Vietnamese Actor Dies at 83, Renowned for His Work

People’s Artist Tran Phuong is a famous film actor and director of Vietnamese films. With his role as A Phu in “A Phu and His Wife”, a classic movie of Vietnamese revolutionary cinema, he has fully carved his name among talented artists.

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It has been fifty-six years since the release of the film “A Phu and His Wife” in 1959. However, Tran Phuong, a valued member of the film crew, continues to hold vivid memories of his participation in its production. Despite the passage of time and his own aging, he distinctly recalls his portrayal of a determined young ethnic Mong man.

The actor was filled with immense joy as he graciously shared the completed film with the Mong villagers of Hong Ngai Commune in Bac Yen District, Son La Province. The villagers warmly embraced him, proudly declaring, “He is truly a cherished member of our community!”


“A Phu and His Wife” is the most successful movie that People’s Artist Tran Phuong participated in.
Photo: Tat Son/VNP

People’s Artist Tran Phuong in the movie “The Border”. Photo: Tat Son/VNP

In “The Mass”. Photo: Tat Son/VNP

In the “Call from the Front”. Photo: Tat Son/VNP

Tran Phuong recently recounted the obstacles he and his fellow colleagues encountered during the filming of the movie. Specifically, in order to accurately portray the character of A Phu, he diligently honed his horse riding skills.

The artist confidently displayed a prominent scar on his forehead as he recounted the fateful day he obtained it during his horse riding lessons.

“A Phu is a tenacious and nimble ethnic Mong individual, proficient in navigating through mountains and forests on horseback. Prior to assuming the role, the actor diligently sharpened his equestrian skills for an entire month,” revealed the actor.

The production team acquired a horse specifically for training purposes. However, the horse turned out to be extremely aggressive, posing a challenge for mounting. On one occasion, the actor did manage to successfully mount the horse, but it quickly threw him off, leaving him with a significant head scar.

The Mong people had a distinctive method of horseback riding that excluded the use of bridles. This posed a challenge for Phuong, especially when traversing through streams. However, he ingeniously devised a solution by employing a rope secured around the horse’s mouth. This technique effectively influenced the horse to obediently respond to his commands during rides.

To fully immerse themselves in the roles, the actor and his colleagues chose to live among the villagers. This allowed them to gain a deep understanding of the locals’ daily routines and traditions, enabling them to deliver authentic performances.

Tran Phuong’s outstanding performance as A Phu in the film received widespread acclaim from film critics and commentators. His remarkable skill in navigating through forests and mountains on horseback greatly enhanced the success of the movie.

According to the actor, the movie’s major success lies in its heartfelt portrayal of the ethnic villagers. The actor emphasized their seamless integration into the community, thanks to their equestrian skills and fluency in the locals’ Mong language.


People’s Artist Tran Phuong (Sept. 2014). Photo: Tat Son/VNP

People’s Artist Tran Phuong has won respect and love from his colleagues. Photo: Tat Son/VNP

People’s Artist Tran Phuong has greatly contributed his part to Vietnam’s revolutionary movie industry.
Photo: Tat Son/VNP

Despite being older, People’s Artist Tran Phuong continues working on new movies. Photo: Tat Son/VNP

Tran Phuong, a highly acclaimed actor, garnered significant praise for his remarkable performances. Notably, he captivated audiences with his roles as Son in the renowned film “The Sea is Calling” (1967), Khiem in “Call from the Front” (1969), Tiep in “The Mass”, and Luc in “Luc and his Wife”. Expanding his talents, Tran Phuong successfully transitioned into the role of a film director, continuing to achieve remarkable accomplishments.

Tran Phuong, renowned for his remarkable contributions to the field, was awarded the esteemed title of “People’s Artist” in 2001. His exceptional work in films, including “Last Hope,” “Last Crime,” and “A White-Flower River,” earned him a State-level Award of Literature and Arts in 2007. These prestigious accolades serve as a testament to his immense talent and unwavering dedication to his craft.


Story: ThaoVy – Photos: Tat Son