Kung Fu has experienced significant changes over nearly 4000 years, considered a hearty part of Chinese history and a renowned worldwide culture.
This tradition also introduced dozens of internationally famous Kung Fu artists to the audience.
Numerous Kung Fu stars and masters have become the ace name cards due to their excellent physical ability in real life and screen presence in-movie.
This list includes the 10 most admirable Kung Fu actors that have contributed to making Hong Kong martial arts stand out.
1. Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee is an American-Chinese actor and martial artist deemed a critical icon and the most popular Kung Fu performer of the 20th century.
He used a famous Chinese Kung Fu technique, Wing Chun, as a foundation, picked up some features of different martial arts, and then created his unique philosophy or MA concept, Jeet Kune Do.
Some of his representative works are The Orphan, Way of the Dragon, Fist of Fury, The Kid, Marlowe, and The Guiding Light.
2. Ji Chunhua
Ji Chunhua has practiced Kung Fu since childhood and used to join a professional group of martial artists in the Zhejiang province.
He officially debuted as an actor in a blockbuster movie called ‘The Shaolin Temple’ in 1982.
After that, he became a well-beloved supporting actor in Chinese martial arts and Kung Fu movies. Ji often played the role of bald villain in TV series due partly to his alopecia.
He has added a lot of acclaimed performances to his career through Kung Fu dramas, like Red Sorghum, Shaolin Temple, Yellow River Fighter, Kids From Shaolin, and Stealing Is No Crime.
3. Ben Lam
In 1983, Ben Lam entered the Hong Kong acting field through minor roles.
In 1985, he participated in a group of martial artists and stuntmen whose founder was Jackie Chan.
After that, he muscled his way into a broad array of films and became a renowned martial arts star.
Besides, the romantic relationship between him and Anita Mui was once a hot potato, but they split apart in 1993.
His notable works include High Risk, Chinese Midnight Express, Angry Ranger, Legend of the Wolf, and Dealer Healer.
4. Jackie Chan
This man must be among the most talented Kung Fu performers, singers, and actors in Chinese showbiz.
Jackie Chan launched his acting career as Bruce Lee’s stuntman in various films.
He is now a reputable cultural icon and widely famous for injecting stunts and comedy into his performances.
Notably, Jackie has his stars displayed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Hong Kong Avenue of Stars as a splendid mark in his career.
Up to now, he has appeared in more than 100 dramas, and some prominent ones are Rush Hour, Project A, Shanghai Noon, The Foreigner, and Skiptrace.
5. Cheng Pei-Pei
Cheng Pei-Pei was born in 1946 in Shanghai and moved to the dreamland city, Hong Kong when she turned 14.
In 1963, she registered for a training course in performing arts of Shaw Brothers and became a professional actress after finishing the course.
She appeared in over 20 movies during the years with Shaw Brothers, and most are Kung Fu-based products.
The movie ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000),’ which won an Oscar award, took her name to the next ladder and brought her a lot of personal awards.
If you’re interested in her works, consider watching these products: Golden Swallow, Lover’s Rock, Naked Weapon, and Flying Dragon, Leaping Tiger.
6. Donnie Yen
This man is a reputable martial arts performer & instructor, actor, and director in Hong Kong dramas.
After studying and practicing this art form in Beijing, Donnie Yen moved to America in 1982. This year, he won the first prize in a MA competition in the US.
The exceptional performance and screen presence in ‘Huang Feihong’ helped Donnie Yen stand on the nomination lists for many respectable awards.
Besides ‘Huang Feihong,’ he contributed to many films’ success, such as Flash Point, IP Man, Drunken Tai Chi, Tiger Cage, and Holy Virgin vs. the Evil Dead.
7. Michelle Yeoh
Another great actress we’d like to mention on this list is Michelle Yeoh – a famous Malaysian-Chinese film producer and MA performer.
The character she portrayed as ‘You Xiulian’ in the movie ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ in 2001 offered her a lot of nominations for respectable awards.
We highly recommend searching for these film masterpieces to see how excellent her performances were: The Lady, Reign of Assassins, Stunt Woman, The Touch, and Supercop 2.
8. Sammo Hung
Regarding actors with a sense of humor and excellent performances in Kung Fu comedy dramas, the name Summo Hung immediately pops up in our minds.
Besides being an actor, he works as a martial arts instructor and director. Many films have shown off the wonderful collaboration between Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung, which is sure to be satisfactory.
Some of his representative movies are Eastern Condors, Project A, Dragon Forever, and Millionaire’s Express.
9. Andy On
Without a professional MA background, Andy On luckily got a chance to join Shaolin Temple for a one-month intensive training course before filming.
He debuted in the drama Black Mask and continued his acting career in Chinese showbiz, though it wasn’t that successful.
Due to his inarticulate Cantonese, Hong Kong directors often assigned English-speaking characters to Andy On. However, he has improved on the language a lot recently.
You can watch his notable products to see how much effort he put into his work, such as Special ID, Once Upon A Time In Shanghai, and True Legend.
10. Eddie Peng
Before concentrating on films, Eddie Peng appeared in some TV series to gather experience.
One of the remarkable turning points in his acting career was the role in ‘Unbeatable.’ He portrayed an MMA fighter, collaborating with another legend – Nick Cheung.
Eddie Peng spent years buffing up his physical ability and practicing boxing to prepare for his work. That was why he seized more opportunities in MA and action movies afterward.
Don’t miss out on this man’s masterpieces: Rise of the Legend, Hidden Man, Unbeatable, and Cold War.
Today’s action and Kung Fu movie fans have become more sophisticated. They don’t only update who the most popular stars are currently but also stay aware of the old-but-gold.
Our list of the greatest Chinese Kung Fu actors and actresses promises to remain quality over time and satisfy your hunger for an action movie experience.