[url=http://us.imdb.com/Name?Cheung%2C+Leslie]Lesilie Cheung](http://us.imdb.com/PeopleNews/#1) has committed suicide. He starred in dozens of movies including Farewell My Concubine, A Better Tomorrow, Bride with White Hair I and II, Temptress Moon, and Viva Erotica.
This sucks. Hong Kong is in mourning and China is pretty close behind. China wife called me yesterday morning with the news because she was so bummed out.
Chinese websites are full of speculation that this was a murder and not suicide. Leslie was a neatness kind of guy and jumping seems way out of character. He worked out first before the suicide, which also seems odd. Windows of the Mandarin Oriental hotel are very difficult to open. He was going to get an award as best actor over the weekend.
Haven’t seen anything that official that says there is an investigation
I’ve seen and liked several of his films, including A Chinese Ghost Story, Ashes of Time, Farewell My Concubine, A Better Tomorrow, A Chinese Feast, and Happy Together, but my favorite film he’s been in is The Bride With White Hair with Brigitte Lin (I’m sorry to be using all Western spellings and titles). Everybody who knows me knows how much I adore that movie. Watching it will never be the same for me, knowing he’s dead.
I don’t know his singing at all, but I understand he was an even bigger star as a singer than an actor, like an Asian Frank Sinatra (only much younger, of course).
He was a very, very brave actor. He played gay characters, which may be common in Western cinema, but is very rare in Asian cinema. It’s a shame he never crossed over like Chow Yun Fat. American audiences have really missed out. (Would it be too tasteless to say that he was cute as hell too?)
This part of the Yahoo story I just read gave me chills.
**Cheung had recently been nominated for best actor in this coming Sunday’s Hong Kong Film Awards, for his role in the horror film “Inner Senses.” Cheung played the role of a man possessed by a dead girlfriend who tries to lure him into jumping to his death, though he was saved by a female lead who urged him to stay alive. **
Perhaps his depression was so deep he couldn’t shake the character.
I don’t know how Hong Kong managed to turn so many fluffy Cantopop singers into major actors, but they did it over and over again. Leslie Cheung was one of the best. He was simply fantastic in Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together (opposite Tony Leung), which hasn’t yet been mentioned here; his role is subtle and deep and very very sad. For comparison, imagine someone like Britney Spears playing the protagonist of Boys Don’t Cry, and not just not sucking, but playing it brilliantly.
I can see the place from my office window - people have put flowers there.
There’s also word that he might have contracted AIDS or some other disease, or that his last movie left him haunted by ghosts (sort of an occupational hazard in the HK movie industry). But he apparently left a suicide note, so rumours about a murder can probably be ignored.
I think he was on a balcony next to the health center, which you get to through glass doors. Apparently, he just walked out and hung around there for a while drinking a nice healthy orange juice.
What’s interesting is that it’s happened at a time when HK seems to be falling apart. An April 1st Internet hoax about SARS by a 14 yr old had literally hundreds of thousands of people stampeding into supermarkets and stripping the shelves bare. His death has added to an overall trauma thinner-skinned Hongkongers are experiencing.
Just talked to a friend of mine about this upon seeing the thread title… apparently, Cheung was extremely clinically depressed / went off his meds for a while / left a suicide note / jumped off a hotel building.
Very sad stuff. (I have another friend whose name is very similar to his… she won’t be doing any of that, though)
I didn’t see any of those movies or listen to any of those songs (I’m not into Canto-pop and such, even though some of my friends are) … still, it’s sad news.
Supposedly there are four versions of the suicide note running around now. They eventually got around to printing Pauline Chan Bo-Lin’s note so we will probably find out what it really said soon enough. I didn’t listen to his music much(prefer the women canto-singers) but liked many of his movies
I was wondering why there was a crowd of people on the Jardine House overpass looking at the Mandarin yesterday. I stuck my head out myself, trying to work out what was going on.
Actually its because the management companies / production companies tie these guys into multi-entertainment contracts: with such a small market for music (most CDs don’t sell more than 15000-20000 copies) and film (the film industry in HK is in dire straits, which has prompted the HK govt to establish a Film Guarantee Fund), the companies try to push these guys into singing, acting, and, most lucrative of all, product endorsement.