In the 70-plus movies she made during more than two decades of filmmaking, Rosamund Kwan 关之琳 (Mandarin: Guan Zhilin; Cantonese: Kwan Chi Lam) is probably best known for her continuing role in the "Once Upon a Time in China" series as Aunt Yee (aka "13th Aunt"), the girlfriend (later the wife) of fictionalized martial arts legend Wong Fei Hung (Jet Li). And while her acting opportunities understandably decreased as she entered middle age, it was still a sad occasion when at the end of 2007 she announced her decision to retire from movies.
[Rosamund Kwan, as '13th Aunt']
She reaffirmed that decision this summer. In Shanghai for an earthquake disaster relief fundraising event, Kwan stated that after she fulfills a current advertising commitment, she will retire from the entertainment sector completely, and plans to establish and head a real estate development company.
Kwan has been an astute investor throughout her acting and modeling career. She bought early on into the Hong Kong Luotong Gulf Corporation, and when she finally divested her stock, the media reported she realized a profit of HK$130 million [US$16.66 million]. Kwan says, "I won't invest in other businesses, for I feel that real estate development has been stable in recent years." She said she has no work plans "other than doing some advertising this year and next, to fulfill a contract I currently have. So I'll be retiring after 23 years in show business. I plan to start my own company, but it definitely won't be in any entertainment-related field."
Rosamund Kwan has taken good care of herself, so although she will turn 46 this fall, she still has suitors. Her name is often linked with men in Hong Kong and Taiwan's monied circles, and in addition to wealthy Hong Kong businessman Liu Luanxiong (Joseph Lau Luen-hung ), the list until recently included Taiwan's richest man, Guo Taiming. [On July 23, Guo, 58, announced his engagement to 33-year-old Taipei dancing teacher Zeng Xinying.] Regarding romance, Kwan says, "I feel that romance is a private matter, and since I've spent half my life making public love in front of a camera lens, that's a lot of training, and I worry that a partner who was not part of that milieu might be hurt by that. So romance is a private matter, and if I ever do marry there will be absolutely nothing public about it, everything will be low-keyed."
Although she claims to want her feelings kept secret, Rosamund Kwan's bumpy road to romance has frequently made news. In 1982, the barely 20-year-old Kwan married wealthy businessman Wang Guojing, 37, but the couple divorced in less than a year. Three years later, she was named as the "other woman" in the divorce trial of banking heir Ma Qingwei and his actress wife Maggie Chan (Chen Meiqi). In 1992, she and Liu Luanxiong were seen together in Singapore, seemingly in love, a relationship that lasted for seven years. In 2001, she began an affair with male model Huang Jialuo, 8 years younger than she. The couple broke up in 2004, then reconciled the next year, but it didn't last. When filming "Hands in the Hair" (Zuo Tou 做头) with Wallace Huo (Huo Jianhua), 17 years her junior, they were rumored to be an item.