Chen Meiguang (Singapore Actress)

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Chen Meiguang
Chen Meiguang singer.jpg
Born1933
Muar, Johor
Died8 November 2020
Singapore

Chen Meiguang (1933 - 2020) was a veteran Singaporean actress who was known for her roles in Chinese-language dramas that were televised by Mediacorp’s predecessor, the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). In her youth, she was a singer who was recognised for her strong singing voice. During the later parts of her career, Chen Meiguang was a vocal coach to younger artistes such as the Mediacorp actress, Hong Huifang and Jean Yip’s sister, Dawn Yip.[1][2]

Background[edit | edit source]

Early life & family[edit | edit source]

Chen Meiguang (right) pictured in her youth. Photo from Lianhe Zaobao.

Chen Meiguang was born in Muar, Johor in 1933.[3] She was the second youngest of five siblings and moved to Singapore at 12 years old to work with a relative.[4] Before she was a professional actress, Chen Meiguang was a teenage getai singer. Speaking to New Paper in 1989, she said:

“I have liked operas since I was young. And since acting in an opera for the serial Magic of Dance, I was even more interested.”[5]

She was reportedly known for being a soprano.[6] Chen Meiguang has one son, Huang Yi.

Death[edit | edit source]

Chen Meiguang passed away in her sleep on 8 November 2020. She was pronounced dead at Sengkang General Hospital after doctors found that she had a cerebral haemorrhage.[2] According to her son, Huang Yi, she had been wheelchair-bound for about six to seven years before her death due to weak joints. Chen Meiguang had also been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.[7]

Singing[edit | edit source]

Chen Meiguang was an accomplished performer before becoming an actress. Photo from source.

According to a 1988 news report, Chen Meiguang said that she earned about $1,000 a month as a singer in the 1950s.[8] In the later part of her career, Chen Meiguang became a singing instructor for younger female artistes from the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC).[1] She was also the vocal coach for the 1979 RTS Chinese Talentime winner, Dawn Yip Pui Fung who she trained every week in the months leading up to the talent show finals.[9] In 1988, Chen Meiguang performed for a live audience at Kallang Theatre as a part of The Artistes Of 1930s-1950s Variety Show.[10] At 74 years old, she performed 'A Little Flower' at the 2007 Star Awards. Chen Meiguang reportedly said the following before singing:

"My health is not like before, but my spirit remains strong. And I still can sing, so let me sing for you now."[11]

Acting[edit | edit source]

Chen Meiguang in the 1960s. Photo from source.

Chen Meiguang was already active as an actress in 1960s and 1970s.[12][13] According to several news reports, she was comfortable in comedic roles; having had experience in comedy skits and sketches. Chen Meiguang joined the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) in the early 1980s as a full-time veteran artiste.[14] Then in her 50s, Chen Meiguang mostly played supporting elderly characters in Chinese-language television dramas. She left SBC in 1998 due to health reasons.[7]

Television[edit | edit source]

As a veteran actress, Chen Meiguang has acted alongside younger artistes such as Pan Ling Ling, Chew Chor Meng, Hong Hui Fang and Zoe Tay.[11][15][16] The following is a non-exhaustive list of her television appearances over the years in SBC.

Year Channel Title Episodes Refs.
1998 Channel 8 Legend Of The Eight Immortals 30 [17]
1993 Young Justice Bao 25 [16]
1992 Heavenly Beings 25 [15]
1988 Mystery 30 [18]
1987 Five Foot Way 11 [19]

Filial Haven (2015) - Short film[edit | edit source]

In 2015, Chen Meiguang played a leading role in a six-minute short film as the elderly mother of a successful businessman.[20] She was over 80 years old at the time of the film's release.

References/ Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Taking lessons to master singing skills". The Straits Times. July 21, 1989. Accessed on 10 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lim Ruey Yan. "Veteran local actress and singer Chen Meiguang dies at 87". The Straits Times. November 9, 2020. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  3. "Veteran Singapore actress Chen Meiguang dies at the age of 87". CNA Lifestyle. November 9, 2020. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  4. Hong Minghua. "当年受访回顾一生 陈美光:没有白活". Lianhe Zaobao. November 10, 2020. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  5. Lo Tien Yin. "An opera a month on SBC 12". New Paper. July 29, 1989. Accessed on 10 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  6. Li Miaoyin, Cai Xinying, Wang Yingmin. "艺人忆陈美光 秦淮:她自律又正派". Lianhe Zaobao. November 10, 2020. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lee Wei Lin. "Veteran Actress Chen Meiguang Dies A Day After Suffering Brain Haemorrhage, At Age 87". 8 Days. November 9, 2020. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  8. Guan Libing. "Glitter and razzmatazz in music halls of the '50s". The Straits Times. July 8, 1988. Accessed on 10 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  9. "Englishstream girl wins Chinese talentime". The Straits Times. December 13, 1979. Accessed on 10 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  10. Chong Wing Hong. "Old stars put up lively show to full house". The Straits Times. March 7, 1988. Accessed on 10 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Teo, Wendy. "NIGHT OF TRIUMPHS AND TEARS". The New Paper. December 10, 2007. Accessed on 10 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  12. Tan, Julie. "Recession and the business of love". The Straits Times. February 8, 1987. Accessed on 10 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  13. Guan Libing. "SBC's Golden Girls". The Straits Times. August 31, 1990. Accessed on 10 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  14. "A PROBLEM OF AGE Where have all the old folk gone?". The Straits Times. November 17, 1989. Accessed on 10 November 2020. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Heavenly Beings". meWATCH. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Channel 8. "Young Justice Bao 侠义包公 - EP1". meWATCH. September 29, 2016. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  17. Channel 8. "Legends of the Eight Immortals 东游记 - EP30". meWATCH. October 30, 2013. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  18. Channel 8. "Mystery S1 迷离夜 1 - EP30". meWATCH. July 28, 2014. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  19. Channel 8. "Five Foot Way 五脚基 - EP11". meWATCH. September 3, 2012. Accessed on 10 November 2020.
  20. Viddsee. "Filial Haven - She Had Trouble Letting Go, Because She Cannot Stop Being A Mom // Viddsee.com". YouTube. April 30, 2015. Accessed on 10 November 2020.