'Mambo queen' Ge Lan turns 88, celebrates with Lin Ching-hsia

(Clockwise from left) Yao Wei, Lin Ching-hsia, Grace Chang and Chen Chen. Former screen idols gathered to celebrate Grace Chang's 88th birthday. PHOTO: WONG MAN LING/WEIBO

HONG KONG - It was a rare gathering of former screen idols.

Veteran Hong Kong journalist Wong Man Ling took fans down memory lane late on Wednesday (July 28) when she posted on social media photos of a birthday celebration for former actress Grace Chang, who is better known to her fans as Ge Lan.

In the photos were Chang, who turned 88, and former screen goddesses Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia, 66, Chen Chen, 73, and Kelly Yao Wei, 71.

Wong, 69, wrote in Chinese: "Grace looks better by the day, with even Ching-hsia, the big beauty, complimenting her: 'Aunt Ge Lan is the prettiest.'

"We should ask Ge Lan the next time we meet how she maintains her health."

Wong also wished Chen, who just celebrated her birthday on July 17, a happy birthday.

Chang, who is known for movies such as Mambo Girl (1957), Girl With A Thousand Guises (1959) and The Wild, Wild Rose (1960), was the original Mambo Queen.

Her hit songs Ja Jambo, I Want Your Love and I Want To Fly To The Sky, made her one of the most celebrated Mandarin pop singers and movie stars of the 1950s and 1960s.

She quit acting in 1964 after marrying tycoon Gao Fuquan in 1961.

Lin, who returned to Weibo last November after six years, said in a recent interview with Taiwan's China Times that she managed to lose 12kg in six months after she weighed up to 68kg on Christmas Day last year. She also went for a cataract operation recently.

Chen, a 1970s movie sweetheart, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards in 2013. She was formerly married to Hong Kong actor Patrick Tse and Taiwanese composer Liu Chia-chang.

Yao is famous for starring in the movie The Last Night Of Madam Chin (1984), an adaptation of a short story of the same name by author Pai Hsien-yung.

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