Born on the 7th of January, 1952, Sammo Hung is an internationally renowned maker of martial arts
films. He has nearly 150 movie
credits to his name as an actor
, action choreographer
As a child, Sammo attended a Peking Opera school alongside Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao. The trio would go on to be known as the "Lucky Stars," making several successful action/comedy films.
Sammo's education at the school consisted of martial arts training, acrobatics and singing. Conditions at the school were tough, to say the least. The students lived together in dormitories, getting up at dawn to begin their exercises. The instructor, Sifu Yu Jim Yeun, did not let the children use the bathroom until they had completed hours of training, believing that if they worked hard enough they would not have to go to the toilet.
He also administered beatings to students who misbehaved, or who did not meet the standard he expected of them.
Sammo was the senior student at the school and was referred to as "big brother" by the rest of the students. He was a bully as a child, terrorising all those beneath him. On one occasion he picked a fight with Jackie Chan. Half way through the fight, Sifu Yuen entered the room. As punishment, he ordered Jackie and Sammo to continue the fight, not allowing them to stop until both were bloody, battered and bruised.
Sammo left the school, supposedly temporarily, after breaking his leg during training. However, after years of eating the minimal rations provided at the school, he took the opportunity to eat as much as he could while injured. He put on too much weight to continue his training and had to leave the school permanantly.
At this time the popularity of Peking Opera was declining, but Sammo managed to use his training to get a job as a stunt man with a movie studio. When his schoolmates Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao graduated he helped them to find work as stunt men.
In 1973, Sammo participated in a fight scene with his friend Bruce Lee in the movie "Enter the Dragon." Five years later, he paid tribute to Lee with the film "Enter the Fat Dragon" in which he played a fan who had learned kung fu by studying Bruce Lee's films.
He went on to appear in "Snake in Eagle's Shadow," "Project A" and "Drunken Master" with Jackie Chan, and then appeared in the "Lucky Star" films alongside Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao.
Sammo later went on to work with American action star Jean-Claude Van Damme on "Double Team" and "Knock Off" before starring in his own television series, "Martial Law," an action packed police drama.
Now 51 years of age, Sammo continues to work in movies. At the time of writing he is the action choreographer on Jackie Chan's "Highbinders." What the future holds for the veteran Hong Kong legend, we can only guess.