A late farewell to Blacky Ko, a discrete man of Ta´wan & Hong Kong cinema.
On December 9th 2003, at approximately 11:45am in Shanghai, Blacky Ko Shou-Liang (Ko Sau-Leung in cantonese) was found dead following a heavy night of drinking, reportedly as a result of a blood poisoning. Blacky Ko, well-known dude of the popular cinema of both Ta´wan and Hong Kong left us at the age of 50 leaving behind him a carrier of 30 years beside the greatest names.
Blacky, who was nicknamed "Xiao Hei" (little black) because of his dark skin (wich probably gave him the idea of the english name "Blacky"), began his carrier as a Ta´wanese Opera performer where he developed acrobatic and martial skills wich gave him the opportunity to perform as stuntman and a kung-fu movie star several years later.
In 1971, he made his first steps in front of a camera for the Shaw Brothers against Wang Yu in The One Armed Boxer in a Tha´ boxer role. He worked there for a short period while he got different supporting roles and little stuntworks before leaving the studio in 1972 (he wasn't alone to do so !) and join the different independant kung-fu productions emerging at that time.
He kept working in kung-fu movies during the 70's : you can see him in Secret Rivals 2, wich action was directed by Yuen Woo-Ping, Yuen Biao et Corey Yuen Kwai (!) or Return Of The Chinese Boxer (against Wang Yu again), he directed the action scenes of The Lost Swordship and Boxer's Adventure which he also starred into (with, among others, Dorian Tan). He performs and directs fight sequences again in Master Killers, 1978 movie with Casanova Wong, Phillip Ko and Bolo Yeung.
He managed to adapt to the new style coming with the 80's and became one of Asia's top stunt driver. In the opening scene of Wheels On Meals (1984), he plays one of the bikers who na´vely harass Jakie Chan and Yuen Biao. Besides from that, he's also starred as stunt consultant for great movies like Magnificent Warriors with Michelle Yeoh and A Better Tomorrow.
We'll often remember him as a daredevil stunt driver, indeed. In 1992, he made an impressive jump at the Potala palace in Lhasa, Tibet. And he definitively carved his name in stunt history when he crossed in the most amazing jump, the Yellow river in China....nothing less !
The 90's gave him the chance to direct some stupid but so hilarious movie like Curry & Pepper with Stephen Chow and Jacky Cheung or The Days Of Being Dumb where Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Jacky Cheung try their best to become someone in the underworld...a classic. He even tried himself to music and recorded a duet with Andy Lau Tak-Wah entitled Ben Xiao Hai, which knew quite a success in Hong-Kong. Song that Andy Lau dedicated to his late friend during a concert not long after his passing. In 1996, he signed with BOB Films and frequently starred in their productions especially in the Young And Dangerous saga where he played San Kai/Chicken's (Jordan Chan) Ta´wanese cousin from the San Luen Gang. We also remember his Uncle Darkie role in My Father Is A Hero beside Jet Li and Anita Mui whom he knew very well.
After 2000, he played in different movies like For Bad Boys Only or Black Mask 2 until he directed and starred into what will last as his last work : Life Express. As he wanted to leave a last message of hope, he tells us the true story of a chinese child saved by the marrow given by a Ta´wanese mobster that he plays himself. A really touching movie for his last one.
Blacky Ko Shou-Liang was part of those men and women whose names doesn't always ring a bell, but whose faces is always familiar and who discretely leave a mark before leaving, discretely as well....
Farewell Blacky, we'll miss you !....
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