2006) every single biography on Lam Ching Ying at this point mentioned a failed Golden Harvest company attempt to make an English version of the movie with Tanya Roberts and Jack Scalia. They mentioned various difficulties on both sides. Western actors had attitude about Ching Ying's poor English, Lam couldn't handle the American egos and the situation, so Raymond Chow cancelled the project. He looked at the footage that had been shot and said: "We've barely started, we need not to bother to finish!". According to these reports Ying was disappointed and never again made an effort to break into the foreign film-market.
I can assure you that these facts were not true at all. I have proof, Lam Sifu's own word's and Bey Logan's (Bey Logan kindly handled me a unique Lam Ching Ying interview which was never published. I am working on the translation at the moment!) The movie, Golden Harvest abandoned was called Demon Hunters and would have starred Yuen Wah. This rumour was probably spread by someone who was hurt by Lam Ching Ying. Later on Bey Logan interviewed Cynthia Rothrock, who co-starred Lam in The Prince Of The Sun, confirmed that Ching Ying had no problem with westerners at all.
After the success of Mr Vampire Lam continued his constant and important presence in Sammo's films. He had very nice and difficult roles waiting for him, and he gave his all, never appearing bored or tired. These were his busiest and most successful years.
He appeared in super-hits such as My Lucky Stars, Encounters Of The Spooky Kind, Millionaire's Express, Eastern Condors. As a respected teacher he often mentored other stars. Most famously he trained Michelle Yeoh, and turned the diva into a female action star.
In 1995 he was approached by Hong Kong media giant ATV to reprise his famous Taoist Priest role for a TV series called The Vampire Expert. The project received rave reviews, and The Vampire Expert II followed its' success.
Sadly Lam developed liver cancer. A quiet and private man, he chose not to reveal his illness to the public or even to his closest friends. Retiring from the public eye he sought seclusion at his sister's house, where he lived out his last weeks.
He passed away at the St. Theresa Hospital on the 8th of November at the age of 44.
On November 13th, the day of his funeral, 50 buddhist monks officiated at a 3 hour prayer ceremony to honour his passing. His friends acted as pallbearers.
At his request he was cremated and his ashes flown to the United States, where they were burried with his favourite clothes, sunglasses, Priest robe and hat. His challigraphic tribute read: "One Smile Returns To The West".
Farewell, Ching Ying!
Ching Ying's request was to have a low-profile funeral, so his family did not immediately publicize his death. His traditional Chinese burial custom was held in a Memorial Temple on the 13th of November 1997 in Hong Kong.
His funeral was humble indeed, only his close family, school-mate friends, collegues from the movie world arrived to express their respect and say a last farewell to Ching Ying.
His Altar was situated in the middle of the Hall with Ying's portrait, covered with beautiful flowers and his sacrifical gifts, fruits, oranges, apples, mushrooms, other vegetarian dishes, moon cakes.
On the left side of the Altar was kneeling his close family, his former wife with his son, Kai-Yu and his daugter, greeting guests, and burning money for their dead.
Ying's pallbearers were Yuen Shiu Hung, Chin Yuet Sun, Ng Ming Hoi, Lam King Chu, Chan Wui Ngai, Chung Fat, Sammo Hung Kam Bo, Chan Wing Hong, Chin Kar Lok and Ng Ma. They were all friends of Ying from his youth and friends from the martial arts business.
Sifu Lam quietly departed from this world, but left a loud confusion behind. His death notice made a splash. His fans, the audience were absolutely shocked over his sudden death. The newspapers were paying tribute to Sifu Lam, as well.
After the funeral his remains were cremated and buried in the U.S. with a calligraphy from Chua Lam:
"One Smile Returns To The West"
I hope we will never forget his unique personality, his art, his talent. He will be always remembered, honoured and missed. Please, pay your tribute on this site!
I tender my thanks to him for all the beautiful moments, for the pleasure he gives me through his acting. I also wanted to pay tribute to his short, but rich, sincere and unique life.
In acknowledgement I created his webpage, called Master For All Seasons
My Message to Sifu Lam!
I strongly believe that in one way or another you are able to see this site.
This is my tribute to you. You were gifted not only with unique acting ability, but spiritually as well. You had wisdom and dignity you preserved in life and in death.
It's nearly ten years you left this world, but your art made you undying. Please accept these pages I create with great respect. I'll do my best to make this site as complete, orderly and elegant as your personality was in your whole life.
Your intention was to entertain and enchant us with your inimitable style, with your gentle humor and last but not least with your martial arts talent. You never thought about yourself, not even when you should have had to do, you hated attention around you, to burden others with your troubles, you lived your life silently. I feel this is the least I can do.
Wherever you are, don't forget you are remembered, honoured and painfully missed forever.