HONG KONG • When they started dating, Hong Kong actors Chow Yun Fat and Idy Chan were the talk of the town.
But five years later, in 1983, they broke up, shattering many fans' hopes of a dream wedding.
Now Chan, who caught Chow's eye when they met on the set of 1978 TVB drama Vanity Fair, has told Taiwan media why they went their separate ways.
Apparently, his mother was not impressed with her outspoken ways and Chow, now 64, is known for respecting his mum's wishes.
"I was young and headstrong. I said whatever came to my mind and that did not sit well with his mother," said Chan, now 59.
The actress, who left the industry in the early 1990s, is most famous for her role in television drama Return Of The Condor Heroes (1983 to 1984), which also starred Andy Lau.
When Chow's relationship with Chan floundered, there was talk that he had tried to commit suicide when he was hospitalised.
Asked by the Taiwanese media, Chan would say only that it is best that they ask Chow to comment on that dark episode. She reportedly nursed him back to health when he was warded.
After they separated, he was linked to actresses Carol Cheng, now 61, and Cherie Chung, now 59, before he married actress Candice Yu, now 59, in 1983.
That union lasted just six months and he later tied the knot with Singaporean heiress Jasmine Tan, now 59, in 1987.
Chan herself married a businessman in 1984, but they divorced eight years later.
She told the Taiwanese media she has never met Tan, but "I feel that she is someone who can really help him and is integral to his career. If I were still with him, his career would not be at the level that it is today and I would not have been able to help him become an international star".
Tan, who is also Chow's manager, helped open doors for him in Hollywood.