Goodbye Run Run Shaw, A Cinema Great

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Today the world says goodbye to a giant of the movie industry. Sir Run Run Shaw has died, leaving behind him a wake of great achievements. That includes the career of Bruce Lee and the production of Blade Runner. Yes, now we definitely have your attention…

You might not have ever heard of Run Run Shaw, one half of the Shaw Brothers. But you have certainly seen his work, which made stars of actors like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The Shaw Brothers practically created the modern Kung Fu genre and also cemented Chinese and Hong Kong cinema on the world stage. Run Run Shaw died today at the age of 107.

Shaw and his brother created over 1,000 movies – including the epic 36th Chamber of Shaolin. In case you were wondering: yes, that is the influence of the Wu Tang Clan album (and one of the greatest kung fu movies ever made).

Dubbed the father of kung fu cinema, Shaw spent over 80 years in the movie industry, retiring only as the chairman of Shaw Bros at age 104. He and his brother, Runme Shaw, created Hong Kong’s biggest television station and also produced over 1,000 Chinese movies. Practically everyone in the industry – from Bruce Lee to Jet Li and Sammo Hung – can thank the Shaws for their careers. And the West can thank him for Blade Runner: after the movie’s controversial production lost key backers, it was Shaw – through the influence of his son – that gave the major financial support to Ridley Scott’s scifi epic. Shaw was also a die-hard fan of Mr. Bean.

Run Run Shaw outlived his brother, who died in 1985, by quite a few years. After retiring, he became a philanthropist and also launched the Shaw prize, China’s version of the Nobel prize. He died peacefully at home with his family by his bedside.

Last Updated: January 7, 2014

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it's something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway - even video nasties need love...

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