Raymond Chow

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Raymond Chow Man-wai
Raymond Chow at the 5th Asian Film Awards in 2011
Born(1927-10-08)8 October 1927
Died2 November 2018(2018-11-02) (aged 91)
Hong Kong
Alma materSaint John's University, Shanghai
OccupationFilm producer
SpouseFelicia Yuen
PartnerNg Suk-fong
ChildrenRoberta Chow (daughter), with Yuen
Felix Chow (son), with Ng
Terence Chow (son), with Ng
Hong Kong Film AwardsBest Film
1986 Police Story
Lifetime Achievement Award

Chinese name
Traditional Chinese鄒文懷
Simplified Chinese邹文怀

Raymond Chow Man-wai, OBE GBS (Chinese: 鄒文懷; 8 October 1927 – 2 November 2018) was a Hong Kong film producer, and presenter. He was responsible for successfully launching martial arts and the Hong Kong cinema onto the international stage. As the founder of Golden Harvest, he produced some of the biggest stars of the martial arts film genre, including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Jimmy Wang Yu, Cynthia Rothrock and Tsui Hark.[1]

Early life[edit]

Of Hakka Han ethnicity, with ancestral roots in Taipu, Guangdong, Chow studied martial arts under the Hung Ga master Lam Sai-wing.[2] He attended Saint John's University, Shanghai,[3] and graduated with a B.A in journalism in 1949. He started working on the Hongkong Standard.[4] In 1951, he joined the Voice of America office in Hong Kong.[5][6]


Chow's film career began in 1958. He started as a publicity manager at Shaw Brothers but was soon made the head of publicity and was the head of production for 10 years until 1970.[4] He leased Cathay's studio and contracted its exhibition chain of 104 cinema theatres in Southeast Asia.[7] At the time Cathay was a predominant force in the Malaysian film industry.[8][9]

When Cathay wanted to end the company's association in Hong Kong, Chow left Shaw Brothers to establish Golden Harvest along with film producer Leonard Ho in 1970. He capitalised on the shortcomings of Shaw Brothers, who had a system that limited creativity, and was able to lure Bruce Lee into Golden Harvest, making it a serious competitor to Shaw Brothers following the release of The Big Boss (1971).[4] Chow's films with Lee became the first Hong Kong films to reach a large worldwide audience.[4] Under Chow's leadership, Golden Harvest would become the cornerstone for Hong Kong cinema leading Hong Kong box office sales for two decades from the 1970s to 1980s as well as expanding into international distribution.[3][4] In 1981, the National Association of Theatre Owners named Chow their International Showman of the Year for his contributions to the US film industry following the success of The Cannonball Run.[4]

Whilst Chow is credited with producing many films, in the audio commentary for the UK release of Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain, Tsui Hark was asked the elementary question of Chow's role as a film producer, explained that this credit is mostly meaningless. Tsui stated that any producer's role at the studio was often nothing more than to greenlight and ensure funding of the project, and that producers such as Chow would rarely, if ever, set foot on the set during the making of the film.[10] Raymond Chow officially announced his retirement in Hong Kong on 5 November 2007.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Chow married Felicia Yuen Hei-wah (袁曦華) and they had a daughter Roberta Chow (鄒重珩) in 1963. Chow also had an affair with a media writer Ng Suk-fong (伍淑芳), with pen name of Lan Yan (藍茵). Ng gave birth to his illegitimate son Felix Chow (鄒重珏) in 1960, followed by a second son Terence Chow (鄒重瑾), in 1963. However Chow was unable to give Ng and their illegitimate children any legitimacy due to his marriage to Yuen, chose to separate with them but continued with financial support. Ng died of illness in 1967 and her two sons were raised by her sister.[12][13]

Chow competed in international contract bridge tournaments and was a regular at the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club.[4]


Chow died in Hong Kong on 2 November 2018 at age 91 from cerebral edema. He was survived by a daughter with his late wife and two sons with his late mistress.[14][1]

Chow's star on the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong


  1. ^ a b "Raymond Chow, Hong Kong producer who found Bruce Lee, dies". The Guardian. Associated Press. 3 November 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  2. ^ Williams, Trey. "Raymond Chow, 'Enter the Dragon' and 'Police Story' Producer, Dies at 91". MSN. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b Chu, Yingchi. [2003] (2003). Hong Kong Cinema: Coloniser, Motherland and Self. Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1746-3
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Armstrong, Nigel (4 April 1990). "'Turtles' hurtles to a Hong Kong Chow-down". Variety. p. 1.
  5. ^ "Raymond Chow, film producer behind Bruce Lee, dies at 91". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  6. ^ Boucher, Geoff; Pedersen, Erik (2 November 2018). "Raymond Chow Dies: Iconic Hong Kong Producer Launched Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  7. ^ Teo, Stephen (2009). Chinese Martial Arts: The Wuxia Tradition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pg. 111.
  8. ^ Po-yin Chung, Stephanie (2009). "A Chinese movie mogul and the transformation of his movie empire—the Loke Wan Tho family and the Cathay Organisation in Southern China and Southeast Asia (1915–2000)". Asia Europe Journal. 7 (3–4): 463–478. doi:10.1007/s10308-009-0233-3. S2CID 153783965.
  9. ^ Suryadinata, Leo (2012). Southeast Asian Personalities of Chinese Descent: A Biographical Dictionary. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing/Institute of Southeast Asia Studies. ISBN 978-981-4345-22-4.
  10. ^ Tsui Hark and Bey Logan (2002). Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain, commentary track (DVD). Hong Kong Legends.
  11. ^ Chow announces retirement
  12. ^ "鄒文懷追人妻育2私生子 每月只給情婦4000元 | 蘋果新聞網 | 蘋果日報". 蘋果新聞網 (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Raymond Chow obituary". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  14. ^ "Raymond Chow, producer who made stars of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, dies at 91". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 October 2020.

External links[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
John Estmond Strickland
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star
Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star
Succeeded by
Cheng Hon-kwan
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star