Louis Koo

While his early years were troubled, Louis Koo has managed to become one of Hong Kong's top movie stars, as well as a successful television actor and singer. Before his good fortune, he was jailed for nearly two years on a robbery charge. Luckily, his matinee star looks got him work as a fashion model, and he also appeared on MTV, which helped him segue into television. By 1999, he was highly respected in his field, taking home the local television industry's Most Popular Male Artist Award for the police serial "Detective Investigation Files IV." His performance as emotionally unbalanced Sergeant Tsui Fei, whose ability to investigate murders is undermined by his rocky personal life, helped make the series among the highest rated in Hong Kong. Known for his extremely deep tan, Koo played cool, distant men in dramas and irresponsible ones in romantic comedies; however, after more appearances, he branched out, portraying strong, silent types devoted to family. Exactly this sort of evolution can be seen in two crime dramas directed by Johnnie To--"Election" in 2005 and its sequel, "Triad Election" in 2006, where Koo's gangster character grows increasingly protective of his children's future. On the flip side is his performance as a drug-addicted father in 2007's drug drama "Protégé," so effective that it earned award nominations in Asia. While not an action hero, he did co-star in the action comedy "Robin-B-Hood" (alongside Jackie Chan) and Donnie Yen's 2007 action film "Flash Point," lending gravitas to both projects.