Kenneth Tsang, Hong Kong film veteran who acted in ‘Rush Hour 2’ and ‘Die Another Day’, has died

Jackie Chan has paid tribute to the late actor, call him "an amazing role model for us juniors to learn from"

Kenneth Tsang, the veteran Hong Kong actor who went on to appear Hollywood films such as Rush Hour 2 and Die Another Day, has died at the age of 86.

Tsang was reportedly found unconscious in a quarantine hotel in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district on Wednesday (April 27) after returning from a trip to Singapore. Tsang was later pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the South China Morning Post, Tsang took a COVID-19 rapid antigen test on Tuesday and tested negative. His cause of death has yet to be determined.

According to the publication, Tsang’s last update on Douyin – the Chinese equivalent of TikTok – was published on April 18, in which he said he was travelling alone in Malaysia and Singapore before returning to Hong Kong.

Following the news of Tsang’s death, Jackie Chan – who starred in Police Story 3: Supercop and Rush Hour 2 with Tsang – took to social media to pay tribute.

Chan wrote: “Throughout my career, I have admired a lot of people, and respected senior Kenneth K. Tsang was one of them. His image, acting skills, respect and professionalism has earned him the status as an ‘evergreen tree’ in the industry (i.e. making regular appearances on film and TV), and was also an amazing role model for us juniors to learn from. I was so shocked after hearing the news, and deeply saddened.”

Throughout my career, I have admired a lot of people, and respected senior Kenneth K. Tsang was one of them. His image,…

Posted by 成龍 Jackie Chan on Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Kenneth Tsang – also known as Tsang Kong – began his prolific career in film as a teenager, first appearing in films such as The Feud (1955) and Who Isn’t Romantic? (1956). He would later go on to act in over 200 films and TV shows throughout the course of his 60-year career.

Tsang’s most prominent roles in Hong Kong include John Woo’s influential martial arts films A Better Tomorrow and A Better Tomorrow 2, as well as Once A Thief (1991) and Police Story 3: Supercop (1992). He made his Hollywood debut in Chow Yun-fat’s 1998 film The Replacement Killers, before going on to appear in Rush Hour 2, James Bond film Die Another Day and Memoirs of a Geisha.

Kenneth Tsang
Kenneth Tsang at the 34th Hong Kong Film Awards. Credit: Visual China Group/Getty Images

Tsang won Best Supporting Actor at the 34th Hong Kong Film Awards in 2015 for his role in the crime thriller Overheard 3.

Fellow veteran actor Bowie Woo Fung – who had known Tsang since they were young – said in a statement to South China Morning Post: “I can’t believe that he left so early. We had been good friends since we were young. He was so good at acting. He could master any role.”

“Kenneth was not only a wonderfully gifted actor, but he was also a dear friend whom I respected and I could turn to for advise when needed. It was a joy and honor to watch him work and bring the many characters he played to life. I’m saddened and I will miss him,” Tsang’s manager Andrew Ooi told Variety.