Yuen Biao was born in Hong Kong in 1957. When he was five, his parents sent him to learn Peking Opera and martial arts at The China Drama Academy, where he became a student of Yu Jim-yuen. He and his schoolmates, including future stars Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan, were collectively known as The Seven Little Fortunes — a troupe of (more than seven) youngsters who acted in films and performed acrobatics on stage and at events. At the age of ten, Yuen performed in Cantonese films such as The Eighteen Darts (1966). He became a martial arts performer and stunt double at 14 and was featured in the action films of Shaw Brothers, Golden Harvest and other independent production houses. He was also Bruce Lee’s stunt double in The Game of Death (1978).
In 1979, Yuen’s lead role in the Sammo Hung-directed Knockabout (1978) led to his being hyped as one of Golden Harvest’s rising stars. Yuen, Hung and Jackie Chan were hailed as the “Three Treasures of Golden Harvest”. He shared the screen with Hung in The Magnificent Butcher (1979), The Prodigal Son (1981), Zu : The Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983), The Millionaires’ Express (1986), Eastern Condors (1987) and Shanghai Shanghai (1990), while appearing opposite Chan in The Young Master (1980). The three acted together in Project A (1983), Winners and Sinners (1983), Wheels on Meals (1984), My Lucky Stars (1985), Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars (1985), and Dragons Forever (1988). He was the sole lead in Dreadnought (1981), The Champions (1983), Those Merry Souls (1985), On the Run (1988), The Peacock King (1989), The Iceman Cometh (1989), Saga of the Phoenix (1990) and Shogun and Little Kitchen (1992) while doubling as producer for Righting Wrongs (1986) and Kickboxer (1993).
Yuen had directed only one film to date in his illustrious career, A Kid in Tibet (1992), for which he took on multiple duties in addition to directing, serving also as producer, executive producer, action choreographer and lead actor.
Since 1977, he had also worked as action choreographer, serving on over 30 films. The action choreography of The Prodigal Son and Winners and Sinners — collaborative efforts between Yuen, Hung, Billy Chan and Lam Ching-ying — was awarded Best Action Direction at the Hong Kong Film Awards in consecutive years. Yuen was nominated for the same prize again for The Dead and the Deadly (1982), My Lucky Stars and Righting Wrongs.
In 1993, Yuen and his family immigrated to Vancouver but he continued to work in films and television series shot in Hong Kong and Taiwan. After moving back to Hong Kong in 2005, he acted in television series such as Real Kung Fu (2005), Wing Chun (2006), The Ultimate Crime Fighter (2007) and The Legend of Shaolin Kung Fu II (2009). Recently, he appeared in feature films like Rob-B-Hood (2006), The Legend is Born – Ip Man (2010), My Kingdom (2011) and Tai Chi Hero (2012).
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||A Kid from Tibet|