Former TV star Chen Xiuhuan never allowed her children to watch the dramas – and why you probably shouldn’t either

Former TV actress Sherry Tan quit show business and did not talk about her past career with her daughters


Ms Sherry Tan’s daughters grew up not having any idea that she was one of the biggest local TV stars of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Better known as Chen Xiuhuan, she quit show business in 1995 to get married and be a full-time housewife. After she had children, she never spoke to them about her former career.

In fact, her three daughters – Shanisse, 17, Shalynn, 15, and Shavinne, 11 – almost never watch TV. When they were younger, they were banned from switching on the goggle box – “not even for cartoons”, says Shanisse – and the rare times that they did get to watch TV, they tuned in to documentaries.

Ms Tan, a self-professed tiger mum, says in Mandarin: “I was strict about that because I wanted them to watch only really good, educational programmes.

“To them, I’m just their mother, not any sort of celebrity mum. So when people recognised me on the streets and called out my name, they used to be very puzzled and asked if those strangers were my friends.”


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