Kent Cheng Jut-si was born in 1951 in Guangdong, China. His family immigrated to Hong Kong during his childhood, living in a rooftop shack. His family too poor to support his education, Cheng dropped out of secondary school to work as an apprentice in a jewelry store. Dreaming of becoming an actor since childhood, he entered the actors training program of director Chang Cheh’s Chang’s Company and appeared in minor roles in films. In 1976, he entered TVB and was able to appear in bigger roles, finally getting lead roles in 1979.
Recognizing the limitations of television, Cheng switched to film, gaining notice when he costarred with Liu Wai-hung to play a “thin cop, fat cop” duo in the crime comedies The Sweet and Sour Cops (1981) and The Sweet and Sour Cops, Part II (1982). Trying to broaden his scope and appeal, he produced The Sensational Pair (1983), again starring with Liu, but also contributing to the script, adding more drama to the comedy.
Cheng took more creative control of his career, directing and starring in Beloved Daddy (1983), an effort that proved successful when he was nominated for Best Actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards for the film. He went on to direct, write and star in Why Me? (1984), creating the mentally challenged character Fat Cat in a performance that won him Best Actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards. Fat Cat became Cheng’s signature character, not only spawning a sequel The Nowhere Man (1988) but also several television series in Hong Kong, on Asia Television in the 1990s, and in China, in 2002 and 2005.
Cheng’s other directorial highlight include the Chinese New Year film The Fortune Code (1990), a big hit that grossed over HK$17 million. He also continued to enjoy success as an actor, being nominated twice for Best Supporting Actor and winning his second Best Actor statue at the Hong Kong Film Awards for The Log (1996).
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||The Fortune Code|
||Dragon in Jail|
||The Nowhere Man|
||Heartbeat 100||LO Di Ming|
||United We Stand||TAM Yui Ming|