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BEIJING – Hong Kong actor Max Mok, best known for his role in director Tsui Hark’s Once Upon a Time in China martial arts film series of the early 1990s, has been busted for alleged drug use in Beijing, official media said late on Sunday.
Beijing police arrested Mok, 50, on Friday in a residential community in Beijing’s downtown Chaoyang District, the Xinhua News Agency said and, according to sources cited in other local media, faces 10 days’ detention.
The bust comes days before the opening of the 1st Beijing International Film Festival on April 23.
A Hong Konger by birth, Mok, has been a major film star of the Shaw Brothers Studio since the 1980s.
Starring as the disciple Leung Foon to actor Jet Li’s portrayal of Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung, Mok’s fame took off when he replaced actor Yuen Biao in director Tsui’s first franchise sequel in 1992, Once Upon a Time in China II.
Mok went on to star in the third, fourth and fifth installments of the six-film series.
The first two films of the franchise were among the most popular of the golden age of Hong Kong cinema, noted for their depiction of Chinese nationalism as well as their fighting choreography.
In 1989, Mok was nominated Best Actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards for the film Last Eunuch in China.
Previously, he was nominated as Best New Performer in 1984.
Mok also has made a name for himself as a singer in both Cantonese and Mandarin, releasing five albums.
Mok’s recent film career has seen him land mostly supporting cast roles. In 2010, he was in the Chinese comedy The Player (Da Wan Jila).
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