Actors we miss seeing on local TV

TV babies from the 90s will find these faces familiar 

L-R: Julian Hee, Xie Shao Guang and Sean Say
L-R: Julian Hee, Xie Shao Guang and Sean Say
30 Mar 2016

L-R: Julian Hee, Xie Shao Guang and Sean Say

Photos: Mediacorp

Actors we grew up watching on TV who are no longer active in local showbiz today – that includes acting thespian Xie Shao Guang, former VR-Man James Lye and even artiste-turned-artist Edmund Chen. How many of these actors do you remember (and hope to see on TV again)?

Xie Shao Guang
Xie Shao Guang
30 Mar 2016

Xie Shao Guang

A couple of days ago, former actor Xie Shao Guang was in the news again – after first making headlines three years ago when he was ordained as a monk – for leaving monkhood and returning to his former occupation as a chef in a vegetarian eatery, in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The 54-year-old actor retired from showbiz in 2005 in his prime at 43 years old and packed his bags for a quieter life across the causeway where he did spiritual studies and opened an animal shelter with friends. He leads a non-secular life and prefers to not be seen on TV now – turning down invitations to do interviews or appear on Channel 8’s Star Reunion programme. 

11 years since his retirement, he is still fondly remembered as one of the most outstanding local actors we had, having won a grand total of seven Star Awards acting awards (five Best Actor and two Best Supporting Actor awards).

Pictured above: Xie Shao Guang in The Golden Pillow and Double Happiness II.

Alan Tern
Alan Tern
30 Mar 2016

Alan Tern


Alan was most recently in the news for shaving his head to help raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Foundation last year. His last local project was 2011’s blockbuster series A Song to Remember, in which he co-starred with his actress wife Priscelia Chan (pictured on the right), playing an onscreen couple – for the first time. After quitting showbiz, Alan now devotes his time to running his eyewear business. 

PS: Did you know it’s his 40th birthday today too? Happy birthday, Alan! 

Watch past episodes of A Song to Remember on Toggle.

Photos: Mediacorp, Priscelia Chan/Instagram

Chun Yu Shan Shan
Chun Yu Shan Shan
30 Mar 2016

Chun Yu Shan Shan

After leaving Mediacorp in 2006 for greener pastures, Chun Yu Shan Shan signed on with NMG Entertainment and became labelmates with Hong Kong Heavenly King Andy Lau. Since then, he has starred in numerous Chinese productions and was most recently seen in a period piece called ‘The Flying Tigers’ last year. We also spotted him visiting and catching up with fellow actor and longtime friend Li Nanxing on the set of The Dream Makers 2 in Melbourne last September.

Watch past episodes of Wild Orchids, Stepping Out and Rising Expectations on Toggle.

Desmond Shen
Desmond Shen
30 Mar 2016

Desmond Shen

Local TV’s perennial bad boy may not be actively acting today, but he still takes on ad-hoc roles and was last seen playing a doting dad to Joanne Peh and Elvin Ng’s characters in The Journey: A Voyage and a two-timing cad in The Dream Makers. It has been more than two decades but he is perhaps best remembered for his notorious turn as the playboy who raped Bobo (played by Zoe Tay) in 1991’s Pretty Faces.  

Watch past episodes of The Journey: A Voyage and Pretty Faces on Toggle.

Pictured above: Desmond in Pretty Faces and The Journey: A Voyage.

Vincent Ng
Vincent Ng
30 Mar 2016

Vincent Ng

This 1997 Star Search contestant has no problems executing his own stunts on set given his background in martial arts and was often the go-to person for such roles, but Vincent decided to leave showbiz, 10 years after he joined, to focus on managing Wufang, his martial arts school. His most iconic project on TV is playing Corporal Ricky Soh in Channel 5’s Heartlanders which spanned four seasons. Like Desmond, Vincent is also open to ad-hoc jobs and was last seen acting alongside Rebecca Lim as her ex-husband, Ding Wei, in The Dream Makers.

Watch past episodes of The Dream Makers and Hainan Kopi Tales on Toggle.

Pictured above: Vincent in Hainan Kopi Tales and Heartlanders.

Dai Xiang Yu (formerly known as Dai Yang Tian)
Dai Xiang Yu (formerly known as Dai Yang Tian)
30 Mar 2016

Dai Xiang Yu (formerly known as Dai Yang Tian)

As one of the two hottest rising actors in showbiz back in 2012, Dai Xiang Yu (then-Dai Yang Tian) decided to leave it all behind to pursue acting opportunities overseas instead of developing his career in Singapore, and he has not took on any local projects since 2012’s Poetic Justice. It looks like a return is not on the cards too as things seem to be picking up for him in China. Xiang Yu was in Singapore last year to promote a Hollywood-China movie, Lost in the Pacific, which he filmed in Malaysia.

Watch past episodes of Poetic Justice and Together on Toggle.

Pictured above: Dai Xiang Yu in The Little Nyonya and Poetic Justice.

James Lye
James Lye
30 Mar 2016

James Lye

Despite his relatively shorter acting resume than most actors on this list, James’ role as Inspector Mike Chin onTriple Nine and his super heroic turn as VR Man are indelible milestones in local TV history. While the actor-turned-banker has no intentions of returning to acting, as told by his wife Diana Ser, during a recent interview with 8 DAYS, we still get occasional glimpses of his family-man side through Diana’s Instagram snaps. He is now dad to three kids –son, Jake, 9, and daughters, Christy, 7, and Jaymee, 4. 

Watch past episodes of Triple Nine on Toggle.

Photos: Mediacorp, Diana Ser/Instagram

Edmund Chen
Edmund Chen
30 Mar 2016

Edmund Chen

With two young kids to raise at home, Edmund decided to leave Mediacorp in 2008 as it was difficult to juggle between two parents’ (his and Xiang Yun’s) filming schedules and care for their kids at the same time. He focused his attention on his entertainment company and spent time working on creative projects and honing his artistic abilities, which includes releasing an art book, My Little Red Dot, in early 2016. Better known as an artist than an artiste these days, Edmund just shared that he is ready to return to acting on TV again as long as the right roles come knocking on his door at the right time. 

Watch past episodes of Women of Times on Toggle.

Photos: Mediacorp, Edmund Chen/Instagram

Sean Say
Sean Say
30 Mar 2016

Sean Say

This actor (Thomas Ong was said to be a doppelganger of Sean) was an up-and-rising star in the mid-90s and picked up his first Top 5 Most Popular Male Artiste Award when Star Awards was launched in 1995. He slowly fizzled out of the limelight and was last seen leading tours to China (he was called the ‘tour leader’) and being one of Christopher Lee’s groomsmen at his wedding in 2009. Few will find it hard to forget his role as Huang Biren’s devoted husband in An Ode to Life, Mediacorp’s top-rated drama in 2004. 

Watch past episodes of An Ode to Life on Toggle.

Pictured above: Sean in An Ode to Life

Julian Hee
Julian Hee
30 Mar 2016

Julian Hee

Julian was the bona fide Mr. Manhunt Singapore on the Hill before Shane Pow came into the picture. Despite his weak grasp in Mandarin, he made a successful crossover from Channel 5 to Channel 8 after starring inHeartlanders 3 to headline swimming idol drama The Champion. Before he left Mediacorp in 2009, his final drama as a full-time artiste was the widely-raved Perfect Cut II. After that, he has returned to star in small roles on shows like C.L.I.F. and Game Plan.

Watch past episodes of The Champion on Toggle.

Pictured above: Julian Hee in The Champion and Perfect Cut II.

Jason Oh
Jason Oh
30 Mar 2016

Jason Oh

Like Xie Shao Guang, Jason left showbiz in the early noughties and was ordained as a monk. Unlike the former, he subsequently returned to acting, after leaving monkhood in 2005, and had a tiny role in 2005’s Love Concierge. He was last seen on TV in Channel U’s 2011 drama, Secret Garden, and made an appearance at Huang Wenyong’s funeral in 2013.

Pictured above: Jason Oh in Wok of Life and Secret Garden.

Related:
Actresses who relocated for love

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