The star from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Chow Yun Fat has big plans for his enormous fortune.
LIVING A SIMPLE AND HAPPY LIFE, CHOW YUN FAT PLANS TO GIVE HKD 5.6 BILLION NET WORTH TO CHARITY
Chow explains why he is giving away his money: “The money’s not mine. I’m only keeping it safe for the time being.” Expressing that money is not the source of happiness, he continued, “My dream is to be a happy and normal person. The hardest thing in life is not about how much money you earn, but how to keep a peaceful mindset and live the rest of your life in a simple and carefree manner.”
FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO VAST WEALTH AND COMPLETELY UNAFFECTED BY FAME AND FORTUNE
The famous actor was born in Lamma Island, Hong Kong, to a mother who was a cleaning lady and vegetable farmer, and a father who worked on a Shell Oil Company tanker. He grew up in a farming community, in a house that had no electricity.
Chow would get up at dawn each morning to help his mother sell herbal jelly and Hakka tea pudding on the streets, and then he went to work in the fields in the afternoon.
At the age of 10, his family moved to Kowloon, and at 17, he dropped from school to help support the family by doing odd jobs including bellboy, postman, camera salesman, and taxi driver.
He saw changes in his life after college when he responded to an advertisement in a newspaper, and a local television station accepted his actor-trainee application. He put his signature to a three-year contract with the studio and made his acting debut.
He became a heartthrob and well-known person in soap operas that were exported internationally.
The Chinese actor, who is 63 years old, said in an interview this year that he has decided on donating his entire $714M ($627,350/£563,400) fortune to charity.
Despite being very, very rich, Chow Yun Fat leads a very simple lifestyle, reportedly spending a monthly amount of just HKD 800 on himself. That’s a little more than $100 US (€90/£80).
FOUR DECADES IN THE MOVIE INDUSTRY HAS NOT AFFECTED CHOW’S HUMILITY
Active in the movie industry for more than 40 years— Chow is best known in Asia for his collaborations with filmmaker John Woo in the heroic bloodshed-genre 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)
During the years he has earned a lot of money, and his net worth is estimated to be at HKD 5.6 Billion, or $714 Million US.
Logically, everyone thinks that with this vast wealth, Chow Yun Fat lives a luxurious lifestyle, spending a lot of money on expensive cars and sumptuous mansions.
But the truth is Chow is shown to be fairly frugal – often opting to take public transit and doing charity work rather than spending money on himself.
He revealed to JayneStars.com that he only spends a mere HKD 800 per month.
For over 17 years, Chow used his first-generation Nokia phone before switching it for a smartphone two years ago – only because his Nokia stopped working.
Never ostentatious, he can often be seen shopping at discount shops. He says, “I don’t wear clothes for other people. As long as I think it’s comfortable, then it’s good enough for me.”
He spends his free time on healthy pursuits such as hiking and jogging, and often when people recognize him he will gladly stop and take a picture.
His wife, Jasmine Tan, previously disclosed his net worth and his plan to donate it to various charities. Establishing their own charity several years ago, she supports her husband’s decision in giving his fortune to different causes.
On his reason for giving away his money, Chow smiled, “The money’s not mine. I’m only keeping it safe for the time being.”
Expressing that money is not the source of happiness, Chow continued, “My dream is to be a happy and normal person. The hardest thing in life is not about how much money you earn, but how to keep a peaceful mindset and live the rest of your life in a simple and carefree manner.”
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In 2014, the famous Chinese movie star supported the Umbrella Movement protests, speaking out in support of Hong Kong democracy protestors.
Chow also expressed his support for the 2019–20 protests in Hong Kong even though Mainland China has banned him from working there. When journalists asked him about being banned in mainland China after voicing support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, he simply responded, “I’ll just make less then”, as this source reveals.