Run Run Shaw, who is credited with expanding the audience of the Kung Fu film genre during its Golden Age from the ’50s to the ’70s, ultimately making it a global phenomena, died at home today in Hong Kong according to the television station TVB. He was a British knight, and received the top honor in Hong Kong, the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 1998.
He was born in Shanghai in 1907 and worked with his brothers to run movie theaters and make silent films in Malaysia. They also ran a chain of amusement parks. In the 1930s, he formed first the Tian Yi Film company in Shanghai and then the South Seas Film studio in Hong Kong. Eventually, he formed the studio Movie Town which became legendary for its ability to produce multiple films a month.
Highlights include The Magnificent Concubine (1962), One-Armed Swordsman (1967 and Five Deadly Venoms (1978). Many of the films are available to watch for free online via FilmOn’s action movie on demand section including The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978).
Eventually, his activity would include work in the U.S. where he was a co-producer on sci-fi classic Blade Runner.
His TV station was one of the biggest Chinese language broadcasters ever. The station released a statement today: “With his vision and energy, he had built the company to become Hong Kong’s premier television station and a world leader in the Chinese-language television industry.”
TVB is credited with launching the career of art house master Wong Kar Wai (Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love), as well as action star Chow Yun Fat.
His life had become more and more focused on his philanthropic efforts including his own Shaw Prize for science in Asia. He is survived by two sons and two daughters and his wife, Mona Shaw (also known as Mona Fong). His first wife Lady Lily Shaw died in 1987.
Despite his massive influence worldwide, he never worked with Kung Fu cinema’s biggest star, Bruce Lee.
Watch non-stop classic Kung Fu movies via FilmOn free:
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