Chow Yun-fat, SBS [born May 18, 1955] is an actor from Hong Kong. He is best known in Asia for his collaboration with filmmaker John Woo in heroic bloodshed genre films A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Hard Boiled; and to the West for his role as Li Mu-bai in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He mainly plays in dramatic films and has won three Hong Kong Film Awards for "Best Actor" and two Golden Horse Awards for "Best Actor" in Taiwan.
Chow was born in Hong Kong, to a mother who was a cleaning lady and vegetable farmer, and a father who worked at a Shell Oil Company tanker. Of Hakka origins, he grew up in a farming community on Lamma Island in a house with no electricity. He woke up at dawn each morning to help his mother sell herbal jelly and Hakka tea-pudding on the streets and in the afternoons he went to work in the fields. His family moved to Kowloon when he was ten. At seventeen, he quit school to help support the family by doing odd jobs - bellboy, postman, camera salesman, taxi driver. His life started to change when he responded to a newspaper advertisement and his actor-trainee application was accepted by TVB, the local television station. He signed a three-year contract with the studio and made his acting debut. With his striking good looks and easy-going style, Chow became a heartthrob and a familiar face in soap operas that were exported internationally.
Chow has been married twice; first in 1983 to Candice Yu [Chinese: 余安安; pinyin: Yú Ānan], an actress from Asia Television Limited that lasted nine months. In 1986, Chow married Singaporean Jasmine Tan [simplified Chinese: 陈萫莲; traditional Chinese: 陳薈蓮; pinyin: Chén huilián]. Currently, the couple have no children, although Chow has a goddaughter, Celine Ng, a former child model for Chickeeduck and other companies. Chow has acknowledged having cosmetic surgery on his eyelids in 1989 to reverse a drooping effect.