“I cried a long time,” he told The Times, recalling the first time he saw the film, “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is.”
Mr. Kwok won a pair of Elvis-impersonation contests in the early 1980s, The South China Morning Post reported, but local Chinese fans often mistook him for an imitator of other famous musicians — a Beatle, say, or Michael Jackson.
By 1992, Mr. Kwok had quit his job and branded himself the “Cat King,” the Chinese moniker for Elvis. He had also set his sights on an easier quarry: Western expatriates and tourists.
His guitar was sometimes out of tune, his self-taught English a bit rough. (His business card misspelled Presley’s first name.)
Still, he earned a living, and said that being Elvis beat factory work. Some revelers came to know him as Melvis — no relation to Relvis, an impersonator in the United States — or the “Lan Kwai Fong Elvis,” a reference to a nightlife district where he often performed.
Mr. Kwok died at the end of a year in which coronavirus infections in live music venues had led the government to close them for months on end, emptying the sidewalks of his potential customers. Ms. Ma said that he had spent much of his pandemic downtime watching Elvis videos and playing guitar in his apartment.
Mr. Kwok is survived by his wife, Anna, and their son and daughter.
His wife, who was also his manager, told The Times in 2010 that she had not initially supported his campaign to be Elvis. “But then I was moved by his persistence and devotion to the job,” she said.
It’s hard to find a job one loves, she added. “Now that he’s found it, I am happy to support him.”