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"Golden Voice" Zhou Xuan
2004-3-31 11:49:09     CRIENGLISH.com
"The Angel in the Street" was an extremely popular movie in the late 1930's of China, in which people got to know "golden voice" Zhou Xuan, one of the few and successful singer-actresses of the last century.


Her songs

Zhou Xuan's success was a combination of both her natural talent and hard work.

She was among the first women in China to use a microphone when singing, and by doing so she not only saved energy but also developed her unique singing style: soft and sweet.

At the age of 14 she was selected as the second most popular female singer of China, and then people began to nickname her "Golden Voice" Zhou Xuan.

It is estimated that Zhou Xuan sang more than 200 songs, of them, 114 were for movies. And her masterpiece "When Will You Revisit Me Again?" has lasted for generations.

In 1945, Zhou Xuan gave three solo sold-out concerts in Shanghai and ticket prices were sky-high.

Even in recent years, music companies in both Hong Kong and the mainland have released dozens of CD or VCD editions of her songs, all of which sold well.

Her Three Love Affairs

People who were familiar with Zhou Xuan all agreed that she was a simple, tender traditional Chinese woman, who may be too introverted to be a movie star as she seldom attended parties and was very serious about love affairs. Yet, her love road proved to be a tough one.

She first got hooked with Yan Hua, also a famous actor and their marriage lasted about 8-9 years. However, as part of a sacrifice of the media and the society then, they got split in 1941, which stirred up the whole Shanghai city.

Later, Zhou Xuan met Zhu Huaide and was blandished by this silk cloth merchant; and the two began to live together in Hong Kong shortly after. Not until Zhou Xuan became pregnant and dreamed of marriage did she realize that Zhu was not so good as he said. She placed a statement in a newspaper announcing their separation. Later in Shanghai, she gave birth to her first son Zhou Min.

The third man in her life was the art designer for Zhou Xuan's last film "the Peaceful Pigeon". To Zhou Xuan's misfortune, the love affair again ended up with her heart being broken, and left her with another son, Zhou Wei.


When Zhou Xuan returned Shanghai in 1950, she wrote nine letters to her composer friend Li Houxiang. After she died in 1957, Li donated these letters to a film director for reference to shoot a film in her memory. These letters became an important historical source to research Zhou Xuan. In the first few letters, Zhou Xuan expresses her being sick to shoot films and yearning for a rest. While in the later letters she seems to suffer a lot and gets on a sense of the despair.กก

To restore a true Zhou Xuan, her second son Zhou Wei wrote a book called Zhou Xuan's Diary" for his mother, in which he cast light on several insides that had puzzled people over the years. Moreover, a TV series based on Zhou Xuan's life story was also on the agenda of directors.

Huge Belongings

Besides Zhou Xuan's birth secrets, question like where her huge belongings went also remained unanswered. It was widely believed that Zhou Xuan was the wealthiest actress of the era, especially during the last two years of her life in Hong Kong where her income for each film was paid in dozens of gold bars. However, she fell on hard times later in life leading some to speculate that her second husband businessman Zhu stole her money. Such rumours are brushed off by expert Zhao Guoqing, who analyzes that first, Zhou Xuan's break up with her first husband Yan Hua was partly due to financial matters, she shouldn't make the same mistake again. Secondly, Zhu himself was a rich man, as his father owned the largest silk cloth business in Shanghai at that time. Thus, the suspect was more likely to be her last lover, the art designer who met Zhou Xuan at a exactly time when she became ill, it seems he may have taken advantage of her and stolen her money. The expert continued that, even if the Zhu stole her money, it could only have been a small part of all her possessions as the rest was most probably lost during the last years of her life.

The Mysterious Death

In the book, it attributes Zhou Xuan's later depression to two causes: first was that the natural father of her elder son didn't acknowledge the father-son relationship, secondly, the dramatic change in environment, when she left Hong Kong, she left many gold bars behind, but brought with her some bonds, which turned out to be difficult to change into cash in Shanghai. In addition, Shanghai's work and pay conditions were also quite different from Hong Kong, which made her reluctant to shoot new movies; besides, she also suffered from harassment by the tabloid press of the day, and all these things deeply troubled Zhou Xuan and finally caused her illness.

Although her son believed that her mother's death was man-made, enough facts showed that she actually died of cephalitis, as the Shanghai film insiders ever risked all to treat Zhou Xuan by taking her to the city's most-advanced hospital and best doctors, and buying her the most expensive medicines imported from Britain. Treatments that was very rarely given to entertainment workers. (by Zhang /photos from sina.com & netor.com)



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