Hong Kong Elvis Impersonator Dies at 68
“I cried for a long time,” he told The Times, remembering the first time he saw the film. “Elvis: That’s it.”
Mr. Kwok won two Elvis impersonation competitions in the early 1980s, the South China Morning Post reported, but local Chinese fans often mistook him for an imitator of other famous musicians – such as a Beatle or Michael Jackson.
By 1992, Mr. Kwok had quit his job and branded himself the “Cat King,” the Chinese nickname for Elvis. He also had his sights set on an easier quarry: Western expatriates and tourists.
His guitar was sometimes out of tune, his self-taught English a bit rough. (Presley’s first name was misspelled on his business card.)
Still, he made a living saying Elvis was the factory job. Some night owls got to know him as Melvis – no relationship with Relvis, an impersonator in the USA – or as “Lan Kwai Fong Elvis”, a reference to a nightlife in which he often appeared.
Mr Kwok died at the end of a year when coronavirus infections in live music venues caused the government to shut them down for months and empty the sidewalks of its potential customers. Ms. Ma said he spent much of his pandemic downtime watching Elvis videos and playing guitar in his apartment.
Mr. Kwok is survived by his wife Anna and their two children, a son and a daughter.
His wife, who was also his manager, told the Times in 2010 that she initially did not support his campaign as Elvis. “But then I was moved by his persistence and dedication to the job,” she said.
It’s hard to find a job that you love, she added. “Now that he’s found it, I’m happy to support him.”