Run Run Shaw, a Hong Kong movie producer who was one of the most influential figures in Asia’s entertainment industry and is credited with popularizing the kung-fu genre in the West, died at the age of 106 on Tuesday.
The cause of his death was not revealed, but he died at his home in Hong Kong surrounded by his family, his company, Television Broadcasts Limited, or TVB, said in a statement.
“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,” the statement said.
Shaw formed the television station TVB in 1967 and served as its executive chairman until 2011. TVB served as a launching pad for many stars, and it remains a driving force in Hong Kong's entertainment industry.
His Shaw Brothers Studios, founded and operated along with his brother Runme Shaw, was the largest movie production company in Hong Kong. He also created “Movietown,” a studio-cum-residential complex in Hong Kong, where his actors worked and lived.
Shaw was born Shao Ren Leng in Ningbo, China, but the exact year of his birth remains a mystery. While some reports say he was born on Nov. 23 in 1907, other reports claim he was born a year earlier, and his family has refused to clarify the issue.
Over a career spanning eight decades, Shaw popularized Chinese kung-fu films in the West. He also produced a handful of U.S. films, including “Blade Runner” and the 1979 disaster thriller “Meteor.”
According to reports, the “Celestial’s Shaw Brothers Film Library” consists of 760 feature films, making it the world’s largest Chinese film library. It is operated by Hong Kong-based Celestial Pictures.
In later life, Shaw spent more time on charity and philanthropic activities.