Andy Lau: Early Life, Career, Personal Life, And Net Worth

Andy Lau is an actor, lyricist, and producer from Hong Kong. Since the middle of the 1980s, he has been one of Hong Kong’s most financially successful film actors, appearing in more than 160 films while also pursuing a prosperous singing career. Lau was referred to in the media in the 1990s as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop, and in the 1980s, he was referred to as the “Fourth Tiger” among the Five Tiger Generals of TVB. He used to go by the screen name Ricky Chan in the Philippines.

Andy Lau

Andy Lau entered the “Most Awards Won by a Cantopop Male Artist” category of the Guinness World Records. He had amassed an astounding total of 292 accolades by April 2000. Lau is the recipient of various accolades for his acting in movies, including three Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor and two Golden Horse Awards for Best Leading Actor.

In 2005, he was named Hong Kong’s “No. 1 Box office Actor 1985–2005,” earning HK$1,733,275,816 in box office revenue from 108 films he had acted in during the previous 20 years. In 2007, the Nielsen Company gave him the “Nielsen Box Office Star of Asia” title (ACNielsen). To join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Lau accepted an invitation on June 25, 2018.

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Early Life

Andy Lau Tak-wah BBS MH JP, now 60 years old, was born in Tai Po, Hong Kong, on September 27, 1961. He is the firefighter Lau Lai’s son. He was the fourth child in the family; he has a younger brother named Lau Tak-sing, a younger sister, and three older sisters.

Although his father moved with him to the Diamond Hill slums when he was six, where the neighborhood was full of wooden houses, and the area was burned down when he was eleven, his family was thought to be wealthy because his grandpa was a landowner.

Since their home lacked plumbing when Lau was a little child, he frequently had to go gather water for his family. Ho Lap College, a Band One secondary school in San Po Kong, Kowloon, is where he received his diploma.

He went by the name Lau Fook-wing while he was an undergraduate. He writes in Chinese calligraphy as well. Lau had a Buddhist conversion in the 1980s. He was brought up in a nominally Buddhist home and is now a devotee of the Taiwanese Lingyan Mountain Temple.

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Andy Lau began his acting career by enrolling in the TVB artist training program in 1981. In 1982 TVB’s The Emissary, he played the lead role that first helped him gain popularity. Lau furthered his rise to fame in 1983 thanks to his performance as “Yang Guo” in the TVB wuxia series The Return of the Condor Heroes. In many TVB series after that, he began to play many of the lead roles.

TVB sought to boost its ratings in September 1983 as it competed with Korea and Japan for the title of the finest variety show. The network then developed the program TVB All-star Challenge, which featured nearly the complete cast of the era’s most well-known actors and singers. Due to their success on the program, Tony Leung, Michael Miu, Felix Wong, and Kent Tong were dubbed the “Five Tiger Generals of TVB,” along with Lau.

Andy Lau
Hong Kong actor and singer Andy Lau arrives on the red carpet for the 55th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei, Taiwan, 17 November 2018. (Newscom TagID: ichphotos441722.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

Due to contractual issues, Andy Lau quit TVB in the late 1980s. When Lau declined to sign a five-year exclusive contract that TVB wanted him to sign, TVB blacklisted him. Then he concentrated on his acting career. Teddy Robin, Susanna Kwan’s manager, noticed Lau after she made a cameo in one of her music videos in 1981.

Lau was then given the opportunity to take on a minor role in the movie Once Upon a Rainbow by Teddy Robin. This marked the beginning of Lau’s acting career in movies. He was cast in the 1982 movie Boat People by Ann Hui. He played the lead in the Shaw Brothers’ action movie On the Wrong Track later that year.

He played a prominent role in the more somber 1988 movie The Truth. Lau is well recognized for his (often) repeated performances as a “Heroic Gangster” in movies like Benny Chan’s 1990 film A Moment of Romance and Wong Kar-1988 wai’s feature As Tears Go By.

Lau was initially recognized primarily for his attractive appearance, even if he is now a well-liked actor. Despite his claims to be an artist, several of the people he has worked with have referred to him as a matinee idol. In many of his movies, Lau has demonstrated his acting prowess.

A Fighter’s Blues earned him his first Golden Bauhinia Award for Best Actor, which was his first significant acting honor. Running Out of Time earned him the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor that year. For his work in Infernal Affairs III, the second installment of the well-liked Infernal Affairs series, he received the Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actor in 2004.

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Andy Lau won the title of “No.1 Box office Actor 1985-2005” in Hong Kong in 2005 after starring in 108 movies over the previous 20 years and earning a total of HKD 1,733,275,816 at the box office. The aforementioned amount is in comparison to Jackie Chan’s and Stephen Chow’s (HKD 1,317,452,311) second-place finishes (HKD 894,090,962).

He told reporters, “I never imagined it would be as much as 1.7 billion!” For his achievements, a wax replica of Lau was revealed at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong on June 1, 2005. Lau also got the Nielsen Company’s “Nielsen Box Office Star of Asia” award in 2007. (ACNielsen).

In the high-profile action movie Once Upon a Time in Hong Kong, supported by Emperor Motion Pictures and mainland Chinese partners and with a projected budget of about $30.8 million, Lau and Tony Leung reconnected in February 2021 for the first time since the Infernal Affairs series (RMB200 million).

In 1991, he founded his own film production firm, Teamwork Motion Pictures, which was later renamed Focus Group Holdings Limited in 2002. He received the “Asian Filmmaker of the Year” award at the Pusan International Film Festival in 2006 as a result of his contributions to the film industry and his work fostering emerging talent in the Asian film industry.

Award-winning films Made in Hong Kong and A Simple Life, his 100th feature, A Fighter’s Blues, the Chinese digital film Crazy Stone, and high-profile action blockbusters Firestorm and Shock Wave are just a few of the movies Lau has created.

Musical Career

In 1985, Capital Artists released Andy Lau’s debut record, “Only Know that I Still Love You.” Despite possessing a voice not often associated with popular music, Lau worked hard and persisted in order to become one of the most successful singers in Cantopop, even if this album did not have a lot of success.

With the publication of the album “Would It Be Possible” in 1990, his singing career reached a new level, and his subsequent releases only strengthened his position as a marketable performer. He received his first 1990 RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Award for that song. He then won an award in at least one RTHK category every year until 2007.

He has received the “Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist” award from the Jade Solid Gold Top 10 Awards seven times, as well as the “Asia Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist” award fifteen times. Additionally, he was given the title of “Most Awards Won by a Cantopop Male Artist” by Guinness World Records. He had amassed an astounding total of 292 accolades by April 2000.

Not just in Hong Kong, but also in Taiwan, Mainland China, and numerous other Asian countries, many of Lau’s songs immediately rose to the top of the music charts. The Days We Spent Together, If You Are My Legend, The Tide, Forget Love Potion, True Forever, Chinese People, Love You Forever, You Are My Woman, and Secret Admiration is just a few of his most well-known singles. He has performed songs in Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Japanese, Malay, and Taiwanese Hokkien in addition to these two languages.

He has also done a Cantonese cover of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” which is an example of a Hokkien song. The Chinese media has referred to Lau, Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, and Leon Lai collectively as the “Cantopop Four Heavenly Kings” since the early 1990s.

On August 24, 2008, Lau and Jackie Chan performed a duet during the Olympics’ closing ceremony. Lau was also named the Goodwill Ambassador for the 2008 Summer Paralympics. Lau has supported impaired athletes in Hong Kong for more than ten years.

Just a few hours before the 2008 Paralympics opening ceremony started, he accompanied other performers in singing and performing the song “Everyone is No. 1” at the Beijing National Stadium. On September 6, 2008, he and Han Hong sang the Paralympics’ opening ceremony’s theme song, “Flying with the Dream.”

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The majority of Lau’s efforts as a songwriter are lyrics. To date, Lau has written five songs, including “Missing You Every Day,” which he co-wrote with Eric Moo, “If One Day,” “Happiness Is So Far… So Sweet,” and “Spending the Rest of Our Lives Together,” all of which he also sang and for which he wrote the lyrics, and “Brothers,” the theme song for his 2004 film Jiang Hu, for which he wrote the lyrics but co-star Chapman To provided the vocals. He wrote most of his songs just for himself.

So far, Lau has authored and released two books. These books include his prose autobiography This Is How I Grew Up from 1995 and his 2012 compilation of 30 personal diaries, My 30 Work Days, which he wrote while producing the 2011 movie A Simple Life.


Andy Lau

In 1994, Andy Lau founded the Andy Lau Charity Foundation, which supports numerous youth education programs and provides assistance to those in need. He was the third person from Hong Kong to get this prestigious honor in 1999 when he was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young People of the World.

Andy Lau was instrumental in organizing the Artistes 512 Fund Raising Campaign in 2008, which raised money for the Sichuan earthquake victims. One of the biggest and most elaborate charitable events ever planned in the region.

Throughout his thirty years in show business, Lau was known for his contagious optimism, diligence, and active participation in charitable endeavors. The Hong Kong SAR government honored him as a “Justice of Peace” in 2008. He got both an “honorary doctorate” and the “World Outstanding Chinese” award from the University of New Brunswick in Canada in May 2010.

His low-key, modest, amiable, and approachable demeanor have won him millions of fans and regular people alike, who also consider him to be a “heartthrob” and the “unofficial Chief Executive of Hong Kong,” according to the citation Lau received upon receiving his Doctor of Letters degree from the Hong Kong Shue Yan University on December 14, 2017. Lau’s name appeared in the Panama Papers dump as well.


After 24 years of rumors surrounding their romance, Andy Lau and Malaysian-Chinese actress Carol Chu were wed in 2008. Both are fervent Buddhists and vegetarians. The wedding took place in Las Vegas. Carol Chu gave birth to their daughter, Hanna, on May 9, 2012.

A horse threw Andy Lau off and stamped on him during a commercial shot in Khao Lak, a region three hours outside of Bangkok, Thailand, in January 2017. This resulted in significant injuries. However, Lau was able to fully resume work in August 2017 and reported that by the end of the year, he will have entirely recovered from his injuries.

Andy Lau’s Net Worth

The estimated net worth of Andy Lau is $75 million. His work as an actor, singer, songwriter, and film producer is his primary source of income. Andy Lau’s prosperous job has allowed him to live a life of luxury and take excursions in beautiful cars.

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Andy Lau is a wealthy and well-known actor in Hong Kong. However, Andy Lau is said to have appeared in the action video game Prototype’s sandbox mode as a non-player character (NPC) who was a random pedestrian.

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