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Gordon Liu (???; Lau Kar-Fai; Liu Jia Hui, formerly spelled Liu Chia-Hui, born Xian Qixi; born November 30, 1955) is a Chinese martial arts film actor. Best known by Western moviegoers for his role as Pai Mei in Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004), and as Johnny Mo in Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), the head general of the Crazy 88, O-Ren Ishii’s (Lucy Liu) personal army. Elsewhere, Liu is known for his role as San Te from The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and its sequels from which he adopted his shaved head style. Some fans call him the “Master Killer” after the alternate title to The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. He is also known to Indian fans as Hojo in Warner Bros’ first Bollywood movie “Chandni Chowk to China”.
He was born in Guangdong Province, China and is the adopted brother of famed Shaw Brothers director and actor Lau Kar-leung (Liu Chia-Liang). In his youth, he skipped school to train in martial arts without his parents’ knowledge. He trained at Lau Charn’s martial arts school of Hung Gar discipline, which descended from Wong Fei Hung’s grand student (father to Lau Kar Leung). Lau Charn’s wife assisted in his training and their friendship eventually led to his adoption into Lau’s family, and he received the name Lau Kar Fai. As he grew up, he found a job as a shipping clerk to make ends meet. His interests had always been towards martial arts and he was eventually offered a role by Lau Kar Leung. His name prior to being adopted was Xian Qixi.
Over the years Gordon’s movie roles dwindled as younger and more agile martial artists emerged. During the 80s, he was forced to take smaller roles such as in Lau Kar-leung’s Tiger on the Beat. However, Liu has been active in television, and was contracted to Hong Kong’s TVB company for many years, continuing playing roles as a martial arts master. Though he still commonly plays roles in some martial arts capacity, he’s also at home in playing comedic, self-deprecatory or emotional characters. His second common role in TVB has been playing an HK police officer.
Quentin Tarantino has long been a fan of Liu, and had one day hoped to find him a role in one of his movies. This eventually came to pass with the roles of Johnny Mo and Master Pai Mei in both Kill Bill movies. His roles in Kill Bill raised Liu’s profile again and a renewed interest was shown by Chinese producers. Since Gordon’s Kill Bill fame, Gordon has returned to doing movies while continuing to do television for Hong Kong’s TVB station.
In 2008, Liu added a Bollywood film to his profile. Collaborating with Indian actor Akshay Kumar who is also Martial arts performer in a film titled Chandni Chowk To China (CC2C). His work in CC2C was one of his greatest roles. Remarkably, he played the role of the villain, Hojho, a smuggler and a well-trained martial artist.
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