Actress Thanh Thanh Hoa – The Gold Medalist of the Prestigious Thanh Tam Award in 1961

Actress Thanh Thanh Hoa – The Gold Medalist of the Prestigious Thanh Tam Award in 1961


In the ten years from 1958 to 1967, the Thanh Tam Award, established by journalist Tran Tan Quoc, awarded the gold medals to 24 young actors. And in 2 years from 1965 to 1967, it also awarded 6 gold medals to the Artists Excellence Award.
The actors winning the gold medals were actress Thanh Nga in 1958, actress Lan Chi and actor Hung Minh in 1959, two actresses Bich Son and Ngoc Giau in 1960, and Thanh Thanh Hoa in 1961. Thanh Thanh Hoa’s real name is Nguyen Thi Hoa, and she was born in 1943. She attended the Pham The Hien elementary school in #8 district and learned how to sing the traditional music at the musician Ut Trong’s training center. Her father was a taxi driver and her mother a vendor at Nancy market. In 1955, Thanh Minh theatrical troupe established a dance group because, at that time, many Cai luong plays were performed in the combinations of poetry, singing, dancing… Musician Hoang Viet, composers Le Khanh and Nguyen Phuong were responsible for teaching singing and dancing to the group which consisted of such young actors as Thanh Nga, Thanh Thanh Hoa, Thanh Hien, Kim Anh, Kim Em, Lieu Thuan, Kim Phung, Van Minh, Van Dung (later renamed to Dung Minh Sang), Van Xi (later renamed to Nam Hung), Van Bay, Van Tay… The young Thanh Nga, Thanh Thanh Hoa, Thanh Hien, Van Dung, Van Xi, and Van Tay were good students. They learned how to dance in the morning at the theatre, and how to sing the traditional songs in the afternoon at the musician Ut Trong’s home. In the nightly shows, they took the small parts of soldiers, guards, or dancers on the stage. Sometimes they had a chance to sing one or two Vong co verses, written specifically for them to introduce their new voices to the audience. A captivating voice At that time Thanh Thanh Hoa was only 12 years old. She had a contralto voice and could sing fluently. Seeing that, I created two more children’s roles in the plays “Bien Thuy Noi Song” and “Nguoc Song Phu Luong” for Thanh Nga and Thanh Thanh Hoa to sing. Each one sang two Vong co verses. Thanh Thanh Hoa could memorize her lines very fast, and she was also good at imitating the more experienced peers’ performing styles. She was so self-confident that she could stand in for other actors if they suddenly got sick, and she could handle their roles with ease. In 1957, owner Sinh established the Tan Huong Hoa troupe, which consisted of such young actors as Thanh Thanh Hoa, Hoai Dung, Hoai My, Anh Hoa, Nam Hung, Minh Vien… He also hired experienced actors such as Minh Chi, Ba Xay, Van Khoe, Van Danh, and Anh Nguyet (Anh Hoa’s mother) to guide the younger ones. Thanh Thanh Hoa became the leading actress, and she shared the lead role with actress Hoai Dung. Entertainment magazines highly praised Thanh Thanh Hoa’s captivating voice. In 1960, the troupe owner Ba Ban, also the owner of Hoanh Son recording company, formed a Cai luong troupe called Thu Do whose leading actors were Ngoc Huong, Thanh Thanh Hoa, and Thanh Hoang (later renamed to Bo Bo Hoang). When Thanh Thanh Hoa was 17, she turned into a very beautiful girl with a low and melancholy voice. She performed alongside actors Ut Tra On and Thanh Hai, and they were good match. Thanh Thanh Hoa portrayed successfully in such plays as “Tieng Trong Sang Canh”, “Sau Quan Ai”, “Cay Quat Lua Hong”, “Cat Dung Phuong Tu”… In 1961, Ngoc Huong and Anh Hong, two beautiful and talented actresses, were selected along with Thanh Thanh Hoa to participate in the Thanh Tam Award contest. Even though Thanh Thanh Hoa had just a few years of experience, and the press did not think highly of her compared to other actors, thanks to her gifted voice and skillful performing style, which had been carefully trained by actor Ba Van, Thanh Thanh Hoa performed very well in every role required by the contest. In the end, she got the highest score and received the prestigious Thanh Tam Award in 1961. At the end of 1961, the love affair between Thanh Thanh Hoa and actor Nam Hung was exploited by the press, which tainted and consequently damaged Thanh Thanh Hoa’s performing career. Forbidden love between Thanh Thanh Hoa and Nam Hung Before going into details about the obstacles and difficulties that Thanh Thanh Hoa and Nam Hung met in their relationship, I would like to briefly go over the biography and singing career of actor Nam Hung. Nam Hung’s real name is Nguyen Van Xi. His father was a stage-worker named Xuc, and his mother a cook named Dam. Both of them worked for the Viet Kich Nam Chau troupe. Mr. Xuc was born in Quang Ngai province. In 1937, when Con Tam theatrical troupe (precursor of Viet Kich Nam Chau) went on tours to perform in the Central Viet Nam, Mr. Xuc met and fell in love with Mrs. Dam, a worker in Con Tam troupe. He left his hometown in Quang Ngai to follow Mrs. Dam to Saigon, and later worked for the Con Tam troupe. Mr. Xuc and Mrs. Dam lived together as husband and wife. Then in 1938, they gave birth to a son and named him Nguyen Van Xi (meaning that they suddenly gained a son from the Central region). Xi later became actor Nam Hung. Their second son was named Gioi (meaning good). Mr. Gioi is now the leader of Saigon 1 troupe and an active member of the Saigon Actor & Friendship Association. Xi was taught to sing traditional songs by musicians Hai Phat and Bay Phai. He was good in the roles of a little boy fighting with knife and sword. At that time, Mrs. Bay Phung Ha joined Viet Kich Nam Chau troupe, and she took the part of Pham Lai while actress Kim Lan took the part of Tay Thi. They were very well known and helped bring fame to Viet Kich Nam Chau by their portrayals in the play Tay Thi – Gai Nuoc Viet (Tay Thi – a daughter of Viet country), written by composer Nguyen Thanh Chau. Mrs. Phung Ha also taught other actors in the troupe to sing and act. Xi was one of the best in the group, so Phung Ha took him in as her god-son and gave him a stage name of Nam Hung. At that time, Viet Kich Nam Chau troupe had many famous and talented actors such as Hoang Kinh, Tam Van, Van Chung, Thanh Ky, Thanh Liem…, so the young ones hardly had many opportunities to perform. They had no choice but to join other troupes after spending a few years at Viet Kich Nam Chau to hone their skills. Among those who left were Van Chung, Thanh Huong, Le Tham, Nam Hung, Dung Minh Sang, Hoang Kinh, and Ngoc Dan. Nam Hung became an actor when he joined Tan Huong Hoa of the troupe owner Sinh. After that Nam Hung and Thanh Thanh Hoa signed a contract with Thu Do – Ba Ban troupe. This young couple together worked for the same troupe, they also performed together on stage, and they helped each other in many ways, so it was understandable and inevitable that they fell in love. When Thanh Thanh Hoa won the gold medal of the Thanh Tam Award, everyone in the show business considered that as a great honor which would give her a chance to become a famous star and to make lots of money. Her parents hoped that she would become a leading actress in a big troupe and get much more pay than that from Thu Do. They also expected that her future husband would be a leading actor, famous singer, or a successful and wealthy businessman. They were worried that if their daughter got married to Nam Hung, then Thanh Thanh Hoa would never become a leading actress, and would end up in supporting roles forever. Because of this concern, Thanh Thanh Hoa’s parents did not approve of her relationship with Nam Hung. Some show-biz journalists and friends of Thanh Thanh Hoa’s parents also had the same old-fashioned notion on love and career like that. A damaged career Because of her family’s pressure and others’ narrow-minded opinions, Thanh Thanh Hoa and Nam Hung decided to leave their troupe and run away from home to declare their love. Some other journalists, who wanted to protect the prestige image of the Thanh Tam Award and to support Thanh Thanh Hoa and Nam Hung’s true love, advised both actors to get married officially and legally. Mrs. Bay Phung Ha, Mr. Tran Tan Quoc, the troupe owner Tho, some composers and show-biz journalists persuaded Thanh Thanh Hoa’s parents to let them marry. They together contributed some money to give a wedding party for Nam Hung and Thanh Thanh Hoa at A Dong restaurant in Cho Lon. The parents of the bride and groom also attended. Among the invited guests were many famous actors in Saigon and show-biz journalists. In 1962, Thanh Thanh Hoa gave birth to a daughter and named her Thanh Thanh Tam which implied that because of the Thanh Tam Award, they got this baby. The audience’s opinions, especially the show-biz journalists’, affected so much on an actor’s future and career. They expected that a leading actress should only partner, on stage or in real life, with someone who is in the same class or level. The actors should be a matching set as in the case of Hoang Giang and Kim Giac, both of whom specialized in evil and flirtatious roles. The above belief affected so much on Thanh Thanh Hoa’s performing career. Staying with Nam Hung, Thanh Thanh Hoa slipped down from a leading actress position to a supporting one, and Nam Hung was also in the same situation. Meanwhile, other actresses such as Anh Hong and Ngoc Huong, who had been once left behind in the race to win the Thanh Tam Award in 1961, received their awards in 1962. In 1963, Bach Tuyet, Kim Loan (later became Mong Tuyen), and Truong Anh Loan were also awarded this prize. They all became leading actresses in many big troupes while Thanh Thanh Hoa faced her dismal and unfortunate fate. Translated by Onlyyou

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Nguồn tin: cailuongvietnam.com