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Run Run Shaw Dies: Hong Kong Movie Maker Behind Kung Fu Genre

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 09:01 AM

Run Run Shaw, the Hong Kong movie maker who brought rise to the 20th century Asian film industry, died on Tuesday at age 106.  He and his brother popularized the kung fu movie genre.

With his brother Runme, Shaw co-founded the Shaw Brothers film studio and reached the peak of its influence in the 1960s and 1970s, reported Variety. He founded Hong Kong's Television Broadcasts in 1967.

According to Variety, Shaw has more than 360 films to his credits, ranging from well-known martial arts movies to Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner." The Shaw Brothers 760 titles together are controlled by Celestial Pictures in Hong Kong.

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The New York Times said the Shaw Brothers were best known for capitalizing on the kung fu genre of the 1970s, as well their low-budget Chinese action and horror films.

"Going on to produce more than 1,000 films, Sir Run Run made a tremendous contribution to the development of the Chinese film industry and extended his influence to Chinese communities all over the world," Hong Kong's secretary for commerce and economic development, Gregory So told Variety in a statement. "In the 1960s, he expanded his business into the television industry and cofounded Hong Kong’s first free TV station. … Although Sir Run Run has passed away, his perseverance and enterprising spirit will live on in the hearts of Hong Kong people, just like those classic films and TV programs that he helped to produce."

The New York Times said Shaw and his brother had their hand in producing and directing while reaching into distribution with their ownership of lucrative cinema chains. The Times wrote that after Runme Shaw died in 1985, Run Run Shaw diversified his interest in television and became involved in publishing and real estate.

Shaw was praised in the two worlds that dominated Hong Kong. Queen Elizabeth II would knight Shaw for his philanthropy to educational and medical causes and was praised by Communist authorities in China, wrote the New York Times.

Shaw's companies were housed in art deco palace in Hong Kong, which the New York Times called "a cross between a Hollywood mansion and a Hans Christian Andersen cookie castle."

"Well into his 90s he attended social gatherings with a movie actress on each arm," the Times added. "And he liked to be photographed in a tai chi exercise pose, wearing the black gown of a traditional mandarin."

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Run Run Shaw, the Hong Kong movie maker who brought rise to the 20th century Asian film industry, died on Tuesday at age 106. He and his brother popularized the kung fu movie genre.
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2014-01-07
Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 09:01 AM
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