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Andy Lau: 10 lesser-known facts about Hong Kong’s celebrated entertainer

Whether it’s cementing his acting credentials with films like Infernal Affairs and Running Out of Time or building his popularity as one of the best Cantopop singers, Andy Lau Tak-wah has long ruled Hong Kong’s entertainment scene. Rising to fame in the early 1980s, Andy Lau starred in over 160 films across genres and continues to woo audiences even in his 60s. All this, while sweeping us off our feet with his gorgeous looks!

Lau’s films have broken countless box office records, while his Cantopop concerts attract millions of people eager to witness him churn magic on stage. It’s safe to say that the actor has popularised Hong Kong cinema on a global level. While you might be familiar with many of Andy Lau’s professional achievements, the actor’s rise to stardom is nothing short of inspirational. From his humble beginnings in Hong Kong’s Tai Po to building an unparalleled legacy as an Asian superstar, Andy Lau’s journey is one you can’t miss!

Here are ten interesting and lesser-known facts about Andy Lau, that’ll familiarise you with the superstar like never before. Keep reading!

10 interesting facts about Andy Lau you probably didn’t know

1. Andy Lau’s childhood was filled with hardships

While the actor has amassed massive wealth over the years, his childhood wasn’t as smooth sailing. Six-year-old Andy moved out with his family into the urban slum around Diamond Hill, only to have their house gutted by fire just a couple of years later. Growing up, Lau had to fetch water for his family about eight times a day as their house lacked some basic facilities. His life is no less than a movie plot.

As per South China Morning Post, Lau mentioned in an interview that he even worked as a private tutor to primary school students and sang at a piano bar to mint some extra bucks for his family

After graduating from Ho Lap College in Kowloon, he commenced his acting career with TVB in 1981. Following successful stints in shows like The Emissary, The Return of the Condor Heroes and more, the actor was branded as one of the most popular stars of that time alongside Tony Leung, Michael Miu, Felix Wong and Kent Tong.

2. He’s a Guinness World Record holder

Andy Lau entered the celebrated Guinness World Record for ‘Most Awards Won by a Cantopop Male Artist’. Do you know the star had about 300 awards under his belt by April 2000? And we’re sure this figure has consistently risen given his incredible line of work. For his contributions, Lau also found a special spot in Madame Tussauds Hong Kong back in 2005.

3. The artist earned HKD 60 for his first acting role

After undergoing artist training with TVB, Andy finally entered the entertainment industry at the age of 19. His first-ever performance was acting as one of the students in a classroom in the TV show Four Seasons Love, which earned him HKD 60. In one of his earlier interviews, Lau also mentioned that he started receiving about HKD 1,800 once his training was complete. Humble beginnings indeed!

4. Lau and his wife Carol Chu dated for 24 years before getting married

Amid the facade of modern dating, Andy Lau and his wife Carol Chu are one of the few couples who make us believe in true love. The duo had a long-standing relationship of almost two and a half decades before tying the knot. In 2008, Andy put rest to all relationship speculations by marrying the Malaysian entertainer and model in Las Vegas.

Their marriage was initially under wraps, and Lau only admitted the nuptials three years later in 2011. The couple welcomed their first child in 2012, a daughter named Hanna.

5. Andy Lau has smashed a global live-stream concert record

The Hong Kong artist‘s online concert on the Douyin app in 2022 attracted a whopping 350 million viewers. This number helped Lau surpass online viewership numbers set by well-known performers including Hong Kong’s Eason Chan Yik-shun, Singapore’s Stefanie Sun Yan-zi as well as Malaysia’s Fish Leong Jing-ru. This figure also beats Lau’s own previous record on the platform, which he set in July 2021 to commemorate 40 years in showbiz. 

6. He has been honoured as ‘Justice of Peace’ by the Hong Kong government

In Hong Kong, the ‘Justice of Peace’ titles are usually bestowed upon community leaders as well as certain officials during their term in office. Owing to his active involvement in charity works and other philanthropic endeavours, Andy Lau was given the title by the Hong Kong SAR government in 2008.

Additionally, he has been awarded a Doctor of Letters degree from Hong Kong’s Shue Yan University. The University of New Brunswick, Canada also recognised him as an ‘honorary doctorate’ for his remarkable contributions to society.

7. Andy Lau has written and published two books

The artist’s talent knows no bounds, and he added another feather to his cap by turning author with his 1995 autobiography, This Is How I Grew Up. It was followed up by his second curation, My 30 Work Days: Diary of Shooting A Simple Life. Published in 2012, the book is a compilation of personal notes and diaries he wrote during the shoot of his 2011 drama film A Simple Life. Apart from his thoughts and observations around the film, the book contains 300 BTS glimpses taken by him and his colleagues.

8. He’s one of the most successful Cantopop singers

After proving his acting chops on television as well as films, Andy tried his luck with singing. He released his first-ever album Only Know that I Still Love You in 1985. While his first drop didn’t resonate with audiences as much, it was his 1990 album Would It Be Possible that helped his singing career reach its pinnacle.

Andy’s subsequent music releases broke records one after the other, luring audiences not just in Hong Kong but Taiwan, Mainland China, and other parts of Asia. Some of his most popular tracks include The Days We Spent Together, If You Are My Legend, The Tide, Love You Forever and You Are My Woman.

9. Andy Lau has bankrolled award-winning films under his production banner

Coming to Lau’s filmmaking credentials, the actor set up his own production banner, Focus Group Holdings Limited, in 1991. The company bankrolled a number of successful films over the years, from the critically acclaimed features Made in Hong Kong and The Longest Summer to big-budget action blockbusters like Firestorm and Shock Wave.

Owing to his contributions towards the film industry and nurturing new talent, Lau received the ‘Asian Filmmaker of the Year’ accolade at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2006.

10. He has bagged many prestigious accolades

Being one of Hong Kong’s most commercially successful film actors, Andy Lau has bagged notable accolades throughout his career. From multiple Hong Kong Film Awards and Golden Horse Film Festival to Huabiao Awards, the list is exhaustive. Following decades of success, Lau was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018.

(Hero and feature image credit: andylauox/ Instagram)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: What are some fun facts about Andy Lau?

Answer: Whether it's his entry into the Guinness World Record or his record-breaking films and Cantopop career, Andy Lau's journey is truly fascinating. The artist earned HKD 60 for his first acting role.

Question: How did Andy Lau become famous?

Answer: Andy Lau entered the entertainment industry at the age of 19. He started his acting stint with appearances in multiple TVB series like 'The Emissary', 'The Return of the Condor Heroes' and more.

Question: Does Andy Lau know martial arts?

Answer: As per South China Morning Post, Andy Lau once revealed that he spent some time learning horse-riding as well as kung fu.

Question: Does Andy Lau have children?

Answer: Andy Lau and his wife Carol Chu have a daughter named Hanna.

Andy Lau: 10 lesser-known facts about Hong Kong’s celebrated entertainer

Kriti is a stay-at-home dog mama, whose knack for telling interesting stories keeps her erstwhile monotonous life sane. A literature & journalism degree holder, you'll find her binging on Agatha Christie novels while critiquing the everyday state of affairs. On Kriti's seldom social outings, she's seen devouring coffee sangria with appetizing bread on the side.

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