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Tue, Jan 06, 2009
The New Paper
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How Zoe and Fann made it

Jeanette Aw's breakthrough role was in The Little Nyonya. We look at where MediaCorp's two other Ah Jies got their big break.


Who doesn't know Bobo? It was the role that took Zoe Tay to the top - where she has stayed.

The character was the lead in 1991's Pretty Faces. But unlike Ju Xiang or Yue Niang, Bobo Wu was far from virtuous. She was sluttish and materialistic and her life was harrowing too.

The scene in which she was raped by her suitor (played by Desmond Shen) was the most watched of the year, attracting more than 1 million viewers.

Zoe, despite appearing in blockbusters like The Unbeatables, would never play a character quite as memorable as Bobo.


The name Fang Ling isn't quite on the same level as Bobo. But it was Fann's breakout role.

She won Best Actress and Best Newcomer at the Star Awards for it and was immediately called the Next Big Television Star.

Fang Ling, a character in The Chronicle Of Life (1995), suffers from a tragic childhood, ends up marrying an impotent rich man, and becomes tough and unscrupulous.

Fann went on to more significant roles in The Golden Pillow, Brave New World and Return Of The Condor Heroes, but by then, she was already a star.

This article was first published in The New Paper on Jan 4, 2009.

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