Chinese Kung Fu film pioneer Run Run Shaw dies, aged 107

The Shaw Brothers Studios he founded produced almost 1,000 films and is largely credited for bringing the martial arts genre to a commercial audience

Hong Kong film pioneer Run Run Shaw, the man who helped bring kung fu movies to the mainstream, has died, aged 107.

Shaw founded the Shaw Brothers Studios in 1967 and remained its chairman until 2011. The studios produced almost 1,000 films and is largely credited for bringing the martial arts genre to a commercial audience.

“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,” Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung said.

He went on to describe Shaw as “an elder that we very much respect”.

Shaw will no doubt be remembered for launching the careers of stars Chow Yun-fat and Maggie Cheung, among others, as well as inspiring the likes of big-name directors such as Quentin Tarantino.

He was originally born in Shanghai, and worked with his brothers to open cinemas across Singapore and Malaysia.

He moved to Hong Kong in the 1950s where he founded his own production company. He later launched the Movie Town studio, where he produced scores of films a year, including 1962 drama The Magnificent Concubine and the 1967 movie One-Armed Swordsman, the latter of which broke Hong Kong box office records.

In 1974, he was honoured by the Queen for his services to film.

Shaw soon moved into co-production on a number of American blockbusters, including US Sci-Fi classic, Blade Runner.

Later in his career, he changed tact and focused his attention on television, building up the TVB network to become Hong Kong’s biggest Chinese language broadcasters.

He was also a philanthropist and the founder of the Shaw Prizes, which honour stand-out individuals in Asia for their achievements in the sciences.

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