- POSTED: 07 Jan 2014 19:19
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The late film mogul Run Run Shaw was indirectly responsible for grooming countless stars like Chow Yun Fat and Andy Lau, and making them the big names they are today.
SINGAPORE: What do some of today’s biggest stars like Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Andy Lau have in common?
They all indirectly owe their success to the late Run Run Shaw, who died at home on Tuesday at the age of 107.
After launching Hong Kong broadcast giant TVB in 1967, Shaw went on to start a training programme at TVB to groom aspiring entertainers in 1971.
Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Andy Lau, as well as stars like Aaron Kwok and Stephen Chow all got their start as trainees in the programme.
Many of them would go on to star in iconic TVB dramas like “The Bund” (1980) and “Return of the Condor Heroes” (1983), before entering the film industry.
During Shaw’s time at TVB, the station also ushered in what many describe as “The Golden Age of Hong Kong television”, producing immensely popular dramas like “The Shell Game” (1980), which boosted the popularity of its stars Patrick Tse and Liza Wang, along with “The Greed of Man” (1992), which gave actor Sean Lau his big break.
Even before he set up TVB, Shaw was already a star-maker.
Shaw Brothers Studio, which he founded with his brother Runme Shaw in 1930, produced numerous films that shot their leading men and leading ladies to fame.
Hong Kong actors Ti Lung, Gordon Liu and veteran actress Cheng Pei Pei all became famous after appearing in the martial arts films produced by the film studio at the time.
Apart from helping many of today’s biggest names get to where they are today, the late Run Run Shaw also helped the less fortunate through his philanthropic work.
The Shaw Foundation, which he set up in 1973, has since donated billions of Hong Kong dollars to educational institutions, hospitals and charitable causes.
In 2002, he established The Shaw Prize, which awards outstanding scientists in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, and life science with up to US$1 million (S$1.27 million) each.
In 2008, Shaw donated HK$100 million (S$16.3 million) to the victims of the Sichuan Earthquake, the largest amount donated by an individual to help the victims of the disaster.