Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing (12 September 1956 – 1 April 2003) was a Hong Kong singer-songwriter, actor, film director, record producer, and screenwriter. Cheung is considered as "one of the founding fathers of Cantopop" by "combining a hugely successful film and music career." He rose to prominence as a teen heartthrob and pop icon of Hong Kong in the 1980s, receiving numerous music awards including both Most Popular Male Artist Awards at the 1988 and 1989 Jade Solid Gold Best Ten Music Awards. In 1989, Cheung announced his retirement from the music industry as a pop singer. Returning to the music scene after a five-year hiatus, Cheung released his chart-topping comeback album (寵愛) which achieved a huge market success. In 1999, he won the Golden Needle Award for his outstanding achievement as a musician at the RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Awards, and his 1984 hit song Monica was voted as Hong Kong's "Song of the Century". He was honoured as "Asia's Biggest Superstar" at the 2000 CCTV-MTV Music Honours.Cheung won the 1991 Hong Kong Film Award (Days of Being Wild) and the 1994 Hong Kong Film Critics Society Award (Ashes of Time) for best actor. He had also won the 1994 Japan Film Critics Society Award for best actor for his performance in Farewell My Concubine and ten other best actor nominations, five Golden Horse Awards, three Cannes Film Festival Awards, a Asia Pacific Film Festival Award, and a Venice Film Festival Award.Cheung's music and movies not only captured fans in Hong Kong but also other Asian areas including Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan and South Korea. He is the first foreign artist to hold 16 concerts in Japan that has yet to be broken and the record holder as the best-selling C-pop artist in Korea.Cheung was ranked as the favourite actor in the 100 years of Chinese cinema. In 2010, he was voted the third "Most Iconic Musicians of All Time" (after Michael Jackson and The Beatles). CNN considered Cheung as the "Most Beautiful Man from Hong Kong Cinema" and one of "Asia's 25 Greatest Actors of All Time." Wikipedia
Leslie came out with the album "Salute" in 1989 and all the proceeds were donated to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Conservatory of music as a scholarship. After 2004, this scholarship changed to the "Leslie Cheung Memorial Scholarship".
In 1977, Cheung won first runner up by singing Don McLean's "American Pie" at the Asian Music Contest.
Worked as a bartender at his relatives' restaurant and sang during the weekends.
In his early career chose his name "Leslie" after the British actor Leslie Howard and because of his love for the American film Gone with the Wind (1939). He liked the fact that the name Leslie could be either a male or female name.
Stated that he had a fairly unhappy childhood and was brought up by his grandmother.
Attended the University of Leeds in northern England where he studied textile management. He dropped out of university at the end of his first year when his father fell ill. After his father's recovery, however, he did not return to England to complete his studies.
Cheung was bisexual and claimed so in an interview with Time magazine. He had denied it during the earlier portion of his career but "came out" in the 1990s after emigrating to Vancouver, Canada. In a 1997 concert Cheung openly revealed his relationship with Daffy Tong Hok-Tak. He became the co-executor of Cheung's estate. A full-page obituary on Cheung in a Hong Kong newspaper listed Tong as his surviving spouse.
In the early 1990s he became one of the few Hong Kong actors who dared to play gay characters on-screen. Cheung's first gay role was Cheng Dieyi in Farewell My Concubine (1993). In Happy Together (1997), Cheung played another gay role which involved him in graphic sex scenes and for which he was nominated for the Best Actor Award at both the Golden Horse Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards.
On April 1, 2003, he jumped to his death from the 24th floor of the famed Mandarin Oriental Hotel, located in the Central district of Hong Kong Island. He left a suicide note saying that he had been suffering from depression. The day after Leslie's death, his long time partner, Tong, confirmed that Cheung suffered from (clinical) depression and had been seeing psychiatrists for treatment for almost a year. He also revealed that Cheung had attempted suicide in 2002.
One of the first generation of PEPSI stars in Asia.
Most Favorite Chinese Actor in 100 years of Chinese Cinema in the poll held by Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd, Hong Kong Ferry Co. Ltd, HKFAA and UA Cinemas for the Centennial of Chinese Film History (2005)
He was named "Asian Biggest Superstar" by CCTV-MTV in Beijing China (2000)
His song "Monica" was crowned as "Song of the Century" (1999)
The first singer to hold 100 concerts at Hong Kong Coliseum in 1997
Member of the jury at Tokyo International Film Festival in 1993
The first Hong Kong actor who acted in a mainland China film (Farewell My Concubine, 1992)
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1998
He was one of the most popular singers in the 80s. He bade farewell to his professional singing career in December 1989 when he held 33 continuous nights of "Final Encounter of the Legend" concert.