Born in 1912, Hong Kong martial arts film actor, Siu Tin Yuen, was a veteran of the Peking Opera, training in the role of Wu-Shen. He began his career when he was age 37 in his first Wong Fei-hung film to star Kwan Tak-hing, Story of Huang Feihong (1949). His film appearances were rare until the late 1950s. He is best known for portraying mentors and kung fu masters and he was featured in almost 150 films throughout his career.
He starred in countless black and white costume dramas before his son, Woo-Ping Yuen, cast him in Snake in Eagle’s Shadow (1978), the film which launched Jackie Chan’s career. He then went on to be featured alongside Jackie Chan and Jang Lee Hwang, who was the main villain in Snake in Eagle’s Shadow (1978), in the sequel Drunken Master (1978).
Siu Tin Yuen died at age 67 during the filming of the Sammo Hung picture The Magnificent Butcher (1979), causing Yuen’s scenes to have to be re-filmed. The Magnificent Butcher (1979) was also directed by his son, Woo-Ping Yuen, who directed Yuen’s last completed film The Buddhist Fist (1980).