Hong-Kong-based martial artist, actor, producer, director, and fight choreographer and real name Hung Kam-bo/Hong Jinbao (洪金寶). Hung (born January 7, 1952) is known throughout Asia as "The Great Dragon", and is, along with the other two "Dragons", Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao, credited with creating the modern Martial Arts Movie.
Sammo grew up along with Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao, and the three were raised to become performers of Peking Opera, alongside other kungfu legends like Yuen Wah, Yuan Qiu, and Cory Yuen (Contrary to popular belief, Yuen Wo Ping was not part of the Seven Little Fortunes. Wo Ping's surname is really Yuen, the Seven Little Fortunes just adopted the surname Yuen in honor of their teacher, whose surname was Yuen. Sammo's "Yuen" name is Yuen Long). The Peking Opera tradition is famed for its highly acrobatic fighting scenes, which the three carried with them to their film productions. Sammo's trademark over-weightedness comes from a period in his youth, when he was bedridden with disease for three months and was unable to train.
Hung is not particularly well-known in the West as an actor, but has done a lot of stunt work (he worked as the stunt coordinator on Enter the Dragon, and played Bruce Lee's opponent in the opening scene). He claims to have convinced Lee to have a real fight with him, but won't say who won. In Asia, he is considered one of the superstars of action films, starting with his breakout role in the Affectionate Parody Enter the Fat Dragon. Westerners are most likely to remember him for starring in the TV series Martial Law.
Tropes relating to this performer:
- Acrofatic: Sammo is built like a teddy bear, having gained weight as a young man due to illness, but is still extremely agile. Jackie Chan once said of him, "he's built like an elephant, but moves like a monkey."
- Cool Old Guy: Over sixty, but can still beat people half his age and weight on- and off-screen. If he wants to, he will DESTROY you. As seen in Ip Man 2.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Sammo is a cigar aficionado.
- Kiai: He uses this liberally in all of his fight scenes. Nearly every movement (even ones that do not involve direct contact with the opponent) is accompanied by some form of vocalization.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Is so revered in Asian cinemas to the point that when he portrayed a brutal crime boss in Sha Po Lang, the filmmakers had to reshoot the original ending where his character died because the test audiences hated it.
- Reformed Bully: He used to bully Jackie Chan while they attended the same school. However, now the two have starred in the same films together and are no longer enemies.
- Skunk Stripe: From Martial Law onwards.