her petite frame, tiny waist and line-free face, you’d never guess that
veteran actress Michelle Yim is pushing 40. But only when she starts
talking about her “early days” – she means the 1970s – do you
realize how far she’s come from being a hopeful dancing trainee and how
strong her star power must be for having survived so many years in the
“I thank my mother for encouraging me to take this path,” Michelle
smiles. “It was she who first saw an ad inviting youngsters to sign up
for acting classes with the then Shaw Brothers Training School. I was
actually more interested in dancing at that time, but as the acting school
needed students for its first class. I decided to give it a try.”
From an extra on the set, Michelle has moved to become one of the most
recognizable faces in the Chinese movie industry, having made over 50
films in her career that has spanned more than 20 years.
soon see Michelle in Cash Is King, Channel U’s blockbuster serial which
also stars 70s Taiwanese heart-throb Chin Han as her husband. What’s it
like working with a man who has the sex symbol of his time?
“He’s a very nice man, a gentleman,” she smiles. “He’s like an
older brother to me. He doesn’t have a temper and is easy to work with.
He also leads a very healthy lifestyle!”
Make no mistake, Michelle is not about to fall head over heels for her
co-star. In fact, when it comes to romancing her screen partners, she’s
only been rumoured to be romantically linked with her long-time reel
lover, Damien Lau Song Yan. But Michelle says, “Let’s not rake up the
During her heyday in the 1980s, Michelle was the
queen of pugilistic
and television serials like Return of The Condor Heroes. Understandably,
the beauty has had several proposals thrown her way, but for pratical
reasons, she has never said yes.
“Marriage is an important thing. It takes a lot of
commitment – in both time and affection. Because of my career, I
couldn’t make those commitments,” she shrugs.
But Michelle has just found a
man she can rely on. She declines to reveal his name, but concedes that
he’s a businessman she’s known for a long time. The relationship never
got serious until recently.
“He is very warm and compassionate,” she shares,
her eyes lightning up. “He is also a very independent person, which is
important as we both need our personal space. But most of all, he
genuinely cares for others.”
The couple is often involved in charity work in Hong
Kong, and it is also through this shared interest that their love grew.
Michelle is no newcomer to
charity work. In fact, she is a regular face at some Hong Kong hospitals,
where she turns hairdresser for the patients there.
“Once a month, a group of volunteers and I drive to hospitals to give
the elderly patients there haircuts,” she explains. “These patients
are too ill to make a trip to the hairdresser’s, so we do it for them on
the spot. It’s a really rewarding and fun experience.
Business Tee Off
From acting to hairdressing,
Michelle will stop at nothing to keep herself busy. She ‘s now deeply
involved with Wana Sports, a new line of golf wear apparel that she’s
marketing. So far, she has hooked the likes of Samo Hung and Simon Yam to
be their spokespeople, and is in talks with some local companies to retail
the brand here.
”I’m trying to cut down my on my acting
commitments so I can lead a fuller life,” she reasons. “I missed out
on being a teen as I into acting so young. So I don’t want to miss out
my personal life now… before I know, it will pass me by.
She has wrinkle-free skin and her
waist looks tinier than its 24 inches, but Michelle also has the muscles
to show for her hard work. She sticks to a healthy diet and incorporates
lots of exercise into her beauty regime. “I can go vegetarian for long
periods without any problem. I only take lean meat when necessary and
avoid all dairy products. At my age, watching what I eat is important not
just to keep trim, but also for health! I love seaweed and chocolates,
which I’ve read are good for health too,” she shares with glee.
Michelle also endorses the Japanese
brand Squina. “I use its skin care products, which work for me.
Basically, I believe in cleansing my face properly and going without
make-up when I’m not working, to let my skin breath. Moisturising is a
must! I use La Prairie moisturizer.”
Michelle says she’s never had cosmetic
surgery to maintain her looks and figure, but doesn’t spurn its
benefits. “I see no harm in wanting to make yourself look and feel
better. If plastic surgery does it for you, go ahead, but I don’t
believe in adding things to the body to make it look better, like silicone
implants. Reconstructive surgery, like creating double-eyelids, however,
is fine,” she says.
Adapted from THE
SINGAPORE WOMEN’S WEEKLY – FEBRUARY 2002