One of the first smooth, cool, charismatic martial arts star was Alexander Fu Sheng. Son of a wealthy business man, Alexander was born as Cheung Fu Sheng in Hong Kong on October 20, 1954. As a youth, Alexander was very mischeivous and always into trouble. He did not like school and had a quick temper.
While living in Hawaii as a child, he would begin training in judo and karate.
In 1971, Fu Sheng enrolled at Shaw Brothers Southern Drama School and quickly drew the attention of director Chang Cheh. Cheh had Fu Sheng train with Lau Kar Leung for six months. His first film debut was in 1972 as an extra in the film The 14 Amazons. His first lead role was in Cheh’s Police Force. As noted earlier with his mischievous charm and good looks he became a major star for Shaw Brothers in no time.
Some of his major films include Brave Archer series, Shaolin Temple, 5 Shaolin Masters, and Heroes Two to name a few. He went on to make 23 films with Cheh. Fu Sheng was forced to slow down his film career due to a rash of injuries in 1978 and 1979. His first injury was on the set of the Deadly Breaking Sword, where a wire snapped and he fell about 8ft on his head and then later he was working on the film Heroes Shed No Tears, he shattered bones in his right leg. Fu Sheng was suppose to star in Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow but RunRun Shaw, head of Shaw Brothers Studio refused him the role. Of course as we know, Jackie Chan was cast in the role and it was big hit. Never fully regaining his abililties, he recovered enough to resume his martial arts film career.
Later in life, Fu Sheng bought and lived in Bruce Lee’s house in Kowloon.
Returning home from a dinner engagement on July 7, 1983, his brother was driving his Porsche 911 Targa, took the curve on the road too fast and crashed into a brick wall. With serious injuries, Fu Sheng was rushed to the hospital and died three hours later. He was 28 years young. He died almost 10 years after Bruce Lee had died in July 20, 1973 (Mmmmm). At the time of his death, he wa filming Invincible Pole Fighter which he was the hero. In the final cut of the film, Fu Sheng’s character quickly disappears and the focus was put on co-star Gordon Liu’s character. Fu Sheng funeral was heavily attended and compared to that of Bruce Lee. Not known as other well known Hong Kong martial arts film stars because of his short life and career, but we kung fu aficionado know about him and give him a Big Birthday shout out!!!