Monday, May 22, 2017

Quyen Linh

Quyền Linh (1969-    ) is a famous Vietnamese actor of film, television and stage.  In recent years, he has also become one of the most popular game show hosts in Vietnam.

Born as Mai Huyền Linh on July 28, 1969, he grew up as the eldest son in a large and poor family.  At the age of 2, his parents divorced.  After high school, he was accepted into Trường Nghệ Thuật Sân Khấu 2, one of Vietnam's most prestigious performing arts universities located in Ho Chi Minh City.  In 1988, Quyền Linh relocated to Ho Chi Minh City and studied with classmates Ngọc Sơn, Lý Hải, Lê Tuấn Anh, Lý Hùng and Diễm Hương.   At the age of 23, Quyền Linh graduated from Trường Nghệ Thuật Sân Khấu 2 and joined the Kim Cương Theater Troupe, headed by legendary actress Kim Cương.  That same year, he entered and placed 4th in the Diễn Viên Ðiện Ảnh Triển Vọng competition.  His first film role was in Khát Vọng Sống (1992) starring opposite actress Trịnh Kim Chi.  Soon after he was cast in a series of feature films such as Thời Ðại của Ðàn Bà Con Gái (1993), Hoa Trinh Nữ (1993), Vườn Ðào Năm Ấy (1995) and Đứa Con Rơi (1996).  In 1996, he was cast in the highly rated television mini-series, Người Hà Nội, starring Lê Khanh and Hồng Sơn.  Among his other television acting credits have included Người Tốt Một Ngày (1996), Gió Qua Miền Tối Sáng (1998) starring Lê Tuấn Anh, Phương Thanh and Ngọc Lan, Đồng Tiền Xương Máu (1999) starring Lâm Tới, Chi Bảo and Trương Ngọc Ánh, Giao Thời (2000) starring Trương Ngọc Ánh and Hiến Mai, Con của Sông Dinh (2000), Trùng Quang Tâm Sử (2002), Ðâu Phải Vợ Người Ta (2002), Một Thời Ngang Dọc (2003), Lục Vân Tiên (2004) starring Chi Bảo, Trương Ngọc Ánh and Hồng Ánh, Người Gác Mộ (2005), Ngũ Quái Sài Gòn (2006) starring Kim Hiền, Một Ngày Không Có Em (2008) starring Huỳnh Đông, Trương Quỳnh Anh and Kinh Quốc, Tam Nam Vẫn Phú (2009), Đại Gia Đình (2010) starring Thanh Thủy, Chi Bảo, Ngọc Lan and Hà Kiều AnhEm Là Tình Yêu Của Anh (2011) starring Kim Xuân, Bảo Quốc and Nguyễn Phi Hùng and Làm Đẹp Ăn Tết (2014) starring Ngọc Giàu and Cát Phượng.  Among his other acting credits on the silver screen include Tiếng Hú Nơi Hoang Dã (2003), Những Tay Chơi Ngoại Hạng (2004), Khi Người Ta Yêu (2004) and Khi Người Đàn Ông Có Bầu (When a Man Gets Pregnant) (2005) starring Kim Thư, Việt Anh, Hồng Nga, Trương Ngọc Ánh and Hồng Vân.

In 2004, Quyền Linh embarked on a new lucrative career as a game show host when he began hosting the show, Nhịp Sống Sôi Ðộng.  From 2005 until 2008, he directed and hosted the game show, Vượt Lên Chính Mình.  Quyền Linh has hosted numerous other game shows such as Tam Sao Thất Bản, Ai Là Ai, Chúc Mừng Sinh Nhật, Con Ðường Chinh Phục, Gia Ðình Hạnh Phúc, Siêu Thị May Mắn, Vua Bếp, Chuyện Không của Riêng Ai and Bạn Muốn Hẹn Hò.  Quyền Linh has also won the most Mai Vàng Awards (Golden Orchid), a total of 6.

After a courtship of 10 years with actress Trịnh Kim Chi, in 2005 Quyền Linh married a fan of his named Dạ Thảo.  The couple are proud parents of two daughters, Thảo Linh and Thảo Ngọc.  In addition to his successful career in film and television, Quyền Linh also owns a restaurant called Café Quyền Linh in Ho Chi Minh City.  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Loan Chabanol

Loan Chabanol (1982-    ) is a French actress, model and painter of Vietnamese, German and Italian descent.

Originally from Paris, France, as a child Loan Chabanol studied art with renowned artist Bernard Bistes.  At the age of 16, she signed with Elite Modeling Agency and embarked on her career as an international fashion model.  During her wildly successful modeling career, Loan Chabanol appeared on advertisements for Chanel and graced the covers of such prestigious fashion magazines like Elle, Glamour and Marie Claire.  After more than a decade working as a fashion model, at the age of 28 she decided to leave her native Paris and resettled in New York where she would pursue another dream of hers which was to become an actress.  She enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute to study acting.  In 2013, she landed her first acting job portraying the role of Buster Keaton in a short film by actor James Franco, Psycho Nacirema.  That same year, Loan Chabanol appeared in her first feature film, Fading Gigolo, starring John Turturro, Woody Allen, Sharon Stone and French singer/actress Vanessa Paradis.  The following year, she teamed up with James Franco again to costar in the feature film, Third Person.  Her latest feature film to date, The Transporter Refueled, was written by Luc Besson, former husband of fellow Eurasian actress, Maiwenn, and released in 2015.

In September of 2015, Loan Chabanol was able to live out one of her childhood dreams when she opened her first solo art exhibition, Born in Blue, held at the Lightbox in New York City.  Loan Chabanol has also formed her own production company, Loanimation.  This is the second time that a major Eurasian model of part-Vietnamese descent has made the shift from the world of high fashion to art.  The first was former Christian Lacroix model-turned actress, painter and New York socialite, Anh Duong, back in the 1990s.  


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Vietnamese Celebrity Homes Part 5a

Here are the next five featured Vietnamese celebrity homes.  Just like the ones featured in our previous posts in this category, these are some of the most luxurious homes owned by the wealthiest Vietnamese celebrities around the world.

Mai Thu Huyền's Mansion in Phú Mỹ Hưng District of Ho Chi Minh City

1. Mai Thu Huyền currently is one of the wealthiest and most powerful Vietnamese women in show business.  Aside from her enduring career as one of Vietnam's most famous actresses in television and film, her accomplishments as one of the most successful media proprietors of Vietnam have also contributed significantly to her massive wealth.  Prior to owning her own film and television production studio, Mai Thu Huyền for many years served as president of FTP Entertainment.  At present, she is the CEO and owner of Tincom Media.  Along with her husband and two children, Mai Thu Huyền lives in this elegant mansion filled with expensive artwork and fancy decor located in the Phú Mỹ Hưng District of Ho Chi Minh City.

Interior of Nguyễn Phi Hùng's Mansion in Tân Bình District of Ho Chi Minh City 

Nguyễn Phi Hùng's Ranch in Củ Chi

2. For years, Nguyễn Phi Hùng has maintained two very successful careers, one of being one of the highest paid pop singers in Vietnam and the other as an award-winning actor of television and film.  His wise investments with his lucrative earnings from both careers through the years have resulted in favorable financial returns making him the owner of several businesses which include a multi-million dollar real estate empire and a swanky restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City called Café Song Hùng.  Like his dual careers as an entertainer, Nguyễn Phi Hùng owns two houses both located in Ho Chi Minh City, a mansion in the Tân Bình District and a ranch in Củ Chi.

Home of Singer Hồng Ngọc in Suburb of Dallas, Texas

3. Overseas Vietnamese singer Hồng Ngọc and husband, Vietnamese-American businessman Thomas Nguyễn are owners of this spacious house located in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas.  According to the couple, this is the perfect home for them to raise their two children.

Singer Dương Triệu Vũ and his two furry friends are sitting in the kitchen of his penthouse apartment home.

4.  Former Paris By Night singer Dương Triệu Vũ, who had grown up mostly in Orlando, Florida, has taken up residence in Ho Chi Minh City since 2010.  In 2013, he purchased this deluxe penthouse on the 8th floor of a high-riser residential apartment building located in the 7th district of Ho Chi Minh City.

Mansion of Actress Hiền Mai in the 2nd District of Ho Chi Minh City

5. Actress Hiền Mai along with her Vietnamese-American businessman husband, Nguyễn Hoàng Minh, and their teenage son, Tony, call this 4-story mansion located in the 2nd district of Ho Chi Minh City home.  Everything about the house looks as elegant as the famous actress, herself.


Duong Trieu Vu

Dương Triệu Vũ (1984-    ) is a Vietnamese singer who had first risen to prominence with overseas Vietnamese audiences in the mid-2000s while signed with Thúy Nga.  He is the youngest brother of the famous comedian, Hoài Linh.

He was born as Võ Nguyễn Tuấn Linh on January 1, 1984 in Cam Ranh, a city in the South Coast region of Vietnam.  His parents were originally from Quảng Nam Province of Central Vietnam, but had migrated to Cam Ranh years prior to his birth for economic reasons.  He grew up as the youngest in a family of six children.  His mother ran a maternity hospital in Cam Ranh called Phương Trâm.

At the age of 9, he left Vietnam with his family to begin their new lives in the United States.  His parents decided to resettle in Orlando, Florida.  Although he was rather a shy and timid kid, one undeniably evident quality about him was that he clearly had a knack for singing from an early age.  In 1994, he entered the talent contest held at the annual Trung Thu (Full Moon) Festival in Orlando's Vietnamese community and won first prize.  He would enter and win first prize at that same competition for the next two consecutive years.  In 1997, while just 13 years of age, he appeared on volume 9 of the popular video series produced by Vân Sơn EntertainmentNụ Cười và Âm Nhạc, performing a cover of a Roberta Flacks signature tune, Killing Me Softly With His Song, credited as Tuấn Linh.  While attending high school in Orlando, Florida, he performed on weekends with a popular local Vietnamese band named Fantasy.  In 2004, he signed with Thúy Nga, the most prolific overseas Vietnamese music label, and changed his stage name to Dương Triệu Vũ.  That same year, he made his debut on the Paris By Night stage in a solo performance of the song, Cho Người Tình Lỡ (written by Hoàng Nguyên).  During the next decade, Dương Triệu Vũ would become one of the most popular performers of the Paris By Night series.  Among his most popular recorded songs while under contract with Thúy Nga include Kỷ Niệm (written by Phạm Duy), Sâu Trong Tim Anh (You're My Heart, You're My Soul), Đừng Lừa Dối (written by Minh Kỳ), Em Ở Đâu? (written by Chí Tài), Mùa Hoa Anh Đào (written by Thanh Sơn), Dáng Xuân (written by Minh Châu) and Biết Đến Thuở Nào (written by Tùng Giang).  Dương Triệu Vũ has recorded a string of successful solo studio albums including Ngày Đó Có Em (2006), Thiên Đàng Đánh Mất (2007), Em Ở Đâu (2009), Mãi Mãi Bên Em (2010) and Siêu Nhân (2011).  He has also recorded numerous duets with various other artists such as Minh TuyếtVân QuỳnhNgọc LiênLương Tùng QuangBảo HânLam AnhHương GiangLệ Quyên, Hồng Ngọc, Lam Trường and Bảo Thy.  Among the accolades he has been honored with during his career include 4 Zing Music Awards and a Golden Orchid (Mai Vàng).
Dương Triệu Vũ (left) and
His Mentor, Singer Đàm Vĩnh Hưng (right)

Since 2010, Dương Triệu Vũ has taken up primary residence in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  He continues to tour extensively performing live in concerts for Vietnamese audiences all over the world.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Phuong Hoai Tam

Phương Hoài Tâm (1955-    ) is a Vietnamese singer, former cinema of Saigon actress turned Vietnamese-American businesswoman.

Born into a working class family in Saigon, Phương Hoài Tâm was the third eldest in a family of four children.  While in her early teen years, Phương Hoài Tâm was recruited by famed musician Nguyễn Đức into the youth musical group, Việt Nhi, which consisted of other members such as Thanh LanHòang Oanh, Kim LoanPhương Hồng Hạnh, Phương Bích Hằng, Phương Hồng Loan, Phương Hồng Quế and Phương Hồng Ngọc.  In 1970, Phương Hoài Tâm was cast in a supporting role in Nàng, a feature film starring Thẩm Thúy Hằng, La Thoại Tân, Trần Quang and Việt Hùng.  The following yearPhương Hoài Tâm gained national fame as a singer with her recording of the song, Sao Chưa Thấy Hồi Âm (written by Châu Kỳ).  She collaborated with various major music labels in South Vietnam such as Sóng Nhạc, Continental and Sơn Ca and made appearances as a musical guest star on such television shows produced by Châu Kỳ, Phạm Mạnh Cương and Nhật Trường.  Among her most popular recorded songs include Sơn Nữ Ca (written by Trần Hoàn), Đò Chiều (written by Trúc Phương) and Thiên Thai (written by Văn Cao), a duet with singer Hòang Oanh.   While only 18 years of age, Phương Hoài Tâm had gotten married to an ARVN sergeant and started a family of her own shortly thereafter with the birth of her son.  To supplement her household income, she found work headlining at cabarets in Saigon such as Hòa BìnhOlympia and Maxim's.

Thẩm Thúy Hằng and Phương Hoài Tâm (1970)

Upon the Fall of Saigon, Phương Hoài Tâm along with her husband and young child fled Vietnam by boat and eventually resettled in Northern California.  Years later, she would be reunited with her two older brothers and younger sister in the United States.  Immediately after arriving in the United States, Phương Hoài Tâm began singing for various nightclubs located in San Francisco's Chinatown and Little Tokyo communities and frequently traveled to faraway destinations to perform at live shows for Vietnamese audiences all over the United States and Canada.  After completion of vocational school which specialized in the teachings of skin care in San Francisco along with a year studying abroad in Hong Kong the art of embroidery permanent makeup artistry, she embarked on a successful new career as a skin care specialist and beauty consultant.  In 1979, she and her husband permanently took up residence in San Jose, California where she would headline at major Vietnamese nightclubs such as Lido, Mini Club and Maxim's throughout the 1980s.  She released a pair of solo studio albums during this decade, Thu Vàng (1986) and Biết Tỏ Cùng Ai (1987).  With the formation of her own business, Tammy Skin Care & Cosmetics, Inc., in 1988 which became a major success almost overnight, Phương Hoài Tâm made the decision to walk away from showbiz the following year in order to concentrate more on her entrepreneurial interests.  In 2004, Phương Hoài Tâm suffered the loss of her husband of over 30 years due to illness.

(From left to right) Phương Hồng Ngọc, Phương Hoài Tâm,
 Thanh Lan and Phương Hồng Quế (2008)
At the beginning of the year in 2007, Phương Hoài Tâm finally made her return to the stage ending her hiatus which lasted 18 years when she accepted an invitation from long time friend and former singing mate, Phương Hồng Quế, to perform at a live show in Toronto, Canada held in honor of their mentor, Nguyễn Đức.  Later that same year, Phương Hoài Tâm made her debut on the popular live show music video series produced by Asia Entertainment performing the song, Chiều Làng Em (written by Trúc Phương) as part of a trio known as Tam Ca Phương together with Phương Hồng Quế and Phương Hồng Ngọc.  Their popularity with viewer audiences prompted the executives at Asia Entertainment to invite the trio to return for the next 5 consecutive volumes of the live show series. 

Phương Hoài Tâm has since returned to maintaining her skin care empire which in recent years has also included distribution of her own line of skin care products.  In addition, Phương Hoài Tâm has also been a certified trainer and educator of Rejuvi Laboratory USA since 1992 in which she has traveled all over the United States conducting instructional classes on skin care.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Vu Khanh

Vũ Khanh (1958-    ) is a popular overseas Vietnamese singer.

Born as Vũ Công Khanh on April 1, 1958 in Saigon, South Vietnam, he was raised in a deeply religious Roman Catholic family.  After resettling in the United States upon the Fall of Saigon, Vũ Khanh finally embarked on his professional singing career.  In 1978, he made his first public performance with the song, Cô Hàng Nước (written by Vũ Minh), in front of an audience of 5,000 at a music festival for the Vietnamese community of San Diego, California.  Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Vũ Khanh was among the most in demand overseas Vietnamese male singers.  He collaborated with numerous overseas Vietnamese music labels such as Giáng NgọcĐời MagazinePhượng HoàngNgười Đẹp Bình DươngLàng Văn, and most importantly, Diễm Xưa Productions.  Vũ Khanh recorded a series of well received solo studio albums, as well as duet albums with various female artists such as Ý LanNhư MaiNgọc Lan and Thanh Hà.  In Orange County, California, Vũ Khanh headlined at various major Vietnamese nightclubs and cabarets such as Ritz, Diamond and Majestic.  He has also performed live in concert for Vietnamese audiences all over the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe.  Among his most popular recorded songs include Cô Hàng Cà Phê (written by Thanh Trang), Tôi Bán Đường Tơ (written by Thẩm Oánh), Giọt Lệ Cho Ngàn Sau (written by Từ Công Phụng) and Hai Năm Tình Lận Đận (written by Phạm Duy).  In the 1990s, Vũ Khanh appeared on music videos for Diễm Xưa Productions and Mây Productions.  In 2016, he made his debut appearance on the Paris By Night stage, produced by Thúy Nga, on volume 120 with a solo performance of the song, Còn Chút Gì Để Nhớ (written by Phạm Duy).  Vũ Khanh was invited back the following year to appear on volume 121 of Paris By Night in a duet performance of the song, Như Giọt Xuân Rơi (written by Anh Việt Thu), with singer Ý Lan.

In addition to his successful singing career, Vũ Khanh also is the owner of a computer repair business.  He resides in Orange County, California.  

Mai Thu Huyen

Mai Thu Huyền (1979-    ) is a famous Vietnamese actress, businesswoman and former fashion model.

She was born on March 8, 1979 in Hanoi.  Her father was a cinematographer.  While in her early teens, Mai Thu Huyền started out in modeling.  At the age of 16, she made her acting debut in the film, Nỗi Đau Thầm Lặng.  In 2002, Mai Thu Huyền starred in what has since become known as her signature role as "Thanh Trúc" in the television mini-series, Những Ngọn Nến Trong Đêm, opposite Quyết Thắng.  In 2016, she would reprise her signature role in Những Ngọn Nến Trong Đêm II, this time playing opposite leading man Bình Minh.  Mai Thu Huyền has starred in several feature films including Hà Nội Mùa Đông Năm 46 (1997) with Quốc TuấnTiếng Sáo Lý Hương (1998) with Võ Hoài NamHà Nội 12 Ngày Đêm (2002), Minh Nguyệt/Mùa Thu Đầu Tiên (2005), Nhà Có Ba Chị Em (2007) with Kiều Thanh, Thu Quế, Trung Hiếu and Bình Minh and Lạc Giới (2014) with Trung Dũng, Bình An and Nam Cường.  Her other television acting credits include Sống Mãi Với Thủ Đô (1996) starring Khánh HuyềnCòn Mãi Một Tình Yêu (1997) starring Phạm CườngHôn Nhân Không Giá Thú (1997) starring Xuân TùngKhoảng Vỡ (1998) starring the late Đơn Dương and Hoàng PhúcSóng Ngầm (2001), Tia Nắng Mong Manh (2005), Lối Rẽ (2010), Đời Như Tiệc (2013) starring Cát TườngNhững Kẻ Hai Mặt (2014) starring Trung Dũng and Hồng Vân and Mãi Mãi Là Bao Lâu (2016) starring Trương Minh Quốc Thái.

Mai Thu Huyền at the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival (2010)

Mai Thu Huyền was formerly the president of FPT Entertainment, a television production company based in Hanoi.  She is currently the CEO and owner of Tincom Media.  Mai Thu Huyền along with her husband and two children, a son and a daughter, live in one of the most luxurious mansions in Ho Chi Minh City located in the Phú Mỹ Hưng district.