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Yuen Siu tien

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Chinese name

Years active

Yuen Siu-tien

Film actor

Yuen Siu-tien with a funny face, with white hair, a white beard, and wearing a blue hat and a blue shirt.

Yuan Xiaotian (Mandarin)

Jyun4 Siu2tin4 (Cantonese)

27 November 1912, Beijing, China (

Other name(s)
Simon YuenSimon Yuen Siu-tienSiu-tien Yuen

Yuen Woo-ping, Shun-Yee Yuen, Yuen Cheung-yan, Yat Chor Yuen, Yuen Lung-chu

Similar People
Yuen Woo‑ping, Hwang Jang‑lee, Shun‑Yee Yuen, Yuen Cheung‑yan, Dean Shek

8 January 1979 (aged 66) Hong Kong

Drunken style kung fu training torture funny martial arts training sequence

Yuen Siu-tien (Chinese: 袁小田) (27 November 1912 – 8 January 1979) (also known as Yuan Xiaotian, Simon Yuen, Sam Seed or "Ol' Dirty") was a Hong Kong martial arts film actor in the late 1970s. Yuen is perhaps best known as Beggar So (A.K.A Sam Seed) in three films: Drunken Master, Story of Drunken Master and his final film Dance of the Drunk Mantis. He starred in several films with film actors like Jackie Chan and under the direction of his real life son Yuen Woo-ping.


Yuen Siu-tien with a lonely face, with white hair and wearing a blue hat and a blue shirt.

Hwang jang lee vs yuen siu tien dance of the drunk mantis

Success at an advanced age

Yuen Siu-tien with a funny face, with white hair, a white beard, and wearing a blue hat and a blue shirt.

Yuen trained in the traditional Peking opera role of Wu-Shen. He began his acting career at age 37, in the first Wong Fei-hung film to star Kwan Tak-hing, Story of Huang Feihong (1949), though his film appearances were rare until the late 1950s. He is best known for portraying mentors and kung fu masters, and featured in almost 150 films throughout his career.

Yuen Siu-tien with a sad face, with white hair, and wearing a black hat and a black shirt.

One of his internationally best-known films came late in his career, Drunken Master (1978), in which he played Beggar So (Sam Seed in some English dubs), an old hermit who had mastered the art of drunken boxing, aiding a young Wong Fei-hung, played by Jackie Chan. The role was a reprisal (in all but name) of the one he had played in another of Chan's films, Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978). At the time, Drunken Master proved to be the most successful film to feature Chan. The film portrayed Wong Fei-hung as a young and mischievous rascal as opposed to the venerable, Confucian master of kung fu played in many films by Kwan Tak-hing. The movie was a surprise international hit, and greatly helped to boost the career of the then 66-year-old actor. Yuen reprised the role of The Beggar So for three further films, Dance of the Drunk Mantis, Story of Drunken Master, and World Of The Drunken Master (in which he had a cameo).

Ol' Dirty

Yuen Siu-tien with a serious face, with pony-tailed white hair, a white mustache, and a white beard.

The rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard took his name from one of Yuen's films Ol' Dirty & The Bastard. Wu-Tang's lyrics were often inspired by 1970s kung fu films.

Personal life

Yuen is the father of eleven children, six of whom have worked (or still work) in the Hong Kong film industry. The five eldest sons were known collectively as the "Yuen clan" and often worked in combinations on many films:

  • Yuen Woo-ping - director and action director
  • Yuen Cheung-yan - actor and action director
  • Yuen Shun-yi (Sunny Yuen) - actor and action director
  • Yuen Yat-chor - actor
  • Yuen Chun-yeung (Brandy Yuen) - actor, stuntman and action director
  • Yuen Lung-chu - actor
  • Yuen had two additional sons and three daughters.


    Yuen's likeness was used for the character Chin Gentsai in the SNK series, The King of Fighters, as well as for the character Shun Di from the Virtua Fighter series (taken from the role of Su Hai from Drunken Master).


    On January 8, 1979, Yuen died of heart attack. He was 66 years old. Yuen was considered for the role of Beggar So in the 1979 film Magnificent Butcher alongside Sammo Hung, but died as production of the film began. Yuen was replaced by Fan Mei-sheng (father of the Story of Ricky star Fan Siu-wong). Filming was continued with Fan's Drunken Master character, which necessitated reshooting some of Yuen's scenes. However, Fan's character is never referred as "Beggar So" in this film.


  • Dance of the Drunk Mantis (1979) (a.k.a. Drunken Master II) - Beggar So / Sam Seed
  • Jade Claw (1979) - Cook / Teacher
  • Against Rascals with Kung-Fu (1979)
  • Mean Drunken Master (1979)
  • Horse boxing Killer (1979) (a.k.a. "Nu Shao Lin si") - Yan Shao Tien
  • Blind Fist of Bruce (1979) - The Blind Master (as Simon Yuen)
  • Sleeping Fist (1979)
  • Drunken Arts and Crippled Fist (1979)
  • Mystery of Chessboxing (1979) (a.k.a. Ninja Checkmate) - Master Yuen/Master Cook (Guest star)
  • Story of Drunken Master (1979) (a.k.a. :Drunken Fist Boxing") - Beggar So
  • Drunken Master (1978) - Su Hua Chi / Beggar So / Sam Seed
  • Peculiar Boxing Tricks and Master (1978) (a.k.a. Old Dirty Strikes Back)- Tung
  • The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978) (a.k.a. The Master Killer; Mandarin title: Shao Lin san shi liu fang) - Teacher
  • Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) - Grandmaster Pai Cheng-Tien (as Hsiao-Tien Yuan)
  • Heroes of the East (1978) - Tao's Teacher
  • Boxing Wizard (1978) - Tung (as Yuan Hsiao-Tien)
  • Deadly Snake Versus Kung Fu Killers (1977) - Snake Demon
  • Bons baisers de Hong Kong (a.k.a. From Hong Kong with Love) (1975)
  • Little Tiger of Canton (1971) (a.k.a. "Master with Cracked Fingers") - Old Master (as Hsao Ten Juan)
  • Come Drink with Me (1966) - Bandit
  • The Flying Fox (1964) (a.k.a. The Purple Lightning Sword)
  • 55 Days at Peking (1963) (uncredited)
  • Story of the Sword and the Sabre (1963)
  • The Story of the Great Heroes (1960–1961) (4 parts)
  • The Book and the Sword (1960)
  • Sword of Blood and Valour (1958/1959) - Mute
  • Story of the Vulture Conqueror (1958/1959)
  • Story of Huang Feihong (1949)
  • TV series

  • The Legend of the Book and the Sword (1976)
  • References

    Yuen Siu-tien Wikipedia

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