Former Hong Kong screen queen Lin Ching-hsia thanks mystery man with a conscience

Taiwanese actress Brigitte Lin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Social Sciences degree by the University of Hong Kong. PHOTO: BRIGITTE LIN/WEIBO

HONG KONG – Former Hong Kong screen goddess Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia has had an eventful week.

On Thursday, she celebrated her 68th birthday, one day after she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Hong Kong. It was given in recognition of her “contributions to arts and culture”, which include appearances in more than 100 films and four books.

She also wrote an article for Guangzhou-based Chinese weekly Southern Weekly, published on Thursday, expressing gratitude to a stranger who helped her some three decades ago.

As reported by Chinese daily newspaper Lianhe Zaobao, Lin recalled that she was filming at a house in Hong Kong when she was told a man had a letter for her that he would deliver only in person to her.

Lin met the man – admitting that she now “can’t remember what he looks like or his name” – and found that the envelope he gave did not contain a letter, but a film negative.

“I think it’s better to leave this to you for safekeeping,” she recalled the man telling her.

The negative, Lin explained, turned out to be from the 27th Golden Horse Awards ceremony in 1990, when she won the award for Best Actress.

In the chaos and confusion backstage after her win, a revealing photograph was taken of her bending down to fix her shoe.

Though Lin told the mysterious man that she was grateful for his help, she did not manage to obtain his name or contact information. But she added that she would “never forget” what he did for her.

She likened him to a “shooting star”, reflecting: “A friend once said that when people meet or become friends, they pass by like shooting stars in the journey of life.”

Lin retired from acting after marrying Hong Kong businessman Michael Ying in 1994, but her film credits before that include movies such as Red Dust (1990), Swordsman II (1992) and The Bride With White Hair (1993).

She also appeared in Ashes Of Time (1994), which was directed by acclaimed auteur Wong Kar-wai.

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