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Gordon Liu
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Gordon Liu

Gordon Liu is one of the most recognizable and popular stars of Old School, Shaolin-style martial arts movies, a mainstay for over a decade at Hong Kong's legendary Shaw Brothers studio. Liu's close-shaven image as a stalwart martial monk, defending the downtrodden from imperialistic Manchu oppressors, was firmly established in his brother Liu Chia-liang's international hit The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978), known in its dubbed American version as The Master Killer.

Born in Guangdong (Canton) China, Gordon Chia-hui (known as Lau Kar-fei in his native Cantonese) was adopted as an infant into the fable Liu Family of martial arts specialists, a clan that traces its pedigree in Hong Gar style kung fu all the way back to turn-of-century master (and frequent film subject) Wong Fei-hong. Liu was educated at English schools in Hong Kong and worked as a file clerk before joining the movie industry in the 1960s, to work with his brothers Liu Chia-yung, Liu Chia-jung, and Liu Chia-liang as a martial artist and stuntman.

Liu had his first major role in 1974 in Chang Cheh's Shaolin Martial Arts, and when Liu Chia-liang left his post as Chang's fight choreographer to direct on his own, Gordon became his favorite leading man. At Shaw Brothers, Gordon Liu starred in such classic Liu Chia-liang films as The Challenge of the Masters (1976), Shaolin Challenges Ninja (1978) and Legendary Weapons of China (1981), in addition to The 36th Chamber series of three films.

Gordon Liu is also a very deft and gifted comic actor, as witness his performances in Liu Chia-liang's landmark kung fu comedies Dirty Ho (1979) and Return to the 36th Chamber (1980). He has also directed several films, including the highly regarded Shaolin and Wutang (1984), a revisionist look at one of bitterest rivalries in all of martial arts.

Liu has continued to work regularly in Hong Kong cinema, in films such as Peacock King (1988), Tiger on the Beat (1988), Last Hero in China (1993), Drunken Master III (1994), and Generation Pendragon (1999). With his brother, Liu Chia-liang, Gordon Liu recently completed the first new period martial arts film to be produced by Shaw Brothers in over two decades, Drunken Monkey, an upcoming international release from Celestial Pictures and Miramax. BE SURE TO CHECK THIS!

Liu will also appear in Kill Bill (Vol. 2), in a larger role, as the legendary white eyebrow kung fu master Pei Mei, who trains The Bride in Shaolin-style kung fu.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Gordon Liu Facts

Birth NameChia Hui Liu
BirthplaceGuangdong, People's Rep. of China

Selected Filmography

Not available.