He starred with Bruce Lee, choreographed fights in films by Jackie Chan, John Woo, etc. Sammo Hong in the 1980s played a significant role in shaping the kung fu action film genre as it is known today. Now Sammo Hong is one of the most influential figures in Hong Kong cinema, with over 170 different projects to his credit.
Despite his physique, he is an excellent kung-fu master and the elder of the famous Seven Little Fortunes.
As a child, Hong Kam-bo was brought up by his grandparents, as his parents were busy working in Hong Kong's burgeoning movie industry. From an early age, Hong dreamed of performing in front of an audience. His grandfather, in order to protect his grandson from the influence of the streets, wanted to send him to school. His grandfather decided to send him to the Beijing Opera Academy School, on the advice of his friends ("maybe he'll learn something there"). And so in 1960, when Kam-Bo was only eight years old, he was sent to study at the Academy. At first, sifu (teacher) Yu Jim-yuen was not at all confident in Hong's abilities because of his large size (young Kam-Bo always had a weakness for food). But soon Yu was impressed with Hong's acrobatic skills and, perhaps more importantly, his stern manners, which Yu thought might help him keep the other students in line. Hong was officially enrolled in the school and given the new name Yuen Chu (all students took the last name Yuen out of respect (and fear) for their sifu).
Hoon and other famous Academy alumni such as Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and Corey Yuen's hard times are well known, especially after Sammo starred in the Academy movie Painted Faces (1988).
His nickname, "San Mao", which means "three hairs" in Cantonese dialect, is also known to Hong Jinbao. He was given his nickname "San Mao" in Cantonese, meaning "three hairs", which is how many hairs he had on his head as a baby.
He has also been referred to in movie credits as Hung Ching-Pao, Chin-pao Hong, Jinbao Hong, James Hung, Kam-po Hung, Sammo Hung, Samo Hung, Sanno Hung, Hung Kam Po, Hung Kim Po, Yuanlong Zhu.