Victoria Lam Kin-ming was born in Guangdong in 1956. She moved to Hong Kong with her family at the age of six and was enrolled at Tung Chi College. After secondary school, she joined the Shaw Brothers Studio’s Film and Television Actors’ Training Centre and had her first taste in the entertainment as an actress. Although Shaws did not offer her a contract upon graduation, she won Rediffusion Television’s Miss Beach Girl pageant in 1973 — earning her nickname “Sa Jie” (roughly translated as “Sister Beach”). In director Cheung Sam’s sensational hit Bald-Headed Betty (1975), Lam shaved her head to play the titular role—a naïve young woman who had descended into prostitution. With her newfound bombshell status, she took on other risqué roles in films such as Fertility Bank (1975), Massage Girls (1976) and On Probation (1977). Shedding her image as a sex symbol, she joined Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) in 1976, acted in numerous television dramas and was best remembered for her stint as one of the hosts for the variety show Enjoy Yourself Tonight (EYT) from 1976 to 1989. “Great White Shark”, her character from the EYT skit Shrimp Crazy Family, was an audience favorite.
Lam made her directorial debut in 1982 with Torrid Wave, in which she also starred. In addition to its daring depiction of lesbians, the film’s fictitious take on Hong Kong’s “Rainy Day Serial Killer” created a stir upon its release. Since then, she continued to work in both television and film, acting in over eighty films, including First Time is the Last Time (1989) and Demoness from Thousands Years (1990)—garnering a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 9th Hong Kong Film Awards for her performance in the former film. In 1990, she signed with Asia Television Limited (ATV) and was best known for hosting its ratings hit Hong Kong Today from 1994 to 2000.
After diagnosed with depression in 2001, she took a step away from the entertainment industry and later founded the volunteer organization Joyful (Mental Health) Foundation, for which she was chairperson. In 2011 and 2012, she joined the stage musical adaptation of Shrimp Crazy Family for charitable purposes.
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