Retired actor Thomas Ong used to live in his car, showered at 'cheap country club' for 4 months

Ong has since retired from showbiz.

Karen Lui | March 19, 2021, 06:18 PM

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With over 26 years of acting experience and over 40 television shows under his belt, Singaporean actor Thomas Ong has come a long way since his early days as a flight-steward-turned-model with no acting experience or training.

Unlike many of his colleagues, Ong has avoided making variety appearances in his career.

Quan Yi Fong's talk show, "Hear U Out", marks Ong's second variety appearance.

In part one of the episode, the 52-year-old discussed his early days of his career with Quan and his financial troubles after leaving the television scene in 2000.

Screenshot via meWATCH.

Being homeless in between places

After leaving Mediacorp in 2000, Ong dabbled in a business that involved corporate gifts and events.

Ong admitted that he encountered some setbacks when attending to business dealings but remained optimistic about them, viewing them as "life experiences".

During the interview, Ong recalled a specific six-month period which was particularly difficult for him.

Screenshot via meWATCH.

To justify why he found himself in that position, he described himself as someone who's "a little too easygoing" and "messy" in life, he "didn't have any goals" so even until today, he's "still like this".

As Ong likes living in different places, he was constantly moving homes. He would buy a place, sell it, and then rent another place, and repeat the cycle.

One time, Ong found himself without a home. He had let go of the place he was renting but he had not received the keys to his new place.

Ong resorted to living in his car for four months and drove around to the beach or to a friend's place to stay or just sleep in the car for a night.

The retired actor also shared that he found a cheap "country club", which he described with air quotes, where he would take a shower and swim.

Screenshot via meWATCH.

Initially, he did not have any debt.

He added that he did not have much money on-hand and disclosed that his bank account probably only had a few thousand dollars at that time.

Over the span of four to five months, his savings reduced gradually until there was none. He then turned to his credit cards, which he used and accumulated "some credit card debt".

"Even until now, I remember that those six months were not easy for me because I almost could not get out of it."

Retirement from showbiz

In January 2020, Ong said he would be retiring from showbiz after his final project "Super Dad".

This year, the actor received a nomination for the Top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes for the Star Awards 2021. Ong then announced on Mar. 11 that he had asked to withdraw his nomination.

When a Shin Min Daily News reporter tried to reach out to Ong via a text message for a comment that same night, Ong replied that he has left the entertainment industry and does not wish to accept any interviews.

Top images via meWATCH.