Gordon Liu – Martial Arts Movie Actor

Gordon Liu

The life and film of Gordon Liu, Martial Arts Actor. With his trade mark thick eye brows and intense stare, this martial artist and marital artist has a look well known in the martial arts movie genre. This lens blog is a tribute to the Actor and his martial arts skill throughout the years.


Gordon Liu – Master Killer aka The Shaolin 36 Chambers

The life of Gordon Liu

Gordon Liu;, formerly known as Xian Jinxi; born November 30, 1955 is a Chinese martial arts film actor. Best known by Western moviegoers for his role as Pai Mei in Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004), and as Johnny Mo in Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), the head general of the Crazy 88, O-Ren Ishii’s (Lucy Liu) personal army. Elsewhere, Liu is known for his role as San The from The 36th Chamber of Shaolin and its sequels from which he adopted his shaved head style. Some fans call him the “Master Killer” after the alternate title to The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. He is also known to Indian fans as Hojo in Warner Bros’ first Bollywood movie Chandni Chowk to China

He was born in Guangdong Province, China and is the adopted brother of famed Shaw Brothers directors and actors Lau Kar-Leung (Liu Chia-Liang) and Lau Kar-Wing (Liu Chia-Yung). In his youth, he skipped school to train in martial arts without his parents’ knowledge. He trained at Lau Charn’s martial arts school of Hung Gar discipline, which descended from Wong Fei Hung’s grand student (father to Lau Kar Leung). Lau Charn’s wife assisted in his training and their friendship eventually led to his adoption into Lau’s family, and he received the name Lau Kar Fai. As he grew up, he found a job as a shipping clerk to make ends meet. His interests had always been towards martial arts and he was eventually offered a role by Lau Kar Leung. His name prior to being adopted was Xian Qixi.

Over the years Gordon’s movie roles dwindled as younger and more agile martial artists emerged. During the 80s, he was forced to take smaller roles such as in Lau Kar-leung’s Tiger on the Beat. However, Liu has been active in television, and was contracted to Hong Kong’s TVB company for many years, continuing playing roles as a martial arts master. Though he still commonly plays roles in some martial arts capacity, he’s also at home in playing comedic, self-deprecatory or emotional characters. His second common role in TVB has been playing an HK police officer.

Quentin Tarantino has long been a fan of Liu, and had one day hoped to find him a role in one of his movies. This eventually came to pass with the roles of Johnny Mo and Master Pai Mei in both Kill Bill movies. His roles in Kill Bill raised Liu’s profile again and a renewed interest was shown by Chinese producers. Since Gordon’s Kill Bill fame, Gordon has returned to doing movies while continuing to do television for Hong Kong’s TVB station.

In 2008, Liu added a Bollywood film to his profile. Collaborating with Indian actor Akshay Kumar who is also Martial arts performer and world famous tap dancer in a film titled Chandni Chowk To China (CC2C). He played the role of the villain, Hojo, a smuggler and a well-trained martial artist.

More about Gordon

It seems unfair to overlook some of Gordon Liu’s works, but unfortunately there are so many that demand attention throughout his long and prosperous career. He is now approaching his 30th year as a movie star and there is a renewed hope that he will continue as an active force. He was thrust into the limelight as Shaolin hero San The, and never managed to free himself from this association. However, he was just as happy to ridicule his persona as he was to benefit from it. His best work was under the direction of Lau Kar Leung, which led to some of the finest movies ever to be produced at the Shaw Brothers. He was a key figure in introducing new ideas into the martial arts genre and arguably being the finest weapon fighter of his generation.

He is most known as San The from Kill Bill vol2 or from the monk in The Master Killer, but whatever he is known as his trade mark dark eye brows and intense eyes made his face one never to be forgotten.

Gordon Liu Filmography

5 Shaolin Masters

Shaolin Martial Arts

4 AssassinsChallenge Of The Masters

7 Man Army

Bloody Avengers

He Has Nothing But Kung Fu

Executioners From Shaolin

Breakout From Oppression

The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin

Heroes of the East

Shaolin Mantis

Fury in The Shaolin Temple

Dirty Ho

Spiritual Boxer II

Clan of the White Lotus

Return To The 36th Chamber

Fists And Guts


Shaolin and Wu Tang

Martial Club

Raiders Of Buddhist Kung Fu

The Shaolin Drunken Monk

Legendary Weapons Of China

Treasure Hunters

Young Vagabond

Cat Vs Rat

Lady Is The Boss

Crazy Shaolin Disciples

Tales Of A Eunuch

Eight Diagram Pole Fighter

Shaolin WarriorDisciples Of The 36th Chamber

My Heart Is That Eternal Rose

Legend Of The Phoenix

Tiger on the Beat

A Fiery Family

Code Of Fortune

Avenging Trio

Gordon Liu Kung Fu master

Ghost Ballroom

Killer Angels

Tiger On The Beat II

A Bloody Fight

China Heat

Killing In The Dream

Cheetah On Fire

Flirting Scholar 2

Flirting Scholar

Deadly China Hero

Legend Of The Liquid Sword

Bogus Cops

Drunken Master III

American Shaolin

Funny Shaolin Kids

Lethal Girls 2

Journey to the West

Journey To The West II

Generation Pendragon

The Island Tales

Drunken Monkey

Star Runner

The King of Yesterday and Tomorrow

Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Kill Bill: Vol. 2

Shaolin Vs. Evil Dead

Dragon Squad

A Chinese Tall Story

Mr. 3 Minutes

Shaolin Vs. Dead: Ultimate Power

Heroes of Shaolin

Chandni Chowk To China

True Legend

The FourMan in Charge

A Pillowcase of Mystery II

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