Lam Ching-ying was born in 1952 in Hong Kong to a Shanghainese family. He attended Lutheran Church Primary School before quitting after Primary 2 to enroll in The Spring and Autumn Drama School to learn Peking Opera and martial arts under the guidance of the master Fen Ju-hua. Five years later he entered the film industry to become a stunt coordinator and stunt double. Due to his young age and small stature, he was often assigned to double for actresses.
Lam became action choreographer in 1971 and joined Sammo Hung's stunts group in 1980. Works include action classics like Encounter Of The Spooky Kind (1980), The Prodigal Son (1981), The Dead And The Deadly (1982), Winners and Sinners (1983), My Lucky Stars (1985), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (1985), Heart Of The Dragon (1985) and Eastern Condor (1987). Lam, along with Hung, Billy Chan Fu-yee and Yuen Biao of Sammo Hung’s stunts group, was awarded the Best Action Choreographer prize at the Hong Kong Film Awards for two consecutive years, for The Prodigal Son and Winners and Sinners.
Lam also enjoyed a successful acting career, playing important roles in The Prodigal Son, Hogus Pogus (1984), The Return of Pom Pom (1984), Mr. Vampire (1985) and Painted Faces (1988). The lead character in Mr. Vampire, a Taoist priest, was especially well-liked and became his signature role. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards for this film and went on to play similar characters in more than ten features and television series.
In 1988 he formed Diagonal Pictures with Chua Lam, directing and starring in Vampire Vs Vampire (1989), which grossed over $11 million. In 1994 he produced, directed and starred in The Green Hornet, which fared poorly at the box office. Later on he played the title roles in the ATV series Vampire Expert (1995) and Vampire Expert II (1996). In 1996 he was diagnosed with liver cancer and cut down on work to concentrate on treatment. He passed away on 8 November, 1997 at the age of 45. His passing was widely considered the symbolic end of the once illustrious Chinese vampire genre.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||The Green Hornet|
||Vampire vs Vampire|