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Hwang Jang-lee

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Hwang Jang-lee
Born (1944-12-21) December 21, 1944 (age 75)
OccupationMartial artist, actor
Years active1974–1996; 2009
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHwang Jeong-ri
McCune–ReischauerHwang Chǒng-ri

Hwang Jung-Lee (Korean:황정리, born December 21, 1944), known to many with the spelling of Hwang Jang-Lee is a Japanese-born Korean martial artist and film actor. Hwang is perhaps best known for his role as "Thunderleg" in 1978's Drunken Master, "Sheng Kuan" in 1978's Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Wong Chin in 1981's Hitman in the Hand of Buddha.[1][2] Variations of his name include Wong Cheng Lee and Wong Cheng Li, in the Cantonese Chinese equivalents. His nicknames are Silver Fox (the name of his most popular movie character); "Thunderleg" and "Thunderfoot" (from his role in 1978 film Drunken Master).

Early life

Hwang was born in Aomori, Honshu Island, Japan to Korean parents. His family moved back to Korea when he was a baby.

Martial arts

Hwang took Taekwondo lessons from age 14 and achieved his 7th dan (rank) black belt. In 1965 at age 21, Hwang became a martial arts instructor for the Korean and South Vietnamese Armies, specializing in taekwondo. In January 2003, Hwang received his 9th dan black belt in taekwondo. In addition, he currently holds a 9th dan rank with the World Tang Soo Do General Federation.

Hwang still actively teaches martial arts. He is currently an instructor with the World Tang Soo Do General Federation and serves as Technical Advisor.[3] He recently has completed a tour of the USA and Canada in which he, along with other Korean Grandmasters, promoted the study and practice of traditional martial arts.[4]



Hwang began his acting career in Korean movies. In 1976, Ng See-yuen offered Hwang employment in Hong Kong. Hwang took the lead in many martial arts movies, usually playing a villain. The Secret Rivals was the first film where Hwang appeared as the "Silver Fox". Hwang's nicknames, "King of the Legfighters" and "Thunderleg" relate to his style of martial arts performance where he uses his legs in a particular way.

In the mid 1970s, Hwang performed in two Jackie Chan movies Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master. as "Sheng Kuan" and "Thunderfoot" ("Thunderleg"). In 2002, Mike Leeder, a writer and producer, interviewed Hwang for the "Contender films" Hong Kong Legends DVD range.


In 1981, Hwang directed his first movie, Hitman in the Hand of Buddha, and was credited as Wong Chin.

Other films and retirement from acting

In 1989, taekwondo grandmaster Jun Chong invited Hwang to come to the United States to appear as a villain in the film Street Soldiers. To bring an international flavor to the film, Hwang is credited in the film as "Jason Hwang", named after his son. In the early 1990s, Hwang returned to South Korea, where he ran a golf-tee manufacturing company and an hotel in Seoul. Later on, Hwang managed a bodyguard agency. Since then he has made only occasional film appearances, in movies such as Emperor of the Underworld (1994) and Boss (1996). In July 1996, Hwang retired from acting at the age of 51.

Return to acting

After a long absence from acting, Hwang appeared in the TV Series The Return of Iljimae. Hwang featured in the documentary film, "The Anonymous King" in which Jon James Hodson examines Hwang's personal life in Seoul, Korea and Hong Kong.





  • Art of High Impact Kicking (1982)
  • The Good Bad Boy (2014)

Television series


  1. ^ "Exclusive: Interview with Hwang Jang Lee" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  2. ^ "Hwang Jang-lee interview -". 18 September 2014. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  3. ^ "THE WORLD TANG SOO DO GENERAL FEDERATION : List of Board of Directors" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-10-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links