Late HK actor Ng Man Tat remembered by Singapore artistes

Ng Man Tat (front row, second from right) with the cast of Channel U's Money No Problem in 2004. Actor Li Wenhai is seated in the front row on the left. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Several local artistes who have worked with Hong Kong actor Ng Man Tat, who died of liver cancer at age 70 on Saturday (Feb 27), have paid tribute to Ng, who is fondly remembered for his roles in popular Stephen Chow comedies like Fight Back To School (1991).

Actor Li Wenhai, who acted with Ng in the dramedy Money No Problem (2004) by the former SPH MediaWorks, told Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao that Ng had no airs and was very humble.

Actress Apple Hong, who acted in the same dramedy, said on social media that she would remember Ng for his professionalism and willingness to share his acting experience.

They had previously worked together on another production Drunken Kung Fu in Hengdian, China, in 2002, and Hong said that Ng had taken good care of her as she was still a new actress then.

"I almost can't recognise you when you came over to say hi to me that day as you looked thinner," wrote Hong. "I said that you have become more handsome and hoped we could work together again."

Comedian Mark Lee and director Ong Kuo Sin, who were behind the well-received movie Number 1 (2020), also have good words for Ng.

Lee said on social media that he has the fortune to work with Ng on the movie Time Is Money eight years ago, which starred the two of them as well as Taiwanese comedian Kang Kang, who was also the director.

Ong, who was one of the producers of Time Is Money, said on social media that he would always remember the spirit of what Ng once said: "Filming is like looking for trouble, but shows which are not troubled are not good to watch."

Meanwhile, Ng's estate would go to his wife and five children, Malaysia's Guang Ming Daily reported.

Ng was said to have drawn up a will after he suffered from a heart failure due to a viral infection in 2014.

Guang Ming Daily said Ng would leave half his estate, said to be worth more than HK$10 million (S$1.7 million), to his Malaysian wife Hou Shan Yan, with the other half to his five children.

Ng has a pair of twin daughters, 42, with his first wife Mak Lee Lee. He also has a daughter, who is around 30, with former Hong Kong actress Lo Siu Chi.

He met Ms Hou, a former Malaysian beauty queen, while filming the 1993 movie All's Well End's Well, Too and they became a couple later.

He divorced Ms Mak, his wife of 18 years, in 1994 and married Ms Hou two years later. They have a 24-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son.

Ng continued acting in recent years even though he was suffering from poor health.

He was said to have continued to foot his three families' home expenses, said to be more than HK$100,000 per month.

There were concerns about his health after he was seen in an online video in February clutching his chest with a painful look while shooting photos for a movie poster.

Media reports later said that he was in hospital due to liver cancer and went for an operation two months ago.

He was moved to the intensive care unit on Saturday after his condition worsened. His good friend, actor Tenky Tin, told the media that Ng died at 5.16pm on Saturday.

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