With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ACF 1836: Happy Birthday wishes to Hong Kong actor Simon Yam

Simon Yam in PTU: Police Tactical Unit

Veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam was born in that city on March 19th, 1955. His IMDb filmography lists over 188 films and TV appearances, most of the latter from early in his career, which began in 1977. He's played a wide variety of roles on both sides of the law. (Interestingly, his father and elder brother Peter Yam Tat-Wing were both law-enforcement officers.)

Simon Yam as the serial killer in Dr Lamb

Some of his films that are better known in the West include:

Bullet in the Head (1990)
Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
Dr. Lamb (1992)
Full Contact (1993)
The Mission (1999)
PTU (2003)
Breaking News (2004)
Election (2005)
Kill Zone, a.k.a. S.P.L. (2005)
Election 2 (2006)
Exiled (2006)
Ip Man (2008)
Sparrow (2008)
Bodyguards and Assassins (2009)
Ip Man 2 (2010)

Simon Yam in Black Ransom (2010)

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of meeting Simon during the 2010 New York Asian Film Festival, at which he received the festival's first Star Asia Award. We chatted some, during which I told him about how I'd come to be interested in and to write about Hong Kong and other Asian films. A few moments after we separated, I felt a hand gently touching my arm. It was Simon; he'd come back to say that he just wanted to thank me for caring so much about Hong Kong films! I was so taken aback that all I could say was probably something like it was my pleasure. I mean, here was this major Hong Kong actor going out of his way to come back over to me and express his thanks.

So, Happy 58th Birthday, Simon Yam, and may there be many happy returns of you to the screen in years to come.

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