Ho Yi Biography
Ho Yi, born in Hong Kong in 1956, is an actor, theatre director, playwright, and theatre producer, with a body of work spanning several countries and languages.
Ho Yi’s acting career began in the late 1970s when he became one of the earliest freelance actors for the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre. He later worked for three years at the government-run Radio Television Hong Kong before founding Spotlight Productions and the Hong Kong Youth Theatre Company. With these two independent theatre companies, Ho Yi wrote, produced, directed and starred in a number of successful stage productions, including two musicals.
His signature play American Buffalo became a milestone of Hong Kong theatre, known for its original treatment of David Mamet’s dialogue in Cantonese. This performance style, known as Wu Li Tou, became a hallmark of Hong Kong theatre.
In the early 1990s, Ho Yi extended his career as a cross-genre actor, working on both stage and screen, in China and the UK. He made his English-language acting debut in the British television series Soldier, Soldier, followed by a principal role in the film Victory, alongside Hollywood heavyweights Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill.
In 1995, Ho Yi made his feature film directing debut with Thunderstorm, which he wrote the screenplay for and starred in as the leading role. A decade later, he wrote and directed Red Passage, which premiered at the Palm Beach International Film Festival in 2014 and won a Jury Award at the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles.
After arriving in the UK, Ho Yi appeared in several films and television series, including Spy Game and Die Another Day, alongside Brad Pitt and Pierce Brosnan, respectively. In 2000, he appeared in a London West End production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King & I, where he was praised as the “Male Star of the Night” for his performance as The Kralahome.
Ho Yi is married to Vivian Chow, daughter of Peking opera actor Zhou Xinfang, and together they have one son, Dashiell Edmund Wong.