Bolo Yeung – Biography

Bolo Yeung was born in the suburbs of Canton in mainland China. He studies martial arts since his youngest age from local great masters. But, contrarily to many others, he is also interested in developing his physical strength through intensive muscular training. During the 60s, he is forced to run away from
communism, and leaves to take refuge in Hong Kong, where he first becomes a body-building teacher. In 1970, he is even consecrated as Mister Hong Kong. He held the title for ten years.

His strong corpulence and his obvious martial skills quickly attracted the attention of the big studios, particularly the Shaw Brothers that offer him in 1969 to act in Cheh Chang’s “The Heroic Ones”. Once his career is really started, Bolo Yeung does some more movies with Chang Cheh (“Wandering Swordsman”, “Deadly Duo”, “Angry Guest”) before leaving the Shaw Brothers studios in 1971. Concurrently to his cinematographic adventures, he acts in a few TV ads, including one for the Winston cigarettes brand. It is this occasion that will lead him to meet with Bruce Lee.


In 1973 he was chosen by Bruce Lee to play in his new film “Enter The Dragon“. Yang acted “Bolo”-very bad guy Shih Kien’s enforcer in this film. Unfortunately, Bolo Yeung is once more reduced to a brainless character, whose only goal seems to be the most brutal possible destruction of his opponent. Worse, the
movie does not propose any direct confrontation between Bruce Lee and Bolo Yeung. Even if this would have been planned for “Game Of Death” but death of the “Little Dragon” puts a definite end to the hopes of Bolo. Yang accepted that this was his defining role, adopted the name and has been Bolo Yeung thereafter.

During the 70s and 80s, Bolo Yeung is going to play in about a hundred of movies, most of the time in the role of a monstrous stranger, whose presence mainly serves to put the main character (usually a Bruce Lee clone) in a heroic position. He can be seen being put into pieces, but not without resistance, in such
forgotten movies as “Hong Kong Superman”, “Bruce’s Deadly Fingers”, “Big Boss 2”, “The Clones Of Bruce Lee“, “Image Of Bruce Lee”, “Bruce The Super Hero” and many others. Bolo has seen several generations of martial arts icons come and go.

For “Legacy Of Rage” he had to spend several weeks training Brandon Lee so the young star would appear to be a worthy opponent. Bolo regularly booked the gym for sessions to tie in with his own regime, but often Brandon wouldn`t turn up until 12! Brandon explained that he had been out dancing till the
early hours and was only training, ”under protest”, because the producers insisted.

Even though he has played in countless movies, often of a doubtful quality, we have to wait until the end of the 80’s to see Bolo Yeung making a name amongst action movies fans. It is in 1988 that he gets the Chong Li role, in “Bloodsport“, along with a beginner, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Even after it was filmed, the classical movie was almost never released, but Van Damme helped edit the film so that it could be.

France was the first country in the world to release “Bloodsport” in theaters. For many, the true attraction of the movie is Bolo. And we will see him crossing path with Jean-Claude again in “Double Impact”, in 1991.

In 1992,Yeung acts as Shingo in “Shootfighter: Fight To Death” where he gets one of his rare good guy roles (“TC 2000” ,”Fearless Tiger”). He acted in 1995 in a sequel :”Shootfighter 2 :Kill Or Be Kill” and in 1997 in “Tiger Claws 2“.

In real life Bolo is quiet and very nice person. His favorite martial art is Tai Chi. He is proud of his children. His son David is a bodybuilding champion in his own right. He keeps his private life to himself.

Alternate Names

Yang Sze / Yeung See / Yeung Shut / Yang See / Yung Sze / Yang Szu / Yang Tse / 
Bolo Yeung Tze / Yang Tze / Yeung Tze / Sze Yang / Bolo Young / Bolo Yung / 
Young Zee