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            Hou Hsiao

            Biografie

            Hsiao Hou was born in Henan China in 1958 and was schooled in the Chinese Opera by the famous Fan Kuk-Fa in Bejing as a very young child. He was discovered by Lar Kar-Leung (Liu Chia-Liang) in 1978 and later became a disciple of the martial artist/director for a number of years. His astonishing acrobatics and martial artistry also earned Hsiao a contract with Shaw Brothers, the leading HK movie studio at the time. He has appeared in 23 movies.

            Hsiao Hou is most famous for Mad Monkey Kung Fu (1979), the revenge tale of compassionate street urchin Monkey, who becomes the apprentice of a crippled Kung Fu master (Liu Chia Liang also known as Lau Kar Leung). A few years later, Hsiao would later take the lead role in the cult hit My Young Auntie playing the spoiled westernized teen of a traditional father (Liu Chia-Liang) and young aunt (Kara Hui). Hsiao Hou would take roles in the Kung Fu comedies Cat Vs. Rat (directed by Lau Kar Leung) and the lead in Fake Ghost Catchers, directed by Lau Kar Wing. His final role as a leading actor for Shaw Brothers was his fearless portrayal of Chinese legend Fong Sai Yok in the movie Disciples of the 36th Chamber, the third entry in the 36 Chamber movies. In later years, Hou would become action director for the movie Shaolin Avengers (1994).

            In 1980 Hou became a disciple of Lau Kar Leung (who had only taken less than 10 disciples in his lifetime). Often, Hsiao Hou would complete many scenes in Lau Kar Leung movies as a stunt man due to the high degree of difficulty. He was described by Lau Kar Leung as "the most enjoyable action star in his class". Hou became his assistant martial arts director for several of Lau Kar Leung's movies in the early 80s. Along with action stars Kara Hui, Gordon Liu, and Alexander Fu Sheng, Lau Kar Leung's students were thought to be the brightest of the time, with projected future success.

            However, in the mid-eighties, Shaw Brothers moved into TV producing and many of its actors took small roles in other movies, eventually fading into obscurity. Lau Kar Leung stopped making movies and eventually, Hsaio Hou defected to Sammo Hung's Ban which was described as somewhat "overbearing".

            Hsiao Hou would later take the role of "disfigured swordsman" in Iron Monkey (1993) and a role as a crime lord in What'a Hero! He has actively worked as a stunt coordinator and stunt actor into the late 1990s. His last movie as an action coordinator was 1994's Kung Fu Kid (also known as Shaolin Avengers).

            Bey Logan, noted HK movie expert had a brief encounter with Hsiao on the set of Iron Monkey and said Hsiao has a habit of making "Monkey faces" but learned to control them while filming movies. Little is known about Hsiao to date, but he is long admired as being one of the best most underrated HK action stars in the history of HK cinema and maintains a cult following because of his skills. He was last seen in the movie One Night in Mongkok (2004), appearing briefly in the first ten minutes of the film.

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