Run Run Shaw, Kung Fu Movie Heavyweight, Dies Aged 107
The Kung Fu movie pioneer and entertainment mogul has died in Hong Kong.
Sir Run Run Shaw has died aged 107 (the BBC reports, although his Wikipedia birthdate would suggest he was 106) in his Hong Kong home as his fruitful life came to a peaceful end, confirms TV station Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB). Mr. Shaw made his name as one of the pioneers of Kung Fu movies, bringing the genre into the mainstream, as well as with his generous philanthropic activities.
Born in Ningbo in China on the 23rd November 1907 (this has been disputed), Mr. Shaw started out working with his brothers to open cinemas across Singapore and Malaysia but branched out with his own production company, The Shaw Brothers, upon moving to Hong Kong in the 1950s.
In the 60s, his cinema dominance of South-East Asia began when he opened Movie Town, a huge, state-of-the-art studio in Hong Kong employing 1,500 staff and making 40 films a year, most of them featuring Kung Fu and the triad gangs.
The Shaw Brothers Studio made more than 1,000 films, including The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, the box office smash The One Armed Swordsman, The Five Fingers of Death and the award-winning drama The Magnificent Concubine, nurturing up-and-coming directors such as John Woo and inspiring Quentin Tarantino.
Before Mr. Shaw switched his focus to television, he moved into US movie co-production, which included working on the US classic Blade Runner.
Shaw also helped found Hong Kong's dominant broadcaster, TVB, whose popular programmes and operas became immensely popular and is credited with giving movie stars Chow Yuen-fat, Tony Leung, Stephen Chow and Andy Lau their acting break.
Watch The 'The Magnificent Concubine'  Trailer:
Nicknamed 'Uncle Six' as he was the sixth of seven siblings, Mr. Shaw was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1977 for his public service as a long-time backer of the Red Cross. Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung described him as "an elder that we very much respect."
"Sir Run Run Shaw has for a long time promoted the entertainment industry in Hong Kong, his philanthropy also has spread from Hong Kong to China and beyond," he said.
Run Run Shaw is survived by his wife, Mona Fong, and his two sons and two daughters.