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Obituary: Austin Wai, Brother of Kara Hui, Dies at 55

By on October 5, 2012

Obituary: Austin Wai, Brother of Kara Hui, Dies at 55 thumbnail

Hong Kong actor, Austin Wai (惠天賜), the older brother of award-winning actress, Kara Hui (惠英紅), was found dead in his Beijing home on October 4. He was 55 years old.

Kara Hui confirmed the news on her Weibo on the evening of October 4, and wrote solemnly, “I am sad, very sad. Have a good journey, big brother. A really, really good one.”

Austin Wai was the student of Madame Fan Guk Fa (粉菊花), a Peking opera singer and China’s first female martial arts actress. In the 1970s, Austin began filming movies for Shaw Brothers, and he quickly became one of Hong Kong’s most famous martial arts stars at the time. In 1982, Austin joined TVB, but left the station after filming his last television drama, Bing Kuen <兵權> in 1988.

In 1996, Austin married Hong Kong singer and actress, Betty Lai (斑斑), but divorced in 2001. The couple has one son.

Austin semi-retired from his acting career and moved to Beijing permanently a few years ago to focus on his businesses.

It was known that Austin had been suffering from health problems since moving to Beijing, and on September 21, Austin updated a post on his Weibo, which was also the last post before his death. The post read, “It’s not that I don’t want to update anymore, but I’ve been really sick lately. First, it is arthritis, and then half a month later, I began coughing a lot. First breathing problems, then hormonal problems, then problems with my ears, nose, and throat. I went to the doctor many, many times. In the end, it was none of them. I went to the pharmacist and grabbed medicine, with recommended dosage for five days. I got better in two days. I am frustrated!”

Kara had kept in close contact with Austin since he moved to Beijing. Several days ago, Austin did not pick up any of Kara’s calls. Worried, but unable to leave Hangzhou due to a tight filming schedule, Kara asked a friend to go to Beijing for her to visit Austin. Kara’s friend found Austin lying dead in his home. Although the cause of death is unknown, it was reported that Austin died peacefully.

Source: ihktv.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  • Readers' Comments (66)

    1. y2k says:

      R.I.P ,he one of the best wuxia actor in 1980an.

    2. Larry 3 says:

      I am sadden by his death, he was really great martial arts actor back in TVB 1980 heydays with Legend of Condor Heroes, The New Advantage of Chor Lau Heung, The Foundation, etc; lots of movies in his career. His last TV series was RTHK F.S.D. in 2010 which aired in TVB Jade channel. 55 years old, very young. He leaves behind 16 year old son.

      Too bad that they may miss-diagnose him, but it happens.

      Sad week in Hong Kong w/ those killed in the boating accident.


      • Larry 3 says:

        Clip of The New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfsC8yEMnyY

        great swordsman, martial arts.

      • exoidus says:

        Thx for the clips. Loved his character in Adventures of CLH such a classic. Last wuxia series I saw him was in a ATV production called The Reincarnated.


      • llwy12 says:

        @Larry: He also leaves behind 2 daughters from his previous marriage (he was married twice).

        Just like everyone else, I was shocked and saddened when I heard of his passing this morning on Weibo, especially since i grew up watching him on TV. The roles that he played in all those wuxia series — especially in Chor Lau Heung and also the Return of Luk Siu Fung — were all such classics!

        R.I.P. Austin!

        • HeTieShou says:

          Really?I did not know that he was married twice. Was it before the marriage with Betty Lai or after?? Who was the other person that he married??

          He was truly talented and will forever be missed… RIP Austin!

      • Larry 3 says:

        Also, Kwan Shan, a Shaw Brothers movie actor died this week.

    3. smile says:

      So, his sickness only started up when he moved to China? Maybe it’s the air?

      • HeTieShou says:

        If that was the case then he should have stayed in HK.

      • irtrustno1 says:

        And I’m sure it’s all the “fake” and “toxic” food & medicine he’s been consuming..

        • Mr.chow says:

          How dare u people take a sad event and turn it into a chance to bash China!?

          How some dignity and respect. Don’t believe all the lies gweilos tell you

        • HeTieShou says:

          Sorry Mr. Chow, but they are not lies… As you and many others know, there are sooo many stories and actual proof that many things are not good for your health in China. I don’t know if you even read or watch the news… I do agree that some people do take it too far, but you have to admit, there is some truth to it. There would not be smoke without fire…

        • trustno1 says:

          Don’t blame the “gwei lo” for everything.. Nobody will pick on china if they’re “clean”.. They’re truths and it’s mostly chinese people who had been voicing about being the victims of these toxic food, water & products. Just because your body has grown immune to the poison doesn’t mean the rest of the world is.

    4. simplitee says:

      Wow i remember watching him when i was a kid!

    5. HeTieShou says:

      Oh my gosh, what a big shock!!! I was wondering what happened to him for so many years since I have not seen him act in a long time. I am so saddened by this news. May he rest in peace and he will always be remembered by everyone. At least he left peacefully and hope that he is in a better place now. I just rewatched the Sacred Commandments recently and he was so young and handsome in there. I will miss him dearly…

    6. Kidd says:

      Wow. This is such shocking news. He’s still so young. Just saw him in a movie last year. I guess Beijing was not suitable for him.


    7. HeTieShou says:

      I think he joined TVB in 1981 since the Sacred Commandments was made in 1981. He then acted for Atv and then I do not know what he did after that…

      • pandamao says:

        sacred commandments was one of my favorite since it had him, chik mei zhan and angie chiu in them.

        sigh – i’m sad. he was so cute too!

        • HeTieShou says:

          I love the Sacred Commandments too, but not just for the cast since I love the story too. My mom loves it too and said that Austin was so young and handsome in there. Jamie and Angie were both beautiful too. I love Tong Wei as well and really miss seeing him in series.

    8. aptos says:

      RIP…based on his ailments, it seem like he had problems with his lungs which led to other health problems possibly due to the fact that he was a chain smoker and heavy alcohol consumer.

    9. Funn Lim says:

      This is so sudden, so terrible. And from his post, maybe Beijing’s pollution didn’t suit his health. He should have moved elsewhere.


      • Funn Lim says:

        “Although the cause of death is unknown, it was reported that Austin died peacefully.”

        This is insanely inaccurate. No one was by his side when he died. His friend found his body. Which means no one knows whether he died peacefully or not. He could have been struggling to breath, etc. How then could anyone know if it was peaceful or not? And a sudden death can’t be peaceful. He was too young! I am sure he didn’t expected to die at 55.

      • HeTieShou says:

        Is Beijing truly that polluted?? I did not know that.. Maybe he should have moved to a place with cleaner air??

        • Nicole says:

          Yes, especially for foreigners who are not exposed to China’s level of pollution since young.
          I went there for two weeks and had hives, eczema, diarrhea and more.

        • Funn Lim says:

          I was there and I wasn’t sure if it was misty or hazy. I am sure it was more hazy than misty. I got used to the air actually but yes it was rather polluted. At the great wall it was very very misty, and the air was sorta cleaner so in the town it must have been hazy rather than misty. I heard Shanghai is worst? When I came back to KL I thought my eyesight was so clear. When I was in Beijing, some days to me feels like rather blurry looking.

        • Funn Lim says:

          I didn’t have hives, etc. It wasn’t THAT bad. It is still a beautiful city to live in. For the park itself I will brave the haze on certain days.

        • Nicole says:

          You may be used to it, as KL’s air pollution is also pretty bad.
          I can’t even walk on the street without wearing a mask and I never had asthma, and my eyes started getting red and irritated.

        • Funn Lim says:

          Ate all sorts of stuff from all sorts of vendors. Never had diarrhea once. It is far cleaner than you expected. Maybe I didn’t go to old places but even Old Beijing was cleaner than KL frankly. I heard of nightmare toilets, diarrhea because of unclean food and I was there and none of those. Except of course lazy taxi drivers, recently Malaysia was proclaimed as worst taxi service? Or 3rd worst? Clearly biased because for me Beijing tops KL. I mean both doesn’t follow metre, both overcharges, both refuses to drive to some places but Beijing taxis are so small AND the man can just stand there crossing his arm when 2 ladies heaving puffing huffing to put in the luggage. That to me is worst service.

          But met some nice ones of course. As usual it depends.

        • Funn Lim says:

          “You may be used to it, as KL’s air pollution is also pretty bad.”

          Excuse me, KL pollution is not bad. It is only bad when forest fires, etc and that is not from us. And the absolute worst was a few years ago where I wore a mask BUT that was not due to us.

        • Nicole says:

          I haven’t been to KL in a while, but I’ve always noticed the air was bad there.


          What are the pollution levels like?
          Air pollution levels are a problem in Kuala Lumpur. Forest fires, vehicle emissions and industrial pollution all detract from Kuala Lumpur’s air quality. Many expats will notice the pollution on first arrival, however it is something that your body gets used to.”

          It’s not just forest fires.

        • Nicole says:

          Actually I found the taxi drivers in beijing quite helpful and friendly, I guess they were foreigners from rural areas. they like chatting, and asked many questions, and even told me to find a husband in China. LOL

        • Selena says:

          Initially I planned to stay in Beijing for a week, but got sick on the 3rd day. I don’t trust the health system there and besides I don’t even know how to communicate with the people over there. Then, first plane back to HK.

        • Yes says:

          Where are you from, Nicole?

        • Larry 3 says:

          Beijing has not have rainfall in the last couple days, so it can’t wash the harmful health particles.

        • HeTieShou says:

          Thanks for all of the info guys. I did not know that.. I heard that people in Beijing are rude and all but did not know about the air pollution. My family fears that everything in China is fake and poisoned. They even refuse to buy anything food product that is made in China for fear of poisoning. China’s economy may really go down if they continue to do what they are doing.

        • Mr.chow says:

          China is not all poison and pollution and whatever evil lies gweilo made up

        • HeTieShou says:

          @Mr Chow,
          Do you live in China?? You once again are very anti foreigner… I feel sorry for your kids…

    10. shu says:

      r.i.p, an great actor with huge charisma, i remember him in the ancient serie the Grand Canal with Tony Leung of tvb and many other wuxia series.an unforgetable hero.

      • Cm says:

        Who did he play in The Grand Canal?

        • llwy12 says:

          I’m pretty sure he wasn’t in The Grand Canal…I think the person might have remembered wrong…

          His most ‘famous’ performances in TVB series were in LOTCH, The Foundation, New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung, Return of Luk Siu Fung….he was in other series too, but those ones were the most memorable.

        • HeTieShou says:

          I think many have forgotten that he played Qiao Feng/Kiu Fung in the Taiwanese version of TLBB. Eddie Kwan played Duan Yu, but sadly that was a VERY bad adaption…

      • shu says:

        i cant remember the name but he play one of the generals under tony leung

        • HeTieShou says:

          I have seen the Grand Canal many times and remember that he was not in there… Unless, he played a VERY minor role that it was hard to remember.

        • irtrustno1 says:

          That was not Austin Wai.. The guy who played Tony Leung’s subordinate was Jimmy Au and he’s still alive and well and still w/ TVB.

    11. lol says:

      OMG! i’m sad…he was one of my favorite actor when i was a kid.

    12. skinnymocha says:

      Gosh… May he rest in peace.

    13. happybi says:

      So sad.. he is forever the “中原一點紅” I hope he died peacefully and may he rest in peace.

    14. apple says:

      If any one has lung problem, nose sensitive or difficulty in breathing , if to walk at Beijing street is better to wear a mask in order not to get infected by the polluted air can’t help it coz too many industries & factories over there.

      • apple says:

        Shanghai air is not that bad only more windy compared to Beijing. Shanghai is called the East of Paris so you can imagine whether is beautiful or not.

    15. ita says:

      i always thought he is so cool and handsome, but what happen with the above photo?? he look so old, well i know he is 55 but could have a nicer photo. After all it’s obituary a nice and handsome photo of him would leave better memory , no?.

      He could have been misdiagnose. RIP.

    16. ita says:

      No one portray yat din hong better than him. He is always yi dian hong.

    17. gwen says:

      china is a big country..very very big country…dont let a few bad hats and bad products destroy china’s image..perhaps there is a propaganda group out there jealous of the country’s booming economy and out to destroy it by highlighting the bad issues in the country only….

    18. ping0 says:

      I am so sad! I really like him! Loved watching him in the 80’s , one of my fav! R.I.P. I never knew Kara was his sister, they seem to have such a good relationship. :(

    19. Larry 3 says:

      “Rumors” speculating weight loss is the cause of his death?

    20. Larry 3 says:

      Never know he is a twin sister of Kara Hui. He is older.

    21. aptos says:

      Propaganda is China’s middle name as the politicians and government often distort or hide the “facts” from their oppressed citizens. Tiananmen Square’s incident comes to mind as well as the Falun Gong. Many HK people dislike the China’s government to meddle in HK affairs. Unfortunately, money is the name of the game, for survival, many businesses have to go into China for increased revenue opportunities. Case in point is the movie industry and the many artists.

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