In an increasingly tragi-comic story, one-time Canto-rocker Yu Zhenhuan, one of my favorite near-celebrities, made headlines again recently when he went in for some laser hair removal .
Born in 1978 in Shengyang, in the chilly province of Liaoning, Yu Zhenhuan spent the early part of the 2000s rocking out. He learned to play the guitar and saxophone, wanting to be a classic triple threat of playing, singing and writing his own songs. Although his websites have since been taken down, a few images crop up now and then showing us how he wows the ladies.
By all accounts, Yu Zhenhuan is a real sweet guy, and is spending some time looking for love like everyone else after breaking up with his girlfriend of three years. ““I feel like King Kong” he told website Zhejiang Online “Hideous, but with a soft and tender heart”. Don’t we all!
In 2007, he made a great attempt to be part of China’s Olympic build-up by starting a campaign to participate in the traditional pre-Olympic torch relay.
There’s no word on when he’ll return to movies, the last one he did being a child star in the 1984 “A Hairy Child’s Adventure” which tragically isn’t on IMDB or available on DVD. He doesn’t say which role he had, but we think it might have been the lead. It was tough that year, going up against international blockbusters like Ghost Busters, Purple Rain and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Oh, don’t forget! Yu Zhenhuan was a one-time Guinness Book of World Records holder as the world’s hairiest man back in 2002, because he’s got hair covering 96% of his body. He lost the title to two Mexican brothers, Victor and Gabriel Ramos Gomez, who have hair covering 98% of their bodies, but he’s still a winner in our book. Besides, after the first 95%, you’re really just splitting hairs.
Yu Zhenhuan has a condition called atavism, but he doesn’t let that slow him down, and he takes ownership of it. It wasn’t easy as child, because people would point for some reason. Today he sees it as a mark of pride, something that really sets him apart and makes him unique. Yu Zhenhuan dares to be different. And in the old days, having a lot of hair was a real sign of masculinity!
Previously, he had to have some treatments to remove some hair from his ears and nose. It was a close shave. Before his four hour ear operation, he had problems hearing conversations under 40 decibels. Now Yu Zhenhuan can hear over 20 decibels. But if he hadn’t had the operation, an infection in his inner ears might spread to his brain if they hadn’t done something about it.
Unfortunately, it would appear Yu Zhenhuan's latest surgery is part of a tragic effort to show up a director who rejected him for a role as the Monkey King in an upcoming retelling of the classic Chinese story. Word has it he's even planning on some more radical plastic surgery to make the director regret his decision. Here's hoping he doesn't end up on www.awfulplasticsurgery.com.
Yu Zhenhuan is keeping mum about when he’s going to drop his next album, but I imagine it will show up on iTunes any day now!