Today is the 9 year anniversary of Leslie Cheung’s death. Each year around this time, Leslie’s fans from all over the world gather together to remember him – even those who may not be his fan per say still pay tribute to him in their own special way.
This year, I choose to remember Leslie through a good friend of his – my idol Jacky Cheung. Jacky and Leslie’s friendship dates back close to 3 decades and even though the two of them weren’t the type of friends who constantly kept in contact with each other, that did not prevent them from having a close friendship akin to that of brothers.
At Leslie’s funeral back in 2003 (which was held 1 week after Leslie’s passing), Jacky not only had the heavy responsibility of being one of the pallbearers who helped carry his casket during the ending procession, he also shared his memory of his good friend through the touching eulogy speech that he gave (his was one of 3 eulogies given at the funeral by those within the entertainment industry: director Tsui Hark’s eulogy represented the film industry, late lyricist James Wong’s eulogy represented the music industry, and Jacky’s eulogy represented all the artists as well as Leslie’s close friends).
Below is the English-translated version of Jacky’s eulogy speech. I hope that through this speech, we can all remember how much Leslie meant to all of us and how significantly he touched all of our lives, even though many of us did not know him personally.
Leslie is truly a legend and icon in the entertainment industry – he is a magnificent artist, one who is unmatched in his generation! Even though he is gone now, his memory will live forever in our hearts.
Miss you much, Leslie!
Picture credit as listed
Jacky’s eulogy speech:
Perhaps we will never be able to completely understand just how much pain Gor Gor [Leslie] has had to endure in this past year that led him to make such a decision [suicide]. However, for me, this ‘decision’ is absolutely a serious and unbearable loss! Gor Gor is an artist who possessed a handsome and unrestrained demeanor, a style that was classy yet carefree and distinguished, the ability to sing as well as dance equally well, and the exquisite acting skills of a consummate actor.
Based on what I know of him as well as my personal experience, he is a person who dares to love and is not afraid to admit it, dares to speak out but never loses propriety, respects his elders and mentors his juniors, devotes himself wholeheartedly and loyally to his love relationships, maintains professionalism in his work, lives his life earnestly, takes his responsibilities toward his family seriously, does everything within his power to help his friends, is good-natured and kind-hearted, and whether he is attending a work-related event or just meeting up with friends, he is never late. He is the person I strive to emulate when it comes to being a good person – without him, I feel as though I’ve lost the guiding light to my road ahead and there will no longer be anyone to shine a light amidst the darkness.
Throughout this past week since Gor Gor has left us, I’ve been asking myself repeatedly: ‘does Hong Kong actually have the ability to cultivate another artist like him?’ Not sure if everyone ever thought about what it would be like if one day there were no more stars in the sky and everything would be pitch black. With Gor Gor’s passing, it is as though the sky has suddenly lost one of its brightest and shiniest stars, leaving behind only loneliness and emptiness.
Lastly, if Gor Gor is able to hear me right now -- I would like to ask if you remember during a gathering last year, you said to me : ‘Jacky, when are we going to do a musical together?’ What I would like to say is this: ‘Gor Gor, I’m already prepared and the script is ready – though I don’t know when or where, but even if it has to be in another lifetime or in another kingdom, I am still very willing [to do a musical together], because it would be my absolute honor to do so!’