Taiwanese actor Ryan Tang’s descent into debt and homelessness

By Thanh Thanh, Linh Le   July 2, 2024 | 03:00 pm PT
Ryan Tang, a once celebrated Taiwanese actor, is now homeless and facing significant debts, including unpaid rent.
Taiwanese actor Ryan Tang. Photo from Tangs Facebook

Taiwanese actor Ryan Tang. Photo from Tang's Facebook

China Press reports that over the past month, the actor has been seen wandering, speaking incoherently, and appearing frightened when approached. On June 28, he was observed shirtless, displaying a gaunt physique, and was incoherent during interactions with passersby.

Individuals who have spoken with him reported that he expressed a desire to return to his birthplace Thailand, and repeatedly denied his mother’s recent death. A fan offered him a job, housing, and a medical checkup, all of which he declined.

Previously, Tang caused disturbances in stores, collided with other cars, and had encounters with the police. He even knelt in front of a broadcasting station, begging for a role in a film.

According to Sinchew, Tang’s mother died on June 3 at age 73 in her rental home. Tang, however, told the police the deceased was not his mother and did not claim the body for burial. During the questioning, he seemed mentally unstable but denied suffering from alcoholism or depression.

Zaobao reports that his management company has been attempting to reach him daily. Tang refuses offers for medical help from his company, believing he does not have any health issues. The company said it has reached out to the Department of Health, legal authorities, the Performing Arts Association, and other relevant organizations for assistance.

"At the moment, Tang’s work is on hold," they stated. "We hope everyone can give him the time and space to adjust himself."

The company also advanced him payment for two guest roles he had filmed and acknowledged that many fans have expressed a desire to donate money to assist him, though it has not yet decided to accept any donations.

Singaporean news outlet 8days reported that Tang’s mother’s body is at a funeral home. If unclaimed by July 8, the parlor will proceed with her funeral as an "unclaimed body." The company is trying to claim her body for a funeral, but faces challenges as local laws require that only blood relatives can retrieve the body of a deceased.

Tang, 46, began his career as a model before transitioning to acting. He has appeared in over 20 films and TV series, including prominent roles in "The Hospital," "Hana Kimi," and "Tokyo Juliet."

He has struggled with alcoholism for years, owns no significant assets and currently owes three months' rent and debts to friends. His most recent project was a guest role in a series on Taiwan’s Da Ai TV channel, but he was replaced so he could focus on resolving his personal issues.

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