They had collaborated to great success in comedies such as Fight Back To School (1991) and Justice, My Foot! (1992) but had not worked together since Shaolin Soccer in 2001.
Since the death of actor Ng Man Tat about two weeks ago, many Hong Kong media outlets have wondered if his frequent collaborator, actor-director Stephen Chow, would appear at his wake.
On Sunday (March 7), Chow, 58, turned up to pay his respects to Ng, 70, who died on Feb 27 of liver cancer.
He showed up with his elder sister Kelly Chow at about 4pm, wearing a cap and dressed in black. He was at the wake for about nine minutes and left without speaking to the media.
Ng's younger brother Ng Lee Tat told the Hong Kong media that Chow had offered his condolences to the family at the wake.
"My brother had always said he and Stephen were good friends," Ng Lee Tat was quoted as saying.
But there had been signs earlier that Chow and Ng Man Tat were less chummy than before. In past interviews, Ng said he did not fall out with Chow, but admitted that their friendship was not like before.
Chow also did not visit Ng when the latter was in hospital undergoing treatment.
Ng's wake was attended by other Hong Kong celebrities, including "Heavenly King" Andy Lau, actress Sandra Ng and director Johnnie To.
Some other celebrities sent wreaths, including the other three "Heavenly Kings" – Aaron Kwok, Jacky Cheung and Leon Lai, as well as actors Chow Yun Fat, Louis Koo, Sean Lau and Donnie Yen.
Sandra Ng, who has acted in several movies with Ng Man Tat such as All For The Winner (1990) and Royal Tramp (1992), told the Hong Kong media after attending the wake that she had wanted to work with Ng on movies in recent years, but they were unable to do so due to his busy schedule.
The 55-year-old actress said she did not take a last look at him as she wanted to remember his look when he was alive.
More than 100 fans also said their goodbyes to Ng after the wake was opened to the public at about 6pm on Sunday.
His body was cremated on Monday after his funeral, as his family said they would take his ashes back to Malaysia for burial in accordance with his wish.
Ng was married to Malaysian Hou Shan Yan, and they have two children – a daughter, 24, and a son, 18.
He had a pair of twin daughters, 42, with his first wife Mak Lee Lee. He also had a daughter, who is around 30, with former Hong Kong actress Lo Siu Chi. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network