The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Chinese Actors of all time. This list of famous Chinese Actors is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Chinese Actors.
With an HPI of 83.40, Jackie Chan is the most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 139 different languages on wikipedia.
Datuk Fang Shilong (Chinese: 房仕龍; born 7 April 1954) , born Chan Kong-sang (Chinese: 陳港生 listen) and known professionally as Jackie Chan, is a Hong Kong actor, director and martial artist known for his slapstick acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, and innovative stunts, which he typically performs himself. Chan has been acting since the 1960s, performing in more than 150 films. He is one of the most popular action film stars of all time.Chan is one of the most recognisable and influential film personalities in the world, and he gained a widespread global following in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres. He has received fame stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has been referenced in various pop songs, cartoons, films and video games. He is an operatically trained vocalist and is also a Cantopop and Mandopop star, having released a number of music albums and sung many of the theme songs for the films in which he has starred. He is also a globally known philanthropist and has been named as one of the top 10 most charitable celebrities by Forbes magazine. In 2004, film scholar Andrew Willis stated that Chan was perhaps the "most recognised film star in the world". In 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth to be $350 million, and as of 2016, he was the second-highest-paid actor in the world.Since 2013, Chan has been a pro-Communist politician, serving in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. After the Hong Kong electoral reform in 2021, Chan became an Election Committee's member and could vote for the Chief Executive.
With an HPI of 72.48, Sammo Hung is the 2nd most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Sammo Hung (born 7 January 1952), also known as Hung Kam-bo (洪金寶), is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist, film producer and director, known for his work in many martial arts films and Hong Kong action cinema. He has been a fight choreographer for other actors such as Jackie Chan. Hung is one of the pivotal figures who spearheaded the Hong Kong New Wave movement of the 1980s, helped reinvent the martial arts genre and started the vampire-like jiangshi genre. He is widely credited with assisting many of his compatriots, giving them their starts in the Hong Kong film industry, by casting them in the films he produced, or giving them roles in the production crew. Jackie Chan is often addressed as "Dai Goh”, meaning Big Brother. Hung was also known as "Dai Goh", until the filming of Project A, which featured both actors. As Hung was the eldest of the kung fu "brothers", and the first to make a mark on the industry, he was given the nickname “Dai Goh Dai", meaning, Big, Big Brother, or Biggest Big Brother.
With an HPI of 72.43, Chow Yun-fat is the 3rd most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.
Chow Yun-fat SBS (born 18 May 1955), previously known as Donald Chow, is a Hong Kong actor known for his collaborations with filmmaker John Woo in the action heroic bloodshed films A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Hard Boiled, and in the West for his roles as Li Mu-bai in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Sao Feng in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. He mainly plays in drama films and has won three Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Actor and two Golden Horse Awards for Best Actor in Taiwan. Chow started his career in movies in 1976 with Goldig Films.
With an HPI of 68.28, Stephen Chow is the 4th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.
Stephen Chiau Sing-chi (Chinese: 周星馳, born 22 June 1962), professionally known as Stephen Chow, is a Hong Kong filmmaker, actor, and producer.
With an HPI of 67.23, Andy Lau is the 5th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.
Andy Lau Tak-wah (traditional Chinese: 劉德華; simplified Chinese: 刘德华, born 27 September 1961), is a Hong Kong actor, singer-songwriter and film producer. He has been one of Hong Kong's most commercially successful film actors since the mid-1980s, performing in more than 160 films while maintaining a successful singing career at the same time. In the 1990s, Lau was branded by the media as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop and was named as "Fourth Tiger" among the Five Tiger Generals of TVB during the 1980s.Lau entered into the Guinness World Records for the "Most Awards Won by a Cantopop Male Artist". By April 2000, he had already won an unprecedented total of 292 awards. Lau also holds numerous film acting awards, having won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor three times and the Golden Horse Award for Best Leading Actor twice. In 2005, Lau received the "No.1 Box office Actor 1985–2005" award of Hong Kong, yielding a box office total of HK$1,733,275,816 for shooting 108 films in the past 20 years, and in 2007, he received the "Nielsen Box Office Star of Asia" award by the Nielsen Company (ACNielsen). On 25 June 2018, Lau was invited to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
With an HPI of 67.02, Yuen Biao is the 6th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.
Yuen Biao (born Ha Lingchun; 26 July 1957) is a Hong Kong actor and martial artist. He specialises in acrobatics and Chinese martial arts and has also worked on over 80 films as actor, stuntman and action choreographer. He was one of the Seven Little Fortunes from the China Drama Academy at the Peking Opera School along with his "brothers" Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan. Yuen Biao has appeared in over 130 films. He has played roles in eight television series for the Hong Kong channel TVB.
With an HPI of 66.98, Katrina Kaif is the 7th most famous Chinese Actor. Her biography has been translated into 66 different languages.
Katrina Kaif (pronounced [kəˈʈriːna kɛːf]; born Katrina Turquotte; 16 July 1983) is a British actress who primarily works in Hindi-language films. She is one of the India's highest-paid actresses. Her accolades include four Filmfare Award nominations. Born in Hong Kong, Kaif lived in several countries before she moved to London. She received her first modelling assignment as a teenager and later pursued a career as a fashion model. At a fashion show in London, Indian filmmaker Kaizad Gustad decided to cast her in Boom (2003), a critical and commercial failure. While in India, Kaif received modelling assignments and established a successful modelling career, however, filmmakers were hesitant to cast her due to her poor command of Hindi. After appearing in the Telugu film Malliswari (2004), Kaif earned commercial success in Bollywood with the romantic comedies Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya? (2005) and Namastey London (2007). She followed with a series of box-office hits, but was criticised for her acting, repetitive roles, and inclination to male-dominated films. Her performance in the thriller New York (2009) earned her a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress, and after starring roles in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009), Raajneeti (2010), and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), she received her second nomination for her performance in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011). Kaif's highest-grossing films came with the action thrillers Ek Tha Tiger (2012), Dhoom 3 (2013), and Bang Bang! (2014), all of which rank among the highest-grossing Indian films. She followed this with a series of films which did not perform well commercially, with the exception of the action sequel Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) and the drama Bharat (2019), but received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of an alcoholic actress in the romantic drama Zero (2018). In addition to acting, Kaif is involved with her mother's charity and participates in stage shows. She is guarded about her personal life, which is subject to media scrutiny, as is her background.
With an HPI of 65.70, John Lone is the 8th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.
John Lone (Chinese: 尊龙; pinyin: Zūn Lóng; jyutping: zyun1 lung4; born October 13, 1952) is a Hong Kong-American actor. He starred as Pu Yi in the Academy Award-winning film The Last Emperor (1987), for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. A veteran of the East West Players, he appeared in numerous high-profile screen and stage roles throughout the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s, in films like Iceman, Year of the Dragon, M. Butterfly, The Shadow, and Rush Hour 2. He was also nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his performance in The Moderns.
With an HPI of 65.19, Tony Leung Chiu-wai is the 9th most famous Chinese Actor. His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.
Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Chinese: 梁朝偉, born 27 June 1962) is a Hong Kong actor and singer. He is one of Asia's most successful and internationally recognised actors, and was named as "Small Tiger" among the Five Tiger Generals of TVB. He has won many international acting prizes, including the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actor for his performance in Wong Kar-wai's film In the Mood for Love. He was named by CNN as one of "Asia's 25 Greatest Actors of All Time".Leung is known for his collaborations with director Wong Kar-wai, with whom he has worked in seven films including Chungking Express (1994), Happy Together (1997), In the Mood for Love (2000), and The Grandmaster (2013). He also appeared in three Venice Film Festival Golden Lion-winning films, including A City of Sadness (1989), Cyclo (1995) and Lust, Caution (2007), directed by Ang Lee. Leung also stars in the Academy Award-nominated film Hero, and the box office hits Hard Boiled (1992) and Infernal Affairs (2002). He later came to prominence in Hollywood with his role as Xu Wenwu in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021). Leung has a comprehensive set of awards that he has won in a career that began in the 1980s. For In the Mood for Love, Leung earned the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. He is also a seven-time winner at the Hong Kong Film Awards and three-time winner at the Golden Horse Film Awards, holding the record for most awards in the Best Actor category. The 2002 book East Asian Film Stars describes Leung as "undoubtedly one of the most successful and widely-acclaimed Hong Kong actors of his generation, with a broad and diverse filmography."
With an HPI of 65.17, Nora Miao is the 10th most famous Chinese Actor. Her biography has been translated into 19 different languages.
Nora Miao (Chinese: 苗可秀; pinyin: Miáo Kěxiù; Jyutping: Miu Ho-sau) (born Chan Wing-man (simplified Chinese: 陈咏悯; traditional Chinese: 陳詠憫; pinyin: Chén Yǒngmǐn); 8 February 1952) is a Hong Kong film actress. She is best known for appearing in many kung fu films in the 1970s, opposite Hong Kong action movie stars such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.
Pantheon has 42 people classified as actors born between 1876 and 1998. Of these 42, 38 (90.48%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living actors include Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Chow Yun-fat. The most famous deceased actors include Lam Ching-ying, Clara Blandick, and Wendy Barrie. As of October 2020, 5 new actors have been added to Pantheon including Lam Ching-ying, Clara Blandick, and Gigi Leung.
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