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Angela Mao (born 20 September 1950 in Taiwan) is a martial arts film actress best known for the string of kung fu films in which she starred during the 1970s. She is also known as Mao Ying, Angela Mao Ying, and Mao Fu Ying.
Angela was born in Taiwan in September 20, 1950. She is the daughter of Mao Yung Kang, Peking Opera star, he escaped China to Taiwan in 1949. Angela was originally a Chinese opera actress before becoming an action film actress; at a young age she attended ballet classes before joining The Fu Shing Peking Opera in 1958.
Mao trained in hapkido at an early age and other martial arts. This would later help her achieve success in martial art movies. When she was 17 Huang Feng (an action movie director known for his action movies and for discovering Sammo Hung and Carter Wong) discovered her. Feng was looking for a young woman who knew martial arts to be the leading lady for his upcoming sword fight film, called "Angry River".
With her experience in acting and martial arts, Angela quickly began taking leading roles other action movies in Golden Harvest productions including Hapkido, Lady Whirlwind, and The Fate of Lee Khan(directed by the late King Hu). She was also succesful in other movies such as "The Association", "The Himalayans" and many others. Despite this her films were not been released in America and because of this she unkown to the western movie audience. This would soon change in 1973.
Internationally, she found fame for her role as the doomed sister of Bruce Lee's character in 1973's Enter the Dragon. Although Bruce Lee died shortly after the production of the movie, Mao was able to train and develop a friendship with Lee. Although she was not able to go to his funeral because she was in Taipei at the time, buying her parents a house.
Following the incredible success to her short-lived role in 1973s "Enter The Dragon" many of her films began to be released in the west. "Hapkido" was the first to gain this wider audience. The film also starred Carter, Sammo, her real life teacher Whang In Sik and also Chi Hon Tsoi. Also working on "Hapkido" were an uncredited 'bootmaster' Leung Siu-Leung who was helping Sammo with the fight choreography and stuntman/actor who also work as stuntman in Enter the Dragon known today as Jackie Chan.
Angela mao continue with string of successful movies through the seventies. Angela along side with actor Carter Wong became a bit of a kung fu dou act in a series of kung fu classic movies. One of best movies made by them was "When Taekwondo Strikes" which apart from having possibly the best title of any kung fu film was also the only film ever made by Supreme Master Jhoon Rhee. Mao spent time training with Rhee during the making of this movie.
Mao married her long time boyfriend, Kelly Lau and soon retired from the movie industry afterwards.
Mao has been presented with an 'honorary' Second Degree Black Belt in Hapkido in recognition of her work in promoting Hapkido technique to the world and for being the art's most honorable, heroic and beautiful female representative.
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