HONG KONG, March 27 — Fame might have opened many doors for Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong but there is one thing that’s always eluded him: Finding his long-lost father.
After decades of dead-ends and false leads, Wong has managed to do just that and more with the help of the BBC and Facebook.
It was reported today that Wong has been reunited with two older half-brothers he never knew, thanks to a BBC report on his search for his father whom he last saw when he was four.
It all began last month when the award-winning actor opened up to BBC China about wanting to reconnect with his father, a former British Hong Kong government official.
He described how, without his father, he had grown up feeling “trapped in between” his British and Hong Kong identities, and how he hoped the internet would help bring him some answers.
Fragmented information from his mother Wong Juen-yee had led him nowhere.
He knew only his name — Frederick William Perry — and had some basic biographical details and a handful of photographs.
After hearing the story, viewers decided to set up a Facebook thread to help after the report was first published.
On March 2, Wong revealed on Facebook that someone might have found his long-lost family.
The link led to the Perrys, who had never heard about their father’s other son and had no idea that he was one of the most famous figures in Hong Kong cinema.
They received an email from a cousin in England saying there was “a rather sensitive matter that they should know about”.
When they watched the BBC story, they saw a man who was, without question, their father, who had died in 1988.
The BBC shared a video of the family reunion that happened on March 20 online today.
In it, Wong speaks emotionally about meeting his twin 74-year-old siblings, Australia-based John Perry and David Perry.
The 56-year-old actor says in a mix of English and subtitled Cantonese: “I thought: ‘How on earth did this happen? Amazing, impossible, a miracle!’”
The video shows the men embracing and sharing photos of their father with Wong, while Wong introduced his brothers to his movies. (They might want to give 1993’s infamous Human Meat Roast Pork Buns a miss #justsaying.)
John and David told the BBC they weren’t upset at finding out the secret that was kept from them for decades.
They believe their mother, who died in 1972, wouldn’t have known about it either.
“We know sad things happen in life to a lot of people,” said David. “The main thing was to come over and meet Anthony, and get into some background of what happened.”
They added their father would be pleased they’re all finally in touch.
Wong said the meeting had helped him find out more about himself.
“I played music and it turns out my brother did, too. I trained in boxing and it turns out my father had been a middleweight champion,” he said.
“It’s so amazing — it’s like all those things were in your genes.”
He called this “a life lesson”, that when he is finally able to make peace with the past, a new journey can begin.
“Dad used to say in his letters that if I was a good boy, he would take care of everything for me,” he was quoted as telling the BBC.
“I think he knows I’ve become a good boy since then and he’s sent two brothers to me.”