Taiwanese comedian and entertainer Chu Ke-liang has died of liver failure at the age of 70, Taiwanese media reports said.
Chu died at about 5am on Monday (May 15) at National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei, after spending several weeks in hospital.
Diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2014, the comedian’s condition worsened last month after the cancer spread to his liver, reports said.
Born Hsieh Hsin-ta, Chu was known for his distinctive hairstyle and coarse humour, and was one of Taiwanese TV’s biggest stars in the 1980s. He fell out of the public eye in 1995 after he went into hiding, reportedly to avoid paying debts of more than NT$1 billion (US$35 million) racked up from gambling.
He made a comeback in 2009 with a new variety show, followed by his first music album. In 2010, he won a Golden Bell award for Best Variety Show Host, together with his co-host Rene Hou. His part as a city councilman in the 2011 hit movie Night Market Hero further cemented his comeback.
Chu was married four times and had two sons and three daughters. His second daughter, Jeannie Hsieh, a popular singer and actress, returned to Taiwan on Monday from Indonesia for her father’s funeral, reports said.