John Cheng

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Cheng Yeow Nam (1961 - 22 January 2013) was a Singaporean actor and getai compere.

Biography

Career

Cheng's first screen appearance was in the 1998 film Money No Enough, and the following year he was cast in Liang Po Po. Cheng was best known for portraying violent, thuggish characters, in view of his past career as a loan shark. That One Not Enough was was the first reversal of this stereotypical role, where he played a supporting role as a provision shop worker, without his trademark beard. In a more notable instance, he was cast in a minor role in I Not Stupid Too as a police officer tasked with rescuing hostages. Other stereotype role reversals included his portrayal of an effeminate hairdresser in 2004's I Do, I Do, and his last film role as a medium in the 2013 film Judgement Day.

Cheng was more active in the getai scene as a host, along with fellow hosts Lin Ruping, Liu Lee Lyne and Wang Lei who similarly dabbled in acting on the side.

Cheng was usually credited as Zhong Yaonan or John Cheng. Within the entertainment industry and to fans, he was known as Ah Nan or Ah Nam.

Personal life

In a 1996 interview, Cheng opened up on his past as a hooligan. As one of five children with both parents working to support the family, Cheng was neglected and turned to smoking, violence and acts of gangsterism, under the influence of friends. He later joined an Ah Long syndicate and became a runner. Cheng worked several menial jobs before entering showbiz in 1987. He received his secondary education in Chai Chee Secondary School.

He was arrested on charges of using Ecstasy in 2006, and was jailed for a year. Cheng maintained the drug was slipped into his drink unknowingly.

Cheng courted controversy when he shouted at journalists during Jack Neo's 2010 press conference on his extrmarital affairs. Netizens were divided over his behaviour, with some criticising him for passing off Neo's affair as a norm.

Cheng married twice, first to an unknown woman and later Lung Yoke Ching, with whom he had three daughters.

Death

In the early hours of 22 January 2013, Cheng collapsed backstage following a performance in Club Cleopatra, in Parklane Shopping Mall. He died shortly thereafter from a heart attack.

Reports later emerged that Cheng had an unhealthy habit of guzzling 10 bottles of Coca-Cola daily, to sustain energy levels for his long working hours. He was also suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and was on medication for these conditions.

Filmography

  • Lady Investigators (1995) as Ah Long
  • Money No Enough (1998) as Ah Long
  • Liang Po Po (1999) as Boss
  • Hitman in the City (1998) as Crow
  • The Mirror (1999)
  • That One No Enough (1999)
  • Return of the Condor Heroes (2001)
  • I Not Stupid (2002) as police officer
  • Homerun (2003) as rioter
  • The Best Bet (2004) as Ah Long
  • I Do, I Do (2004) as JoJo
  • Folks Jump Over The Wall (2007)
  • Love Blossom (2008)
  • The Chen Shucheng Show (2008)
  • Pulau Hantu (2008)
  • Money No Enough II (2008) as Chen Guansai
  • Missing You (2008) as Fang's husband
  • Where Got Ghost? (2009)
  • The Ghosts Must Be Crazy (2011)
  • Judgment Day (2013) as medium