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Richard Ng Says His Wealthy Father Had 4 Wives And Smoked Opium With Bruce Lee’s Dad

The 81-year-old comedy icon talked about his growing up years in a recent interview.

The 81-year-old comedy icon talked about his growing up years in a recent interview.

The 81-year-old comedy icon talked about his growing up years in a recent interview.

Iconic Hongkong comedian Richard Ng, 81, is back in the news no thanks to his two elder daughters who were recently arrested in separate drug raids in Hongkong.

Richard’s 54-year-old eldest daughter was caught for allegedly growing marijuana in her house while her 52-year-old sister was found with cannabis after police raided her home.

Just before his daughters’ drug scandal made headlines, Richard, who has been battling kidney failure for the past few years, was a guest on veteran Hongkong media personality Candy Chew’s radio show where he opened up about his growing up years and drama-filled life.

1 of 4 A young Richard

Not many people know this but Richard hails from an extremely wealthy family. His dad was one of the founding members of Kowloon Motor Bus Limited, the biggest bus company in Hongkong, and the Kowloon Funeral Parlour.

“My dad made his money from unorthodox means. I have 16 siblings, four mothers. My mother was ranked second but she died when I was eight. You can imagine, when a household has three mothers, who have their own sons and daughters, they would fight and scheme against each other to stand out,” said Richard.

According to him, after his mum passed away, there was no one to watch him until he was sent to boarding school at St Stephen’s College in Hongkong.

“There was a jetty in the school and I would fish there. It was a very enjoyable thing to do. That happy part of my childhood wasn’t spent at home, but at boarding school,” he reminisced.

Because his dad was big shot in Hongkong society, their mansion in Hillwood Road was often visited by the brightest stars of that time, including one Bruce Lee.

When asked if he knew Bruce personally, Richard said: “Bruce’s dad was very close to my father because they would ‘chase the dragon’ (an old slang for ‘smoke opium’) together, it was very common during that era.”

2 of 4 Richard and his family

Richard says he still doesn’t understand how his dad could run successful businesses under the influence of opium, adding that he never knew his family was rich when he was a kid.

It was until he was sent to study at England’s most expensive boarding school when he was 15 along with three other brothers that he realised that he comes from money.

At that time, his dad believed that Hongkong lacked doctors and wanted him and his three brothers to study medicine. In the end, two of his brothers became doctors while he dropped out of dentistry after one year because he knew that even if he graduated, he would not become a dentist.

“I really liked watching movies, and that became more and more attractive to me,” Richard said.

He then went on to study acting and decided to stay in England after graduation because he had fallen in love.

At 21, he decided to marry his then girlfriend. “I was old enough to get married legally but who knew that my father would say that he didn’t care if I was legally allowed to do that, he just wanted to cut off all ties with me,” said Richard. “He didn’t think I could support a wife since I couldn’t even complete my studies. How could I even raise a family?”

  • 3 of 4 Richard and his wife Susan

    A stubborn Richard decided to remain in England, a move that greatly disappointed his dad, who had wanted him to return to Hongkong to manage the family business.

    But a lovestruck Richard refused to break off the marriage and was instead cut off by his family. To make ends meet, his first job in England was washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant.

    Not long after, his dad died but Richard didn’t make a trip back to Hongkong to pay his final respects.

    Richard’s first marriage lasted just half a year – they split up after realising that their personalities clashed. He got hitched again at 25 to Susan, an English hairdresser, whom he is still married to.

    “When I met her, I wanted to get married again quickly but we had to wait three years because it takes that amount of time to file for divorce in England.”

    In 1970, he, Susan and their two daughters returned to Hongkong because after plying his trade in England for 15 years, he came to the realisation that his prospects as an actor there were bleak.

    “I already had two kids then and my son wasn’t born yet, I really wanted to go back to Hongkong to see if there were opportunities,” he said. The rest clearly is history.

  • 4 of 4 Richard with the cast of the Lucky Stars series

    Susan also set up her own salon in Hongkong and soon became Bruce Lee’s hairdresser.

    In the '80s, Richard became massively popular after starring in the Lucky Stars film series. He also once revealed that when he was signed to the D&B movie company – Hongkong's most influential film company in the '80s and '90s – he would make HK$1mil (S$173K) per movie, which was an exorbitant amount of money then.

    At that time, mansions in Hongkong's Clearwater Bay and Sai Kung districts cost around HK$1mil too and Richard said that each time he got paid for a movie, he would buy a mansion.

    He shot 11 movies during that period so you can do the math.

    Photos: Weibo

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