Five Tiger Generals of TVB

The Five Tiger Generals of TVB (無綫五虎將), more commonly referred to as simply the Five Tigers (五虎), were a group of five of the most popular young leading men actors of 1980s Hong Kong television. The group consisted of Michael Miu ("Big Tiger"), Kent Tong ("Second Tiger"), Felix Wong ("Third Tiger"), Andy Lau ("Fourth Tiger"), and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai ("Small Tiger"). The group was formed to collectively promote the popularity of the five members, as well as to promote the company's various drama and entertainment productions. Five Tiger Generals was a name given to them by the media. The term is a popular appellation in Chinese culture, meaning a ruler's five best military generals.

Five Tiger Generals
Five Tiger Generals, 1983.
Top (L-R): Lau, Wong
Bottom (L-R): Miu, Leung, Tong
Background information
Also known asFive Tigers
OriginHong Kong
Years active1980s
Associated actsTVB
MembersMichael Miu
Kent Tong
Felix Wong
Andy Lau
Tony Leung
Five Tiger Generals of TVB
Traditional Chinese無綫五虎將
Simplified Chinese无线五虎将
Literal meaningWireless Five Tiger Generals


While all 5 members were once trainees of TVB's then all-year Artiste Training Academy, they joined the school at different times—Kent Tong joined in 1978, Michael Miu and Felix Wong in 1979, Andy Lau in 1980, and Tony Leung in 1981. Tong was the first to debut with his first role as the supporting character Wu Wang-yuen in the 1980 drama This Land is Mine. Wong's first role was in the 1981 The Misadventure of Zoo. The other 3 members had debut roles while still trainees at the school: Miu's debut role was the 1980 drama The Adventurer's, Lau's first role was in the sitcom Hong Kong '81, and Leung had his first major role in the 1982 Soldier of Fortune, which also starred Wong and Tong.

It did not take long for the Five Tigers to become popular. According to Wong during a 2009 interview for the talk show Be My Guest, TVB's first generation of leading actors at the time, which included Adam Cheng and Chow Yun-fat, were leaving the company, and TVB was in need of rounding up a new generation of popular idols; thus, the members of the Five Tigers quickly rose to fame due to many performing opportunities. Wong said that as soon as he graduated from acting school, he was offered a major supporting role.[1] Wong was then offered a leading role in his second drama, The Lonely Hunter (1981), which shot him to instant fame in Hong Kong.


In September 1983, amidst a ratings competition with Korean and Japanese variety shows, TVB created the show All Star Challenge, which featured almost an entire lineup of the most popular actors and singers of Hong Kong at the time. The five most popular young male idols at the station—Miu, Tong, Wong, Lau, and Leung—were grouped together to perform a variety of stage performances at the show, such as singing and dancing. Their appearances brought in a lot of media attention, and their performances were a selling point for the show.[2] The media then branded them as TVB's Five Tiger Generals, and the term quickly caught on to the public. Since their formation, the five of them consistently made public appearances together as a group; they even expressed that they would like to release an album together under their name. In 1991, the group starred in the crime thriller The Tigers, a film adaptation of the 1984 television drama Rise and Fall of a Stand-In. It is the only film to star all five members.

Legacy and reunion

The popularity of the Five Tigers led TVB to continue with similar group projects even after the members of the Five Tigers left TVB. However, none of them were that successful. Many television dramas that featured the members of the Five Tigers, notably The Legend of the Condor Heroes (1983), The Return of the Condor Heroes (1983), Police Cadet (1984), The Duke of Mount Deer (1984), and Looking Back in Anger (1989), were branded as classics by many in Asia.

On 27 June 2010, during a press conference for a training academy in Panyu, Guangzhou, Tong revealed that the five members are planning for another reunion project. The collaboration between Miu and Wong in the 2010 drama Gun Metal Grey created a heated discussion about a possible reunion of all members in the future. "The Five Tiger Generals will definitely reunite again. The five of us really hope for that day to come; in fact, we are currently planning one right now."[3]


Year Film Miu Tong Wong Lau Leung Notes
1982Demi-Gods and Semi-DevilsNN
Once Upon a RainbowNN
1983Mad, Mad 83NNN
1985Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky StarsNN
1986Lucky Stars Go PlacesNN
1987Eastern CondorsNN
1988The Dragon FamilyNNN
Lai Shi, China's Last EunuchNN
The Crazy Companies IINN
1989Little CopNN
City CopsNN
Proud and ConfidentNN
News AttackNN
1990The Fortune CodeNN
Days of Being WildNN
1991Don't Fool MeNN
The TigersNNNNNNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor (Tong)
The BanquetNN
1992Handsome SiblingsNN
The Days of Being DumbNN
1993Hero - Beyond The Boundary Of TimeNN
Lord of East China SeaNN
Lord of East China Sea IINN
Come Fly the DragonNNN
1994Drunken Master IINN
2002Infernal AffairsNNHong Kong Film Award for Best Actor (Leung)
Golden Horse Awards for Best Actor (Leung)
Golden Bauhinia Awards for Best Actor (Leung)
Hong Kong Film Award for Best Original Film Song (Lau with Leung)
Nominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor (Lau)
Nominated—Golden Horse Awards for Best Actor (Lau)
Golden ChickenNN
2003Infernal Affairs IIINNGolden Horse Awards for Best Actor (Lau)
Golden Chicken 2NN
2004Jiang HuNN
Love Is a Many Stupid ThingNN
2006My Mother Is a Belly DancerNN
2005Wait 'til You're OlderNNNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor (Lau)
2007BrothersNNNNNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Original Film Song (Lau with Eason Chan)
2011I Love Hong KongNN
20137 AssassinsNN
2017Shock WaveNNNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor (Lau)
Nominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Film (Lau)
Chasing the DragonNNNNominated—Hong Kong Film Award for Best Film (Lau)
2019The White Storm 2 - Drug LordsNN
Television dramas
Year Title Miu Tong Wong Lau Leung Notes
1981The Adventurer'sNN
Double Fantasies NN
Come Rain, Come ShineNNN
The Lonely HunterNN
The Young Heroes of ShaolinNNN
1982A Kid TroupeNN
Demi-Gods and Semi-DevilsNN
The Legend of Master SoNN
The Wild BunchNN
Soldier of FortuneNNN
The EmissaryNN
1983The Legend of the Condor HeroesNN
The Return of the Condor HeroesNN
1984The Duke of Mount DeerNN
The FoundationNNN
Rise And Fall Of A Stand-inNN
The Return of Wong Fei HungNN
Summer Kisses, Winter TearsNN
1985Sword Stained with Royal BloodNN
Tough FightNN
The Yang's SagaNNNNN
1987The Grand CanalNN
Two Most Honorable KnightsNN
2010Gun Metal GreyNNNominated—TVB Anniversary Award for Best Actor (Top 15) (Miu)
Nominated—TVB Anniversary Award for Best Actor (Top 5) (Wong)

See also


  1. "Be My Guest: Episode 133". TVB (in Chinese). 2009-07-25.
  2. "Chapter 2: Television Stars, TVB's Five Tiger Generals". (in Chinese). Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  3. "Kent Tong to film comeback: Five Tiger Generals will definitely reunite". 163 (in Chinese). 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
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