1NEWS – Chow Yun Fat good friends with Ng Man Tat. The two became friends since they both attended TVB’s actor training course in 1973.
Ng Man Tat first emerged than Chow Yun Fat after co-starring in the TVB drama Chor Lau Heung in 1979. This success made Man Tat forget himself. Along with his fame and fortune, he began to gamble and drink.
Chow Yun Fat then overtook Ng Man Tat’s popularity after appearing in The Bund, which is often referred to as the most popular Hong Kong TV series of all time. Unlike Man Tat, Yun Fat was not complacent with his success. He continued to work hard, and avoided the temptations that the entertainment world offered him.
Due to his gambling habit, Man Tat’s income from acting sold out. He even has a gambling debt of 300,000 Hong Kong dollars or around Rp. 549 million. Because of the debt he was hunted by the collectors. The mounting debt also made him blacklisted by TVB.
The desperate Man Tat then approached Yun Fat for financial help. But Yun Fat refused to lend money, and even scolded Man Tat. “Just settle it yourself,” Said Chow Yun Fat. The actor’s words reportedly hurt Man Tat deeply and made him contemplate suicide.
In the midst of his desperation, a director asked him to play in a film, which helped his financial situation a little. After that, Man Tat got a lot of work and was able to pay off his debt in three years. In 1991, he won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Andy Lau’s film A Moment of Romance at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
Yun Fat who was also present at the award congratulated him, but the still hurt Man Tat ignored him. This apparently angered the director who offered him the job when the comedian was at the lowest point of his life. The director told Man Tat that the only reason he invited him to the film was because of Yun Fat’s recommendation. If it wasn’t for the actor, he would never have considered bringing Yun Fat along. Hearing this, Man Tat instantly regretted all the hatred he had towards Yun Fat for 10 years. They were friends again.
Years later, the Shaolin Soccer star said in an interview that Chow Yun Fat never revealed the reason for refusing to lend him money. According to Yun Fat, if he helped his friend financially, Man Tat would not stop his gambling habit. So despite knowing that Man Tat would hate him, he stood his ground.
“If he helps me, I will continue to depend on him. He wanted me to learn how to get up when I fell,” said Man Tat. Ng Man Tat passed away in February. The cause of death was liver cancer.