Ms Wong Man Lei



Also known as Wong Man So and Wong Lan Yan, actress Wong Man Lei was hailed as “the Divine Star of Tragedies” in the early years of her career. In 1930, she became a trainee actress at Jinan Film Company in Shanghai and appeared in silent films Burns the White-Bird Temple (1930) and 24 Heroes (1930). Two years later, Wong joined United Photoplay in Hong Kong and was cast alongside Ng Cho Fan in silent productions Gunshot at Midnight (1932) and Cry of the Cuckoo in the Temple (1932). After the dissolution of United Photoplay, she made sound films Yesterday’s Song (1935) and Song of Life (1937) for other studios. Although Wong had proved her mettle in an array of roles spanning around 300 films, she was best known for her portrayals of obnoxious mothers-in-law and elderly women. Her more memorable works include The Prodigal Son (1952), A Son is Born (1953), Wilderness (1956), Vampire Women (1962), A Mad Woman (1964) and Confused Love (1967). Outside the studio, Wong was twice chief executive of the South China Film Industry Workers Union. She began acting in television dramas in the early 1970s, first for TVB and then RTV. Wong was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 1995.