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Michael Wong
Chinese name 王敏德 (Traditional)
Born April 16, 1965 (1965-04-16) (age 44)
Albany, New York
Occupation actor, producer, director
Years active 1983 - present
Spouse(s) Janet Ma

Michael Fitzgerald Wong aka Wong Man-Tak (Chinese: 王敏德pinyin: Wáng Mǐndé; born in Troy, New York, 16 April 1965) is a Chinese-American and a Hong Kong based actor, director, singer and producer.

He is fluent in English, but not so in Chinese, which is reflected in many of the characters he has portrayed. His most notable film is the 1998 film Beast Cops which won a Hong Kong Film Award with Wong in the lead role. As of 2004, he has appeared in over fifty films in twenty-one years, often in very minor roles.

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Early career

Michael Wong grew up in Troy, New York, the son of restaurateur William Wong and American artist of Dutch and French descent, Connie Van Yserloo. After finishing high school, he left for Hong Kong to try his luck at acting. His brothers Russell Wong and Declan Wong would also become actors in the Hong Kong film industry.

There were a number of significant factors working against Wong's eventual success in the Hong Kong film industry including an inability to speak Cantonese, no formal training in acting and no background in martial arts. He also lacked an entry into the tightly knit Hong Kong film industry.

His debut was in 1983's Invincible Obsessed Fighters, which was a kung fu film. His next significant film was Royal Warriors aka In the Line of Duty, which established his dominant image for the first part of his career as a naive but tough outsider. In 1986, he starred in Legacy of Rage alongside Brandon Lee (son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee) in his only Hong Kong movie. He also starred alongside Jackie Chan in Thunderbolt (1995) and Brandon Lee's sister Shannon Lee in Enter the Eagles (1998).

Marriage

He is married to Hong Kong supermodel Janet Ma.

Later career

Final Option, released in 1994, would make Wong a major star in the Chinese film industry. Playing the role of a police officer, he established a tougher image and the character reappeared in a prequel First Option in 1996. He would reprise the role of Stone Wong in the 2002 movie New Option.

Wong starred in a 1996 Canadian TV production Once A Thief directed by John Woo. He made his English language movie debut in Tsui Hark's Knock Off in 1998. His starring role in Beast Cops, which won a 1998 Best Film prize at the Hong Kong film awards, further consolidated his position.

In 2000, Wong made his debut as a director in Miles Apart, which he also produced and starred in. He continues to enjoy steady film work even though he has to learn his Chinese lines phonetically. In 2006, Wong re-entered the music scene by performing "big band" music accompanied by a 10 piece band with the likes of "Come Fly with Me".

Filmography

External links

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