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Lam Ching Ying is a Actor, Director, Producer, Action Director, Director of Photography and Stunts Chinois born on 27 december 1952

Lam Ching Ying

Lam Ching Ying
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Birth name 林根寶 Lín Gēnbǎo Lam4 Gan1bou2
Nationality Chine
Birth 27 december 1952
Death 8 november 1997 (at 44 years)

Lam Ching Ying (Chinese: 林正英; birth name: Lam Gun-bo 林根寶; 27 December 1952 - 8 November 1997) was a Hong Kong stuntman, actor, film producer, action director and director. A physically talented and graceful martial artist, Lam was best known for playing the stoic Taoist priest in Mr. Vampire (1985). He had a reputation for being disciplined, headstrong, restrained, and self-willed. As an actor, action choreographer, martial artist, and teacher he touched many people with his candor and uncompromising professionalism. He left behind a lasting cinematic legacy, which can be enjoyed and respected by generations all over the world. Lam died in 1997 of liver cancer.


Childhood years
Lam Ching Ying (林正英) was born Lam Gun Bo (林根寶) on December 27, 1952 in the year of the Dragon, in Hong Kong. His family originated from Shanghai, in the Republic Of China. Both of his parents made a living by doing catering services. Lam was the third child of six children. His family was poor, and his parents weren't educated. Lam attended Shun Yi Association Elementary School in Hong Kong, but eventually dropped out after 2 years. His father sent him to Chun Chau Drama Society to learn the Peking Opera style under the guidance of Madame Fan Fok Fa.

Due to his slender and fragile body structure, Lam specialized in female roles and often performed stunt-doubling for actresses. However, he was reported as a mischievous and disobedient child. Thus, after half a year of training, Madame sent him on stage to express himself and control his drive. Lam's first show was called "White Beach", but his Beijing Opera career only lasted for 5 years. He realized that there was not much demand for opera styles anymore. Through a friend's introduction, Lam joined the film industry.

Early life
At age 17, Lam became a stuntman and martial arts coach at the Shaw Brothers Studio. Due to his slender build, he was often called upon to substitute female actors. He received $HK60 a day, $HK20 of which went to his master, and another $HK20 he took home to his parents. Lam used the remaining money to treat his brothers to snacks. Lam once mentioned those were his happiest days in his life.

There was a story that Lam challenged Bruce Lee in a hotel room because he didn't believe Lee was as strong as the rumors said. Lam put a pillow over his chest and stomach, then Bruce struck the pillow and sent him flying across the room. Bruce Lee was so impressed that he hired Lam as his personal assistant. Lam was 19 at the time.

Lam started to work as an co-action choreographer, and personal assistant to Bruce Lee on Lee's movies including The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Enter the Dragon, Return of the Dragon, and Game of Death. In his youth, Lam seemed to have quite a temper and always got into fights. During the filming of "The Big Boss", Lam was arrested for fighting, and Lee had to bail him out of jail.

Despite having little education, Lam impressed Lee with interesting philosophical discussions. Although they hardly talked about their relationship, Lee liked good conversations, and this self-willed young man soon became Lee's favorite.

When Lee died, Lam was devastated. He later joined Hung's stuntman association (known as the Hung Kar Pan).

Lam worked behind the camera as assistant director and became Sammo's right-hand man of the stunt team. His talent as an actor and martial artist was revealed in The Magnificent Butcher. Lam played the fan-wielding assassin who fought against Yuen Biao.

In 1982, Lam won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Action Direction, in the film Prodigal Son. Prodigal Son featured what is widely acknowledged as among the best Wing Chun caught on film, performed by Lam. Lam played the strict kung fu master Leung Yee Tai. This was probably his most historic role. Lam even shaved his own eyebrows to give Master Leung a more feminine portrayal. He was able to bring a cool, sweet quality to this sharp and hard-nosed character.

He also played a frail, elderly Taoist priest in The Dead and the Deadly (1983).

Lam's star did not rise until 1985, with the release of Mr. Vampire, the movie that fueled the hopping vampire genre. Lam was nominated for Best Actor for his role as the Taoist priest. The character was an engaging mixture of naivety and stoic authority, and became a favorite for audiences. Lam was to reprise this role many times throughout his career.

Shortly after the release of Mr. Vampire, the Golden Harvest film company attempted to make an English version of the movie with Tanya Roberts (of Charlie's Angels) and Jack Scalia. Lam's role was played by longtime kung fu film actor Yuen Wah. Due to various difficulties, the film was never made.

In the following years, Lam starred as the Taoist Priest in countless sequels and spin-offs of Mr. Vampire such as Mr. Vampire II (1986), Mr. Vampire III (1987), Vampire Vs. Vampire (1989), Magic Cop (1990), Encounters of the Spooky Kind II (1990)

He also appeared in different movie genres such as The Return of Pom Pom (1984), School on Fire (1988), Painted Faces (1988), and Her Vengeance (1988). Lam proved that his dramatic acting skill was just as good as his kung fu skill. It is argued that whether the huge success of Mr. Vampire was the best thing happened in his career because it forever typecast him as the vampire slayer. Yet Lam had many heartbreaking and mind-stirring portrayals in other movie genres.

In 1989, Lam directed his first movie Vampire Vs. Vampire. The movie starred him as the usual One Eyebrow Priest, Chin Siu Ho and Liu Fong as his naughty disciples. Due to the production cost going over budget, he didn't take his director's fee. The movie showed light of his moving-making style which was prone to realistic fights and dark humor. The movie didn't become a huge success, but his candor made people re-think the purposes of film-makings. It also suggested new ideas in the genre which later influenced other Hong Kong ghost movies. Vampire Vs. Vampire offered a new look about the encounter between Chinese and Western culture. The One Eyebrow Priest also raised a vampire kid in his own house. This went against traditional rules of Maoshan Taoism. Even until now, people often find Lam Ching Ying's shadow in later Chinese ghost movies.

The success of Mr. Vampire eventually became burdensome on Lam, who found himself typecast in the role. As the Hong Kong movie industry began to experience a decline, quality roles for Lam also began to dry. However, he continued to take on his usual role as the Taoist priest as well as supporting roles in low budget movies.

In 1990, Lam became the film producer for Magic Cop (1990), a underrated action movie. He starred in and action directed the movie. The fight scenes between him and the Japanese again showed his excellence as an action choreographer.

Some of his other ghost movies during these years are Crazy Safari (1991), An Eternal Combat (1991), The Ultimate Vampire (1991) Spiritual Trinity (1991), Mad Mad Ghost (1992), Banana Spirit (1992). Again, his serious acting side can be seen in Pom Pom and Hot Hot (1992), Lover's Tear (1992). He had supporting roles in these movies, but his roles are very memorable.

In 1995, although the film market was in a depression, ATV offered Lam the starring role in a television series called Vampire Expert (殭屍道長). He was hired with a million HK dollars salary to work in the series. It was a far cry from his time as $HK60 a day stuntman. The series was a success and revived Lam's career. The story followed Mo Siu Fong (Lam Ching Ying) who destroyed ghosts and saved the day. During the filming, Lam developed a relationship with his co-star Kingdom Yuen. In the series, Yuen played a female priest who fell in love with Mo Siu Fong (Lam Ching Ying). At the end of the filming, they were actually in love.

The second series was filmed and aired in 1996. The series starred Lam Ching Ying again as the humble priest, Mang Hoi, Frankie Lam and Annie Man as his disciples. Like the first series, the second series received high rating and support from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Soon after that, Lam signed for another TV series called Coincidentally (情定阴阳界). The series borrowed the cast of Vampire Expert and had Lam in a supporting role. Lam played a priest who tried to prevent a man from becoming a cruel spirit. However, this series didn't mark the end of his career. Lam's last role was in A Monk at Thirty (一枝花和尚). The role was so heartbreaking that many of his fans doubted he was actually playing his own death.

In 1997, production on the third series of Vampire Expert began. The production was halted because Lam died. Contrary to rumors that the cancer was caused by years of heavy drinking, the cancer was hereditary.

Best films

Enter the Dragon (1973)
Fist of Fury (1972)

Usually with

Sammo Hung
Sammo Hung
(55 films)
Yuen Biao
Yuen Biao
(37 films)
Yuen Wah
Yuen Wah
(24 films)
Wu Ma
Wu Ma
(27 films)
Raymond Chow
Raymond Chow
(30 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Lam Ching Ying (87 films)

Display filmography as list


Painted Skin, 1h34
Directed by King Hu
Origin Hong kong
Genres Drama, Science fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Romance
Actors Adam Cheng, Joey Wong, Sammo Hung, Lam Ching Ying, Wu Ma
Roles Purple Taoist
Rating56% 2.816122.816122.816122.816122.81612
Quand un jeune homme amoureux tend à croiser une jeune femme séduisante qui a besoin de son aide, il ne lui est pas difficile de se précipiter à son secours en s'imaginant dans ses bras. Bien qu'il soit marié, il garde un fort désir de coucher toute jolie femme en vue. À son grand étonnement, il découvre plus tard que la jolie femme dont il fantasmait est un fantôme.
Exorcist Master, 1h32
Directed by Wu Ma
Origin Hong kong
Genres Martial arts, Comedy, Horror comedy, Action, Horror, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Vampires in film, Comedy horror films
Actors Lam Ching Ying, Wu Ma, Collin Chou
Roles Master Chiou
Rating58% 2.903532.903532.903532.903532.90353
Priest Wu (Wu Ma) is due to re-open a church after a priest died there twenty years ago, Uncle Nine (Lam Ching-ying) recommends he does not re-open the church but Priest Wu goes ahead. The priest who died there becomes a vampire who wants to turn eveyone in the town into a vampire.
The Kung Fu Cult Master, 1h38
Directed by Sammo Hung, Wong Jing
Origin Hong kong
Genres Science fiction, Fantastic, Fantasy, Action, Historical
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Kung fu films, Wuxia films
Actors Sharla Cheung, Jet Li, Chingmy Yau, 黎姿 (en anglais : Gigi Lai, lychee, JJ. ), Sammo Hung, Francis Ng
Roles Cameo appearance
Rating64% 3.200643.200643.200643.200643.20064
Zhang Wuji and his parents return from an isolated island and travel to Mount Wudang to celebrate his grandteacher Zhang Sanfeng's 100th birthday. Several martial artists attempt to force Zhang Wuji's parents to reveal the whereabouts of his godfather, Xie Xun, but they refuse and commit suicide in defiance. Zhang Wuji has been seriously injured by the Xuanming Elders and almost dies, but Zhang Sanfeng shows special care towards him and attempts to preserve his life. However, that incurs the jealousy of his senior Song Qingshu, who collaborates with Zhou Zhiruo of the Emei Sect to harm Zhang Wuji.
Mr. Vampire 1992, 1h28
Origin Hong kong
Genres Comedy, Horror comedy, Horror
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Vampires in film, Comedy horror films
Actors Lam Ching Ying, Ricky Hui, Chin Siu-ho (錢小豪), Sandra Ng, Bowie Lam, Billy Lau
Roles Master Lam
Rating62% 3.1427253.1427253.1427253.1427253.142725
The film is based on the concept of the souls of aborted fetuses who reside in statues awaiting reincarnation. One of these is a particularly nasty soul who possesses a nanny who in turn sets to work to find the suitable host pregnant lady which turns out to be Priest Kau's childhood sweetheart (who is married to the General).
The Musical Vampire, 1h30
Origin Hong kong
Genres Martial arts, Comedy, Horror comedy, Action, Horror, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Vampires in film, Comedy horror films
Actors Lam Ching Ying, Xiong Xin-xin, Rachel Lee, Loletta Lee, Stanley Fung, Charlie Cho
Roles Uncle Master
Rating54% 2.731162.731162.731162.731162.73116
A crazy scientist reanimates a corpse with a chemical, creating a super hopping ghost. The corpse can only be controlled by the sound of music. Tao Priest (Lam Ching-ying) and his two assistants must stop it before it destroys the countryside.
The Ultimate Vampire, 1h28
Directed by Andrew Lau
Origin Hong kong
Genres Martial arts, Comedy, Horror comedy, Action, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Vampires in film, Comedy horror films
Actors Lam Ching Ying, Chin Siu-ho (錢小豪), Carrie Ng, Ku Feng
Roles Master Chiu
Rating61% 3.090783.090783.090783.090783.09078
Master Gau (Lam Ching-ying) village get overtaken by vampires, Master Gau must and his assistants join forces to rid their village of the vampires. Master Gau must also take care of his assistants who befriends a ghost.
Crazy Safari, 1h36
Origin Hong kong
Genres Comedy, Fantasy, Action, Horror
Themes Films set in Africa, Vampires in film
Actors Nǃxau ǂToma, Lam Ching Ying, Stephen Chow, Ng Man-tat, Peter Pau, Paddy O'Byrne
Roles Taoist priest
Rating53% 2.6991852.6991852.6991852.6991852.699185
An ancient but still fleshy Chinese corpse is on auction in England. A young businessman (Sam Christopher Chow) purchases the corpse. The corpse is revealed to be the body of his third great-grandfather and he intends to give it a proper burial in Hong Kong.
Slickers vs. Killers, 1h39
Directed by Sammo Hung
Origin Hong kong
Genres Thriller, Comedy, Action, Crime, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Serial killer films, Kung fu films
Actors Sammo Hung, Carol Cheng, Lam Ching Ying, Jacky Cheung, Collin Chou, Clifton Ko
Roles Owl
Rating62% 3.1262953.1262953.1262953.1262953.126295
Although a hapless telephone salesman, Success Hung finds himself engaged in a selling war with a new saleswoman, Miss Cheng, that soon proves to be the least of his problems. After witnessing a feud between two hitmen and a local gang of triads, Hung finds himself the target of the more neurotic and violent of the two hitmen, Bat. Having survived various attempts on his life by the hitmen, Bat and Owl, Hung also discovers that his wife Lisa's policeman colleague Ai has more than a professional interest in her. Taking a leaf out of Bat and Owl's book, the jealous policeman also decides that Hung would be better off dead. In one madcap night, all of these problems are solved with poor old Hung naturally in the middle of it all.
Prince of the Sun, 1h22
Origin Chine
Genres Comedy, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Themes Sports films, Films about Tibet, Martial arts films, Kung fu films
Actors Cynthia Rothrock, Lam Ching Ying, Sheila Chan, Jeffrey Falcon
Roles Khenlun
Rating52% 2.614572.614572.614572.614572.61457
Un enfant aux pouvoirs extraordinaires, est traqué par les forces du mal. Sa mission est de sauver un enfant sacré du Tibet.
Encounters of the Spooky Kind II, 1h25
Origin Hong kong
Genres Martial arts, Comedy, Horror comedy, Fantasy, Action, Horror, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Comedy horror films
Actors Sammo Hung, Lam Ching Ying, Collin Chou
Roles Master Jiao
Rating65% 3.2816653.2816653.2816653.2816653.281665
Tea-house worker and martial-arts student "Abao" is to married to his boss's daughter, "Little Chu" and Abao fights to protect her from the advances of the wealthy "Master Shi". The two men's romantic rivalry escalates into a full-scale supernatural battle after Shi enlists the help of a wicked sorcerer, and Abao encounters a benevolent female ghost.
Magic Cop
Magic Cop (1990)
, 1h27
Origin Hong kong
Genres Comedy, Fantasy, Action, Horror, Crime
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Comedy horror films
Actors Lam Ching Ying, Michael Miu, Wu Ma, Billy Chow, Frankie Chan
Roles Uncle Feng
Rating67% 3.390573.390573.390573.390573.39057
Uncle Feng, an experienced policeman, lives a quiet and beautiful life in Tung Ping Chau. One day, the old lady living next door comes to ask him to go to Hong Kong Island to return the body of her daughter, a stewardess killed by the police after being suspected of being a drug smuggler. Feng finds that the "stewardess" had actually been killed before her return to Hong Kong. She had been turned into a "living corpse", and is being controlled by a Japanese magician for smuggling. With Feng's supernatural skills and detective techniques, they finally find the location of the secret altar of the Japanese magician.
Swordsman (1990)
, 2h
Directed by Tsui Hark, Ann Hui, Ching Siu-tung, King Hu
Origin Hong kong
Genres Drama, Action, Adventure, Historical, Romance, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Wuxia films
Actors Jacky Cheung, Cecilia Yip, Sharla Cheung, Yuen Wah, Lam Ching Ying, Wu Ma
Roles Kuk
Rating67% 3.3985353.3985353.3985353.3985353.398535
The film is set in the Ming dynasty, during the Wanli Emperor. Gu Jinfu, a eunuch from the spy agency Eastern Depot, leads a team to retrieve the Sunflower Manual, a martial arts manual which was stolen from the imperial palace. They track down and attack Lin Zhennan. Lin Zhennan encounters Linghu Chong and Yue Lingshan, two students from the Mount Hua Sect, and asks them to inform his son, Lin Pingzhi, where the manual is hidden.
Pedicab Driver, 1h35
Directed by Sammo Hung
Origin Hong kong
Genres Drama, Martial arts, Comedy, Action, Romance
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Kung fu films
Actors Sammo Hung, Liu Chia-liang, Max Mok, Nina Li Chi, Billy Chow, John Shum
Roles Uncle Sheng
Rating73% 3.6828653.6828653.6828653.6828653.682865
Lo Tung, Bonbon Sucré, Shan Cha et Pot de Riz travaillent tous les quatre comme chauffeurs de vélo-taxi à Macao. Dans la ville, un réseau de prostitution est dirigé tyranniquement par Maître Yu et ses hommes de main. Leurs vies restent plus ou moins paisibles mis à part une brouille continuelle avec la bande de Tan. Lo Tung tombe amoureux de Ping, une employée d'une boulangerie, tandis que Bonbon Sucré tombe amoureux de Hsiao Tsui, qui se révèle être une prostituée travaillant pour Yu. Les problèmes arrivent très vite lorsque cette dernière décide de se retirer du réseau sans le consentement de son patron.
Vampire Vs. Vampire
Directed by Lam Ching Ying
Genres Martial arts, Comedy, Horror comedy, Action, Horror, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Vampires in film, Comedy horror films
Actors Lam Ching Ying, Chin Siu-ho (錢小豪), Maria Cordero, Billy Lau, Sandra Ng, Regina Kent
Roles One-Eyebrow Priest
Rating61% 3.050563.050563.050563.050563.05056
Chinese exorcist One-Eyebrow Priest (Lam Ching Ying) leads a peaceful life with two disciples Ah Hao (Chin Siu Ho) and Ah Fang (Lui Fong) in a small town together with a mischievous miniature jiangshi. While finding new water sources one day, the priest encounters a European vampire in the nearby church who is aided by a dead countess. Although the priest manages to get rid of the countess, his Chinese exorcism fails on the European vampire.