Martial arts enthusiasts everywhere are currently mourning as they have just lost another star. This particular legend was best known for his work in the Shaw Brothers’ 1967 film, “The One-Armed Swordsman (獨臂刀)”.
Earlier today, it was announced that Hong Kong artist Jimmy Wang Yu (王羽, Wang Yu) passed away at age 80. His daughter, Linda Wong (王馨平) confirmed the news on Facebook.
“I would like to announce that my beloved father, Mr. Wang Yu, after six years of illness, has passed away on the morning of 5th April,” Linda stated. She went on to add that he had passed away at the age of 80. Linda spoke at length about her father, sharing that he was loyal and valued his friends. “On screen and off screen, his life was stern but chivalrous, (not to mention), brilliant,” she wrote. “With great remorse, we will always miss him. I believe that his “One-Armed Sword” (character), a handsome hero, will forever live on in film history and in the hearts of fans.”
Although Jimmy started his career in 1963, his role in “The One-Armed Swordsman” in 1967 had been the springboard which kickstarted his popularity. Many had been impressed and captivated with the ease Jimmy handled fights in the movie with only his left hand. Including the renowned film, Jimmy was involved in over 60 other films during the 1960s and 1970s. In total, the actor has accumulated almost 100 works.
Jimmy was also known for his real life fights. Some state that the actor had ties to the Triads. There were also rumours that he once stepped in to rescue fellow martial artist Jacky Chan (成龍) from a mess involving the Triads. However, regardless of his past, he still loved movies. In fact, he and Taiwanese actor Ko Chun-hsiung (柯俊雄) established a union for the industry’s martial artists and stunt doubles.
There’s no denying that he was a well respected senior in the industry. Jimmy did have 40 years under his belt after all. However, he later suffered a stroke thanks to fatigue and alcohol consumption. It left him paralysed on the left side. Nonetheless, Jimmy worked hard to recover and recover he did.
In 2011, he was shortlisted for the 48th Golden Horse Awards for “Best Supporting Actor”. Although Jimmy did not manage to win a prize then, he later nabbed his first acting award during the Taipei Film Awards in 2013. The actor, 70 at the time, had promised to make another film when he got better. Unfortunately, his health started deteriorating after that.
He fainted at an airport in Thailand in December 2015 after suffering another stroke. He had apparently been travelling alone for business reasons, despite his daughter’s reluctance. Although they managed to stabilise his condition, he remained injured. In 2016, the actor disappeared from the outside world to recuperate and his daughter had politely explained that Jimmy did not want to be disturbed.
Jimmy married and divorced twice. Although he has three daughters, Linda is the most well-known being a Cantopop singer, and seemingly the closest to her father.
Our condolences go out to his remaining family. May they find peace in his passing.
Sources: China Press, Kwong Wah, Sin Chew, Facebook (1)(2)
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