Born in Hong Kong 1952 Lam Ching-ying (Lam Gun-Bo) was the third of seven children,Lam attended school in Hong Kong for a short while before attending the rival Peking Opera school in Hong Kong run by Madame Fan Fok-fa, the other school being master Yu Jim Yuen where Jackie Chan ,Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao attended .It was here he learned the same type of skills that master Yuen was teaching his students,and the fact being the rivalry was friendly and the students from both schools mingled on occasion.
Now Lam was a balanced martial artist and actor and stunt expert. At the age of seventeen he became a stuntman for Shaw brothers ,but by nineteen he had been hand picked by Bruce Lee to be the assistant action director on Big Boss in which he also starred along side Bruce .Lam continued to help Bruce on his films until Bruce's Passing.
It was then that he joined Sammo Hung's stunt group who also was a friend of Bruce Lee's. You see many of the major stars of today and the eighties and Nineties where doing work with Bruce Lee before they where famous.People say there's nothing like Bruce Lee and the truth is there probably isn't but would his films been as good with out the stunt work and Choreography of these film greats that we respect today, From Sammo,Jackie Yuen Biao,Yuen Wah and Lam Ching-Ying and many others.Lam was a good friend of Sammo Hung and it was he who helped Lam in some of his most memorable parts ,namely The Vampire series which was a genre that Sammo invented.And Lam Ching-Ying had played so well that he became famous as the Taoist priest that vanquished demons and ghosts .But also Lam starred in one of the greatest martial art flicks of all time opposite Sammo and Yuen Biao the brilliant Prodigal Son where Lam and Sammo played opposing teachers teaching Yuen the art of Wing Chun.
But as well as these Lam Ching-Ying starred in Eastern Condors which was one of Sammo's epic films shot in the eighties that seemed to be a who's who of the Hong Kong film industry,Lam played a soldier in charge of a crack unit sent in to Vietnam to locate and blow up a weapons store.And in My Lucky Stars he played a crooked cop on the run from Yuen Biao and Jackie Chan who end up getting Help from Sammo when Yuen's character is kidnapped.Again opposite Jackie he starred in Sammo Hungs Heart of the Dragon as Jackie's Police Instructor.He also starred in a John Woo film ,Heroes Shed no Tears .Here he played a crazed Soldier on the trail of Eddie Ko who had Injured and maimed him, His role was pretty nasty here and it gave him a chance to play the Bad guy which was a change for him.
A scene from Mr Vampire which made Lam a star overnight.
There are many great films that Lam Ching-Ying starred and choreographed and over the coming months i hope to cover as many as i can .Because it is only fitting to respect the works of such a true talent and great martial artist .Lam Ching-Ying is no longer with us but the films he made make sure he will never be overlooked. Lam Ching-Ying passed away on the 8th November 1997 at the age of 44 ,he was suffering from liver cancer.
1983 Best action choreography for Prodigal Son -Hong Kong film awards
1984 Best action choreography for Winners&Sinners -Hong Kong Film awards
1986 Best action choreography for My Lucky Stars -Hong Kong Film awards -Nominee only
1986 Best supporting actor in Mr Vampire -Hong Kong Film awards -Nominee only
To Find out more about Lam Ching -Ying's life please visit the dedicated Lam Ching Ying site listed in the Links page.It's run by one of our very own Members.