Aloysius Pang’s acting career started early and he made his television debut at the age of nine.
As a boy, he played roles in dramas such as Xiao Fei Ren, Bukit Ho Swee and A Child’s Hope; the last earned him a Young Talent Award nomination at the 2003 Star Awards.
But being a child actor was tough on the young star, and he struggled with being teased and bullied in school.
“I had people coming up to me and saying, ‘Do you think people like you because you are good looking or a nice person? They like you because you are on TV.’ It just gets imprinted on your heart,” he recalled in a 2015 interview. At 14, he called Mediacorp and “told them to take my file out and never call me again”.
But in 2012, having earned a diploma in management studies from the Singapore Institute of Management, he decided to return to acting with a role in the film Timeless Love, directed by Dasmond Koh, followed by Channel 8 dramas Poetic Justice, It Takes Two and C.L.I.F. 2.
His kindness and love for others is something I will always remember him by.
After officially rejoining the fold, he clinched the Star Award for Best Newcomer in 2015. That year, he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as a sociopath serial killer in crime drama Against The Tide, a role he relished.
Pang was scheduled to start work next month on upcoming Channel 8 drama My One In A Million, which would have marked his first lead role.
FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES MOURN
The actor died on Wednesday (Jan 23) evening at the age of 28, after sustaining injuries during a Singapore Armed Forces training exercise in New Zealand.
He had been on reservist training and was carrying out repair works inside an artillery gun when he sustained injuries to the chest and abdomen on Jan 19.
Fellow actors expressed shock and sorrow at the news.
Frequent collaborator Carrie Wong told CNA Lifestyle: “I had said I would see him soon for our upcoming show in February. I still can’t accept the fact that he is gone. I would like to tell him that he has always spared a thought for other people.
I’m not saying goodbye because we will meet again.
“I will continue living his dream for him. I’m not saying goodbye because we will meet again," she added, describing him as her favourite co-star.
“Aloysius was one of a rare breed of people who would actually stop and care – with actions and not wanting a single bit of attention or anything in return,” said Felicia Chin.
“That spoke volumes about who he was, and his kindness and love for others is something I will always remember him by.”
“This is really tragic and hard to accept. He was such a good person. My heart breaks and my deepest, deepest love and condolences go to his family, who he loves so much.”
Elvin Ng, who starred alongside Pang in the drama I’m In Charge, described his friend as “unassuming and unaffected”; “a fine young man” with “wisdom and maturity beyond his tender age.” Ng said: “He always had a presence, and in this final curtsy, he made sure his presence was greatly felt – deep and heartfelt – to stay with us for the rest of our lives like a shooting star, who will be remembered for lighting and setting the night sky aglow.”
Jayley Woo, who revealed via social media the two had been dating, said simply: “He’s one in a … ever.”
Celebrities have been flooding their social media feeds with words of mourning and tribute.
“Aloysius was one of the few young actors that I actually admired - humble and always had his feet planted firmly to the ground (sic),” wrote Tay Ping Hui, who had first worked with Pang when the latter was a child, in the drama A Child’s Hope.
I will miss you, my brother forever.
"As brothers, you did so much for me. And before I could do anything for you, you left, just like that," wrote fellow NoonTalk artiste Xu Bin. "I will miss you, my brother forever."
Zoe Tay, who worked with Pang in You Can Be An Angel, wrote: “Once, when we were filming on location, you very thoughtfully gave me a ride in your car. Even though it was out of your way, you said it gave you a rare opportunity to chat with me.
"You shared how you were so rebellious when you were younger that your family didn’t know what to do with you… (At 25) you were mature, likeable, serious about your work; a good actor with a good attitude. All the cast and crew praised and admired you."
NOT JUST IN IT FOR THE FAME
Besides turning in acting performances that earned acclaim, Pang had other creative interests, directing a music video for fellow Noontalk artiste Gavin Teo, and releasing a ballad of his own.
In his free time, he placed emphasis on self-enrichment, taking up piano, guitar, boxing and sign language, among other skills.
“I want to write songs, direct, have my own business, publish a book of poetry, write my own drama script and a movie. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish,” he had said.
“I’m not a person who is looking for fame or luxury. It’s the process — when you’re on set, you just feel you want to do well.”