|In 1953, Yuen signed with Evergreen Motion Picture Company as an actor when the company started. He also appeared in films produced by the Union Film Enterprise Limited, launching his career as a child actor in both Cantonese and Mandarin films. |
Yuen became a disciple of the renowned opera star Mak Bing-wing after reaching his teenage years.
He was also a student of martial artist and actor Yuen Siu-tien, and he had a physique that made him suitable for roles in both wuxia and fantasy films. As a master of the Nanying singing style, Yuen has performed with many of Hong Kong's most renowned Cantonese opera troupes, and has even taken part in scriptwriting. In 1971, Yuen established the Group of Hong Kong Experimental Cantonese Opera to further the development of the opera art form in Hong Kong, and soon after he joined a television network as a contract actor.
He received the Hong Kong Artist of the Year award in 1991, the Badge of Honour in 1992 and the Award for Arts Achievement in 2003. In recent years, Yuen has dedicated himself to promoting Cantonese opera to future generations.
At the age of 14, Yuen had already been skilfully trained in Cantonese opera and martial arts. In the fantasy adventure "The Twins", he co-starred with his real-life master Mak Bing-wing and Connie Chan, who played his twin brother. The two show off eagerly in their fight scenes, adding an extra degree of enthusiasm to their performances.
In "Fairies and a Monkey", Yuen, Chan and Siao were the iron triangle working together in the Monkey King series. When the Monkey King, played by Yuen, finds out that his master and brothers-in-arms are in trouble, he fights with an evil spirit to rescue them. The film is a rare colour example of Yuen's work in film in the 1960s.
Yuen had a career breakthrough when he took on strong dramatic roles for the first time in the television drama "Below the Lion Rock". He plays a pickpocket with a heart of gold in "Pawn", a junkie who often roams a cemetery in "Wild Child", and a Cantonese opera veteran in "Revisiting the Shum's Garden". In the romantic "The Legend of Lee Heung Kwan", Yuen has a pivotal role as someone who brings courtesan Lee Heung-kwan and revolutionary warrior-scholar Hou Chiu-chong together.