Don’t Worry, Be Happy Veteran Actor Mak Ho Wai (Lao Hero) Dies at 76


Veteran Mak Ho Wai is best known for his role as Lao Hero in the popular Channel 8 sitcom Don’t Worry, Be Happy.

He died at his home in Singapore at the age of 76.

Confirmed by HK Actress Michelle Yim

Hong Kong actress Michelle Yim, a close friend of Mak, confirmed to Hong Kong media that Mak died at his home in Singapore.

She called Mak a good husband and father who loved his family, as well as a good friend and good actor.

Hong Kong media did not confirm the cause of death, while local Chinese news outlet Lianhe Zaobao only reported that he died from an illness.

Yim posted a tribute to Mak on her Instagram, saying that Mak left behind fond memories and that he’ll be dearly missed.

Local actor Chew Chor Meng, who starred alongside Mak in Don’t Worry, Be Happy, also posted an Instagram story that read: “Forever our Lao Hero. Rest in peace.”

Image: Instagram (@chewchormeng)

Started Acting Career in TVB

Hong Kong-born Mak, also known as Mai Haowei, studied in Taiwan in his youth and obtained a degree in electrical engineering.

However, he decided to join the entertainment industry to fulfil the dreams of his younger brother, actor Mak Dai Shing. His younger brother died in an air crash in 1982.

He attended the Hong Kong broadcaster TVB’s 12th artiste training programme in 1983. Other big names in the Hong Kong entertainment industry were also in that programme, such as Sean Lau, Larence Ng, Michael Tao, Carina Lau and Sandra Ng.

Mak then went on to act in several TVB drama series from 1980s to 1990s. His memorable roles included the boss of an investment firm in The Justice of Life (1989) and a news vendor in The Greed of Man (1992).

His last role with TVB was as a prosecutor in the drama Crime and Passion in 1994.

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Moved to Singapore

After 1994, he moved to Singapore and continued his acting career here.

He played TV roles like the “Old Imp” Zhou Botong in The Return of the Condor Heroes in 1998, and the immortal Han Zhongli in Legend of the Eight Immortals from 1998 to 1999.

He was best known by Singaporeans for his role in the sitcom Don’t Worry, Be Happy. The popular sitcom ran from 1996 to 2002.


Lianhe Zaobao reported that after leaving acting, he had a job as a Mandarin-speaking docent at the National Museum of Singapore.

As for his close friends, actress Michelle Yim had met up with Mak to celebrate his birthday in 2018. They last met in early 2020, before the pandemic.

Information on his survivors was not available.

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Featured Image: meWATCH and Instagram (Michelle Yim)