John Cheng Yeow Nam (1961 - 22 January 2013) was a Singaporean actor and getai host.
Cheng's first credited screen appearance was in the 1990 Channel 8 drama When Dawn Breaks, and he continued to appear in Channel 8 dramas throughout his career. Like fellow Channel 8 actors Yap Hei Long and Alex Lee Han Kwan, Cheng mostly played Ah Longs, criminals, and violent characters. Many of these roles were based on his past career as an Ah Long himself.
Cheng became known for his role as an Ah Long in Jack Neo's 1998 movie Money No Enough, and the following year he was cast in Liang Po Po as a gang boss.
That One Not Enough was the first reversal of this stereotypical role, where he played a supporting role as a provision shop worker, and without his trademark beard. In a more notable instance, he had a cameo in I Not Stupid as a hostage rescue officer. Other such instances 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 usually credited as Zhong Yaonan or John Cheng. Within the entertainment industry and to fans, he was known as Ah Nan or Ah Nam.
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 controversially shouted at journalists during a 2010 press conference addressing Jack Neo's extramarital affairs. Netizens were divided over his behaviour, with some criticising him for passing off Neo's affair as a norm.
Cheng married twice. His second wife was Lung Yoke Ching, with whom he had three daughters.
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.
|1995||Lady Investigators||Ah Long||Episode 10|
Credited as Zhang Yaonan
Voice dubbed over.
|2001||Return of the Condor Heroes|
|2003||Comedy Nite 2003||Cast regular|
|2007||Folks Jump Over the Wall||Ah Long|
|2008||Pulau Hantu||Frankie Low||TV movie|
|1998||Money No Enough||Ah Long|
|Hitman in the City||Crow|
|1999||Liang Po Po: The Movie||Big Boss|
|The Mirror||Roman (Lor Meng)|
|That One No Enough||Tan Beng Soon|
|2002||I Not Stupid||Police officer|
|2004||The Best Bet||4D King|
|I Do, I Do||Jojo Chee|
|2008||Money No Enough 2||Chen Guan Sai|
|Missing You||Wu Cheng Shan||Fangfang's husband|
|2009||Where Got Ghost||Nan|
|2011||The Ghosts Must Be Crazy||Nan|
|2013||Judgement Day||Uncle Jiu|