Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing is perhaps not as well known as Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-fat in Hollywood, but he is a legend in Hong Kong, a super star whose color never fades.
Thousands of Leslie fans in Hong Kong and from overseas gathered Saturday night at the Avenue of Stars, Tsim Sha Tsui, where Leslie was represented by a plaque, to recall the star they're cherished.
On the same day three years ago, Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing, a super star both in singing and filming, killed himself by leaping off a balcony on the 24th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The news was later confirmed not to be a fool day's joke.
His fans have held commemoration activities each year since then. This time a 3-meter-wide screen was erected at the Cultural Center's plaza to show clips of Leslie's performances and fans can leave their massages to the star at a specially decorated board.
Born in Kowloon and the youngest of 10 children, Leslie's childhood was fairly unhappy with fights and arguments, which may be one of the reasons for the sadness in his eyes making most of his film roles more touching and unforgettable.
One of his classic roles is Cheng Dieyi in the film of Farewell My Concubine (directed by Chen Kaige), a Peking opera star and a tragic role of gay falling in love with his male singing partner. The role brought him fame and pushed him to the peak of film.
Critics said the sadness and the fire of love in his eyes together with the elegance of an opera star give the role a nuance, which definitely makes Cheng Dieyi irresistible.
After the film won the Golden Palm award in Cannes Film Festival in 1992, director Chen Kaige said only Leslie can give the role a spirit making people to confuse who is Cheng Dieyi and who is Leslie.
It is such a success that his look in the film is always considered a classic one by his fans.
Chen Yang, a college teacher in early 40's said, "Cheng Dieyi is the most classic role of Leslie, because he is not acting but living in the role."
And perhaps because of this reason, the look of Cheng Dieyi is chosen as the ideal image of Leslie in wax by Madame Tussauds Hong Kong.
Comparing with success in film, Leslie's achievement in singing came fairly earlier. His fast song Monica became a representative of a new genre of Hong Kong music in mid 1980s and won him the award of top ten Chinese songs in 1984.
Later on, his song of Who Can Be With Me became the best song of the year in 1986. And the song Silence is Gold in 1988 turned out to be one of his representatives performed by many singers.
Yang Zhen, a Leslie fan in her 30's said, "Leslie is a legend. I like his voice and his songs, especially the song Who Can Be with Me, can wake up a lot of memories."
Being a super star in singing and filming, Leslie's personal life is mysterious and dramatic.
In 1997, Leslie bravely revealed another man was "his most loved" after his mother and six years later, when he felt tired of life, he committed suicide, a dramatic end of his colorful life.
Tonight Leslie is singing and dancing on the screen and his fans sang his classics together with him, The Wind Blows On, For Your Love Only, Everything Follows the Wind... One after another.
Leslie has gone with the wind, but his songs and films make him a legend and alive in the heart of his fans.
(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2006)