Yuen Siu-tien

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Yuen Siu-tien
Chinese name袁小田
PinyinYuán Xiǎotián (Mandarin)
JyutpingJyun4 Siu2tin4 (Cantonese)
OriginBeijing (Chinese opera)
Hong Kong (action film)
Born(1912-11-27)November 27, 1912
Beijing, China
DiedJanuary 8, 1979(1979-01-08) (aged 66)
Hong Kong
Other name(s)Simon Yuen
Simon Yuen Siu-tien
Siu-tien Yuen
Years active1949-1979
 
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Yuen Siu-tien
Chinese name袁小田
PinyinYuán Xiǎotián (Mandarin)
JyutpingJyun4 Siu2tin4 (Cantonese)
OriginBeijing (Chinese opera)
Hong Kong (action film)
Born(1912-11-27)November 27, 1912
Beijing, China
DiedJanuary 8, 1979(1979-01-08) (aged 66)
Hong Kong
Other name(s)Simon Yuen
Simon Yuen Siu-tien
Siu-tien Yuen
Years active1949-1979

Yuen Siu-tien (Chinese: 袁小田) (27 November 1912 – 8 January 1979) (also known as Yuan Xiaotian, Simon Yuen, Sam Seed or "Ol' Dirty") was a Chinese martial arts film actor in the late 1970s. Yuen is perhaps best known as Beggar So in three films: Drunken Master, Story of Drunken Master and his final film Dance of the Drunk Mantis. He starred in several films with film actors like Jackie Chan and under the direction of his real life son Yuen Woo-ping.

Contents

Film career

Success in old age

Yuen trained in traditional Peking opera role of Wu-Shen. He began his acting career in the first Wong Fei-hung film to star Kwan Tak-hing, Story of Huang Feihong (1949), at the age of 37, though his film appearances were rare until the late 1950s. He is most well known for portraying mentors and kung fu masters. One of his most internationally well-known films came late in his career, Drunken Master (1978), in which he played Beggar So, an old hermit who had mastered the art of drunken boxing, aiding a young Wong Fei-hung, played by Jackie Chan. The role was a reprisal (in all but name) of the one he had played in another of Chan's films, Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978). At the time, Drunken Master proved to be the most successful film to feature Chan. The film portrayed Wong Fei-hung as a young and mischievous rascal as opposed to the venerable, confucian master of kung fu as played in many films by Kwan Tak-hing. The movie was a surprise international hit, and greatly helped to boost the career of the then 66 year old actor.

Yuen featured in almost 150 films throughout his career. He reprised the role of The Beggar So for three further films, Dance of the Drunk Mantis, Story of Drunken Master and a cameo in World Of The Drunken Master.

Ol' Dirty

The rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard (ODB) took his name from one of Yuen's films Ol' Dirty & The Bastard. ODB was a member of the Wu-Tang Clan rap group until his death in 2004. His lyrics were often inspired by 1970s kung fu films.

Personal life

Yuen is the father of eleven children, six of whom have worked (or still work) in the Hong Kong film industry. The five eldest sons were known collectively as the "Yuen clan" and often worked in combinations on many films:

In addition, Yuen had two more sons and three daughters.[1]

Legacy

Yuen's likeness was used for the character Chin Gentsai in the SNK series, The King of Fighters as well as for the character Shun Di from the Virtua Fighter series (taken from the role of Su Hai from Drunken Master).

Death

On January 8, 1979, Yuen died of heart attack. He was 66 years old. Yuen was considered for the role of Beggar So in the 1979 film Magnificent Butcher alongside Sammo Hung, but died as production of the film began. Yuen was replaced by Fan Mei-sheng (father of Story of Ricky star Fan Siu-wong). Filming was continued with Fan's Drunken Master character, which necessitated reshooting some of Yuen's scenes. However, Fan's character is never referred as "Beggar So" in this film.

Filmography

Films

TV series

References

External links