As we grow older, we find someone to looks up to. Some of us admire celebrities, family, and friends. I admire Andy Lau. A star of over 100 films and one of Asia's most popular singers, Andy Lau was born on September 27, 1961 in Hong Kong. He grew up in a very poor area where there was not even running water. The young Andy had to make up to eight trips a day to collect water for his family. Despite financial problems, Andy's parents encouraged him to do well in school, and upon graduating, he entered the TVB academy, where he studied acting and martial arts.
After appearing on television for a couple of years, Lau moved onto films with 1982's Boat People. As was the norm for many young stars at this time, there was an attempt to diversify Lau by having him record an album. While these types of albums usually provide some extra publicity and money for the actor, for Lau they became a second career. His first album I Only Know I Love You came out in 1985 to a minor buzz. It was not until 1990, when Lau had established himself as one of Hong Kong's top actors.
Lau's musical career intertwined with his acting, as he began to record songs for the movies he appeared in. Despite his success, Lau's career almost suffered a fatal flaw early on when he refused to sign a contract with TVB. Lau was blacklisted from Hong Kong television, and it was only through the intervention of Chow Yun-Fat (who was a friend of the director of Boat People, Ann Hui) that Lau began to find more work in movies. Despite having a reputation of being hard to work with, Lau continues to be one of Hong Kong's most prolific and bankable actors.
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In fact, there were times when Lau was so popular that he was working on multiple films as well as recording songs all at once, sleeping in his car as time allowed. This dedication to work seems to have finally paid off in one respect; in 2000 Lau won the Hong Kong Film Award for his work in Running Out of Time. In 2004, he won the prestigious Golden Horse Award for his performance in Infernal Affairs III, the sequel to the popular Infernal Affairs. Western audiences may also be familiar with his performance in the House of Flying Daggers.
His singing career reached stellar status in 1990 with the release of the album entitled Would It Be Possible, and his subsequent releases only solidified his status as a marketable singer.  For that song, he would win his first 1990 RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards. He would then win at least one RTHK award category every year consecutively until the year 2007. From Jade Solid Gold Top 10 Awards, he has won the “Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist” award 7 times and the “Asia Pacific Most Popular Hong Kong Male Artist” award 15 times.
He also entered into Guinness World Records for "Most Awards Won By A Cantopop Male Artist". By April 2000, he had already won a total unprecedented 292 awards. Andy's success did not come easily. He is known most by insiders for his hard work and drive. Catching some sleep in his car between the midst of recording an album and making a movie is not uncommon for the singer-actor. Yet, Andy managed to excel in both games. As an actor, Andy never settled for two-bit roles or stereotypical characters who only excelled in kung fu.
As a singer, Andy never seemed to be satisfied with status quo. Through the two-plus decades that Andy gave to the entertainment world, he persevered, he advanced, and he conquered. In a race to be the best of everything, Andy is the only one crossing the finish line. Andy Lau is an exemplary person. He is multi-talented actor, comedian, and even singer who has come a long way. His past amazes me and his diligence touched me. In my mind, Andy Lau is the role model which is why I admire him.
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