Kara Wai (惠英红, Hanyu Pinyin: Hui Ying Hong; born 3 February 1960 in Hong Kong) is an actress, stuntwoman and former alumni of Hong Kong's prestigious Shaw Brothers studios.
Both Kara and her older twin brother, Austin Wai, grew up in the shanty district of rural Hong Kong, dropping out of school at age 12.
The Wai siblings joined Shaw Brothers at an early age, with Kara often appearing as extras. During the shooting of Dirty Ho (1979), Kara, who was a background character, was promoted to a bigger part after the original lead actress quits the shoot, and from there she proves her potential as a leading star. The studios, having most of their higher-profile Action Girl-actresses such as Cheng Pei-Pei and Lily Ho leaving or refusing to take part in more action-orientated roles, decide to groom Kara as their most suitable replacement.
Her portrayal of the eponymous character in My Young Auntie would later earn her a Best Actress Nomination in the 1980 Hong Kong Film Awards.
Kara Wai is the sole goddaughter of long-time Shaw Brothers director, Chang Cheh. Her older god-siblings includes several of Chang Cheh's earlier proteges, including David Chiang, Ti Lung, Chen Kuan-tai and several others.
It's worth noting that Kara's ex-dance instructor, Mak Bo-sim, whom she trained under at age 14 is Donnie Yen's mother, making Kara one of Donnie's old friends.
Kara Wai's notable films:
- The 1977 Shaw Brothers film adaptation of Dream of the Red Chamber, where she portrayed Sheyue.
- Dirty Ho
- My Young Auntie
- The Brave Archer
- The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
- Fists of the White Lotus
- Clan Of Amazons
- Shaolin Handlock
- Chinatown Kid
- Buddha's Palm
- The Ghost Story
- Mad Monkey Kung Fu
- The Sentimental Swordsman - in Return of the Sentimental Swordsman
- Martial Club
- The Deadly Breaking Sword
- Demon of the Lute
- Legendary Weapons of China
- Life Gamble
- Long Road To Gallantry
- My Lucky Stars - The Cameo
- The Seventh Curse
- The Inspector Wears Skirts - first two movies
- Burning Ambition