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Friday, March 10, 2006

Ex-Lovers: Idy Chan & Chow Yun Fat

Chow Yun Fat, Idy Chan Yuk Lin, and Andy Lau Tak Wah were all extremely successful TVB actors in the 1980's. But how were these actors' love lives intertwined behind the scenes?

Many people may not know that in the late 1970's, Chow Yun Fat and Idy Chan fell deeply in love with each other and dated for almost 5 years. Chow had also attempted suicide at one point because of his failed relationship with Idy.

When news broke that Chow Yun Fat was hospitalized because he had attempted suicide by swallowing pills, the entire Hong Kong was shocked at the time. Although their relationship was practically over then, Idy went to the hospital to take care of Chow and nurse him back to health.

How They Started Dating
Chow Yun Fat was one of the hottest TVB actors in the 70's-80's. His tall height, distinctive features, and acting ability led to many female admirers. Chow was born from a humble background in Lamma Island. He has 3 siblings and his mother raised the family on her own after Chow's father died in 1974. At 16, Chow left the island to find a job in Kowloon peninsula in order to help out family expenses. Chow drifted from from job to job as bell boy, waiter and many others before landing work at TVB.

As a result of his early difficult life, Chow was able to portray his roles onscreen with a depth uncharacteristic of a young actor his age at the time. Chow quickly landed leading roles and made many TV classics such as "Shanghai Tan" (The Bund) as well as in the movies, both in Hong Kong and Hollywood. Chow won the Best Actor Award 3 times at the Hong Kong Film Awards and is the pride of Hong Kong.

Idy Chan was born in Hong Kong in 1960 and has 3 sisters. Since Idy was young, she had wanted to become an actress. After graduating from high school, she entered TVB's training class to learn singing, dancing and performance skills. Over the course of her career, Idy left behind many impressionable series such as "Return of the Condor Heroes."

Idy never thought that in her second year at TVB, during the filming of (‘å‹œ) "Dai Hung" (aka "Tycoon") that the popular Chow Yun Fat would fall deeply in love with her. Idy was still virtually an unknown actress back then. In March 1978, on Idy's birthday, the cast and crew of "Dai Hung" held a celebration party for Idy. Chow gave Idy a bouquet of red roses and showed his admiration for her.

When actress Irene Wan Bik Ha was young, she used to live in the same neighborhood as Idy Chan did. Irene said that in her childhood, she often saw Chow taking Idy home. Irene felt that they were such a sweet couple at the time.

Idy's Love Letters
convinced the very young Idy that she should continue with higher education and as a result, Idy enrolled in some courses in Canada at the time, temporarily taking a leave from TVB.

While they were dating, Idy had at one time published a hand-written article about her feelings towards Chow:

"Many people suspect that I went to Canada because my relationship was not working out with Chow. The truth is that Chow has been very supportive of me going to Canada. He advised that I should not stay in the entertainment industry. He said the industry is very complex and did not suit my personality. But I don't have any skills, what else can I do? That's why I went to Canada to take more classes."

"The thing I like most about Chow is that he is such a filial son. He once told me that he can only give me 15% of his love, as the other 85% of his love belongs to his mother."

"We haven't considered marriage. Who said that in the future our love will not change? He is very handsome and there are constant rumors that he has with other women. I am aware that he has other female 'friends,' but I am okay with that. As long as he still loves me, that's fine. In the past, I could not put up with his personality, but I did not want to constantly argue, so I let it go. We will be together for as long as we can...."

Chow Yun Fat's Attempted Suicide
Two years after
Idy published this newspaper article, Chow and Idy split up. The news of Chow's attempted suicide by swallowing pills followed, shaking the entire Hong Kong. Idy took care of Chow at the hospital and without addressing the media's questions, she left quietly after Chow recovered. Chow had also remained silent on his attempted suicide.

Why did Chow and Idy's relationship result in such disastrous consequences? Their failed relationship left many painful memories behind. Many people speculated that their relationship did not work out because Chow's mother did not approve of Idy. Chow was an extremely filial son and respected his mothers' wishes. Of course, Chow and Idy were still extremely young at the time and both were stubborn and resulted in compatibility issues.

Andy Lau Had A Crush On Idy

Idy's distinct and elegant beauty captured many, including winning Andy Lau Tak Wah's heart. "Many people thought that I met Idy on the set of 'Return of the Condor Heroes.' But I already knew her before we started filming the series. I remember the first time that I met Idy was through a mutual friend at the studio. She was very polite in greeting me and she left me with a deep impression."

Andy admitted that he had one-sided affections for Idy during the filming of "Return of the Condor Heroes." Idy was the first and only actress that Andy fell for during filming a series. During the filming of "Return of the Condor Heroes," Andy would look forward to going to work each day at the studio, as he will get a chance to see Idy then.

Andy said at the time, "Yang Guo lost his arm because of Siu Lung Nui. At the time, I thought I can do the same for Idy." However since Idy's heart belonged to another man at the time, Andy could only keep these feelings to himself. After the filming of "Return of the Condor Heroes," Andy said that he was depressed for sometime because he missed seeing Idy.

At Andy's 2003 concert, Idy was a special guest at the show. Andy also publicly admitted that Idy was his former crush back in his TVB days.

Weddings of Their Own
After breaking up with
Idy, Chow has been romantically linked to Carol Dodo Cheng and Cherie Chung Chor Hung as well, although it is not known if these are rumors only.

In 1983, Chow had a whirlwind romance and wedding with Candice Yu On On. Chow and Candice divorced after only 6 months of marriage. Many of Chow's friends were puzzled as to what had happened in his relationship with Candice as well. Perhaps Chow was still young and uncertain of what love really was and had married Candice for the wrong reasons. There were also very scandalous rumors that Chow Yun Fat was involved with a rich man's wife at the time and that he had used Candice and their marriage as a distraction ploy in order to avoid the rich man's wrath.

In May 1987, Chow Yun Fat married his second wife, Jasmine Tan Hui-Lain, the daughter of one of the richest Chinese dynastic scions from Singapore. Jasmine has taken on the role of his business manager, contributing to his movie career success in Hong Kong as well as Hollywood. Chow also improved his English speaking skills with his wife's help. Despite the fact that Chow and Jasmine are happily married, they do not have any children. They have not attempted to conceive again after a dangerous miscarriage that endangered Jasmine's health.

In October 1983, Idy also had a whirlwind wedding as well. She married Chinese-American businessman, Chen Chiu Mo, and semi-retired from the entertainment industry. In the mid-1980's Idy filmed very few TVB series. But the marriage did not last as well and Idy and Chen divorced several years later..

Idy has returned to Hong Kong after her divorce. After her divorce, Idy had dated actor Jia See Lok as well for some time. But she appears to be still single today and has a quiet life outside of the media's limelight.

Chow and Idy had a difficult complex relationship. Is there any love remaining after all the years that have passed already? Chow said that he is happily married to his current wife. "After all, Idy and I were ex-lovers. If we were to see each other again, what do we have to say to each other? My life now is very simple. Although it is simple, I am still very happy. But when I do think of Idy, I will still feel a little indignant."

Author Yik Shu said, "The people that we fall in love deeply and passionately with, will not always be the people that we will marry and have children with in the future."

[X] credit: Jayne @
Idy Chan's Baidu Forum


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