Thanks to the ubiquity of camera phones and social media, it’s super easy to find out what retired celebrities are up to these days even if it’s been years since they were last in the spotlight. However, one erstwhile heartthrob has miraculously managed to avoid any public exposure whatsoever since he left the industry almost three decades ago.
Not too long ago, a so-called “recent photo” of former Taiwanese singer-actor Liu Wen Cheng (also known as Steven Liu) began circulating on the internet. The now-68 year old was one of the hottest Mandopop stars in the '70s and '80s, and has even been hailed as the ‘First Ancestor of Idols’ ‘cos he was such a huge influence on the first generation of male singers in China.
However, in 1991, Wen Cheng quit showbiz completely and immigrated to the United States, where he has been leading a quiet and extremely low-key life ever since. It’s no wonder that “recent photo” of him caused such a stir, as it’s been a long time since fans had seen any updates about him.
Alas, it turned out to be fake.
Taiwanese media discovered that it was actually an old photo of Wen Cheng that had been put through an app’s ageing filter. The original pic was posted on a Wen Cheng fan account on Weibo to wish him to wish him a happy birthday on November 12.
According to reports, the last piece of news on Wen Cheng’s whereabouts comes from a netizen who claimed to have seen the super elusive star at a hypermarket in America several years ago. However, he left in a hurry and stopped visiting the store, showing just how much he wants to protect his privacy (or maybe he just didn’t like the stuff there).
Despite enjoying a smooth rise to stardom and finding success with both his music and movies, Wen Cheng decided to retire at the peak of his career and made his first move to the US in 1984. He returned to Taiwan two years later to set up his own record label, where he groomed young talents such as Annie Yi, Eric Moo, and Fang Wen Lin. Wen Cheng folded the company when he moved back to the States — this time for good, it seems — in 1991.