Star Awards: Zoe Tay wins Best Actress after 21 years; Chen Han Wei wins fifth Best Actor award

Zoe Tay picked up the Best Actress for her role in You Can Be An Angel 2 while Chen Hanwei won Best Actor for his role in The Gentleman.
Zoe Tay picked up the Best Actress for her role in You Can Be An Angel 2 while Chen Hanwei won Best Actor for his role in The Gentleman.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
(Clockwise, from left) Zoe Tay, Chen Han Wei, Huang Biren, Joanne Peh, Qi Yuwu and Jang Hyuk pose for photographs ahead of Mediacorp's annual Star Awards on April 16, 2017.
(Clockwise, from left) Zoe Tay, Chen Han Wei, Huang Biren, Joanne Peh, Qi Yuwu and Jang Hyuk pose for photographs ahead of Mediacorp's annual Star Awards on April 16, 2017.PHOTOS: TWITTER/THE STRAITS TIMES LIFE

SINGAPORE - Veteran local television stars Zoe Tay, Chen Hanwei and Aileen Tan, alumni of the inaugural Star Search talent hunt in 1988, stole the limelight at Sunday (April 16) night’s Star Awards, which celebrates the best of homegrown Mandarin television programmes.

They won Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actess, respectively. 

Tay, dubbed queen of local television station Mediacorp perhaps more for her glamour than her acting chops, won only her second Best Actress honour at the Star Awards last night 21 years after her first.

Accepting her trophy, Tay playfully addressed it, saying: “Long time no see. I’ve already given birth to three kids.”

She won the prize for playing a cancer-stricken nurse manager in medical drama You Can Be An Angel 2 (2016).  She was up against Rebecca Lim, who starred in the same show; Rui En, who played a dissatisfied housewife in If Only I Could; Jeannette Aw of The Dream Job; and Jesseca Liu, who played a lawyer in Hero.

Chen, in contrast, has proven himself to be an actor’s actor, picking up his fifth Best Actor nod to tie with former actor Xie Shaoguang’s record. It was for his role as a confinement nanny in the family drama The Gentleman. Instead of reflecting on his milestone win, he chose to give kudos to Andie Chen, who was nominated for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor but lost in both categories. 

He said: “Andie, you are really good. I believe you will stand on the stage one day.” 

The other nominees were Shaun Chen of Hero, Pierre Png of The Gentlemen, and Zhang Zhen Huan who starred in The Dream Job.

Best Supporting Actor award went to Romeo Tan, 32, for the drama The Dream Job. 

Best Supporting Actress also went to an old-timer Aileen Tan, 50, who won for role as a feisty cleaner in Channel 8 blockbuster series Hero. 

Hero, a drama series about residents of Dakota Crescent, an old neighbourhood which will soon make way for redevelopment, won Best Drama, demonstrating its strength as an ensemble piece. It received seven nominations in the acting categories but won only for Tan. 

Actress Joanne Peh, 33, host Quan Yi Fong, 43 and actor Elvin Ng, 36, collected the coveted All-Time Favourite Artiste Award, after nabbing their 10th Top 10 Most Popular Artiste last year. Quan also received the Best Programme Host award for travelogue Markets in Asia. 

The Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes are Rebecca Lim, Paige Chua, Jesseca Liu, Jayley Woo, Carrie Wong, Felicia Chin, Sora Ma, Chris Tong, Ya Hui and Kym Ng. 

The Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes are Romeo Tan, Zhang Zhenhuan, Ian Fang, Desmond Tan, Shane Pow, Ben Yeo, Dennis Chew, Lee Teng , Pornsak and Desmond Ng.

Here's a recap of some highlights of the night:

One thing for sure is that actress Joanne Peh, 33, host Quan Yi Fong, 43 and actor Elvin Ng, 36, will not go home empty-handed.

The trio will be given the coveted All-Time Favourite Artiste Award, after nabbing their 10th Top 10 Most Popular Artiste last year.

Held at the local broadcaster's campus at one-north, the star-studded bash will also be graced by regional stars such as K-pop starlet Krystal Jung, Hong Kong actor Bowie Lam and Taiwanese actor Kai Ko.