Fu Biao and Phillip

In the early days of my acting career I went to a couple of TV shoots featuring the veteran comic actor Fu Biao. The first one was a play called “Ju Jia Nan Ren” (居家男人) in which Fu Biao clowned around in a monkey suit. He was on great form and I vividly remember him sitting in the dressing room in top form, lecturing the young actors. Later I watched the whole of that play and it was very good. One character has a speech in which he quotes John Donne “never send to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee…” in Chinese.

The second time I went along to a series called “Da Qing Guan” (大清官), a comedy about a Qing Dynasty official. I went as an extra but they wanted someone to play a character called Phillip, none of the younger guys would volunteer so I did it. Fu Biao was more subdued than the last time I had seen him. It was to be his last play and he died of liver cancer not long afterwards.

This is one of the scenes we filmed, the voice was evidently added later, by a Chinese actor speaking English.