News / Arts & Entertainment

Hong Kong Media Mogul Run Run Shaw Dies at 106

FILE - Hong Kong tycoon Run Run Shaw attends the Run Run Shaw prize presentation ceremony in Hong Kong, Sept. 28, 2010.
FILE - Hong Kong tycoon Run Run Shaw attends the Run Run Shaw prize presentation ceremony in Hong Kong, Sept. 28, 2010.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Hong Kong media mogul Sir Run Run Shaw, who created an empire throughout Asia spanning movies and television, died on Tuesday at the age of 106, his company, Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), said in a statement.
 
Shaw died peacefully at his home in Hong Kong, surrounded by family.
 
One of Hong Kong cinema's defining figures, Shaw popularized Chinese kung fu films in the West and helped turn the former British colony into a “Hollywood East” over an 80-year career.
 
He set up Hong Kong's biggest free-to-air television operator, TVB, in 1967, and served as its executive chairman until 2011, helping to shape the city's media culture.
 
A passionate film-lover from an early age, legend has it that Shaw first cut his teeth in the business by distributing film reels on a bicycle to rural cinemas in Singapore and Malaysia, giving poignancy to his name “Run Run”.
 
His early days also saw him help his elder brothers Runje, Runde and Runme set up a film studio in Shanghai in 1925. The brothers later moved into Hong Kong, making and distributing films to a chain of around 100 cinemas spread across other Asian markets such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
 
Shaw eventually split from his brothers to set up his own studio in the 1950s. Dubbed the dream factory, the studio helped usher in a golden era of Hong Kong film-making.
 
Kung Fu Classics
      
The Shaw studio produced about a thousand titles, including melodramas, historical epics and kung fu classics like “The One-armed Swordsman”, helping to redefine genres and lure new cinema-goers, not only in Hong Kong and Asia but in the West as well.
 
Shaw also invested in a number of co-productions, most notably the Ridley Scott classic, “Blade Runner”, starring Harrison Ford, in 1982.
 
The studio also pioneered so-called “Wu Xia”, or swordplay genre films, which had frenetic fight scenes with mixed weapons. Ang Lee's Oscar-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is a striking modern example of the genre.
 
The Shaw influence is also evident in the films of actors Jackie Chan and John Woo, in addition to kung fu legend Bruce Lee.
 
While Shaw was famed for his business acumen and nose for spotting and grooming new talent, he famously turned away a certain brash, young actor who came to see him in the 1960s.
 
This spurned man, martial arts legend Bruce Lee, later teamed up with Raymond Chow, a former Shaw deputy-turned-rival, to make “The Big Boss” in 1971, propelling him to stardom.
 
In 1980, Shaw focused on television, becoming the chairman of TVB, which grew into a successful television and entertainment empire that still holds a deep influence on popular culture in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities.
 
In 2011, Shaw sold his entire 26 percent stake in TVB to a consortium for $807 million. He retired as chairman at the end of that year after holding the post for 30 years, and was appointed chairman emeritus.
 
Shaw is also a noted philanthropist, having donated millions to charity through his Shaw Foundation, mostly to causes in China. Hong Kong media reported that he donated more than 4.5 billion yuan to the mainland over the years, mostly in the field of education. Many hospital and school buildings in Hong Kong are named after him.
 
The tycoon also ran the so-called Shaw prize, sometimes referred to as Asia's answer to the Nobels, which rewards excellence in math, astronomy and science, with a monetary prize of $1 million for each laureate.
 
He was knighted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 1977 and received the Grand Bauhinia Medal from the Hong Kong government in 1998.
 
Popularly known as “Luk Suk” or “Sixth Uncle”, Shaw was born in 1907, the sixth child of a well-to-do family in the eastern Chinese city of Ningbo.
 
Shaw married twice. His first wife died in 1987. He is survived by his current wife, Mona Fong, two sons and two daughters.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.