[Obituary] TVB Founder, Sir Run Run Shaw, Dies at 106 Years Old

Hong Kong media mogul Sir Run Run Shaw (邵逸夫) died at age 106 on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. The founder of Shaw Brothers film studios and TVB died peacefully in his home in Hong Kong. He is survived by his second wife, Mona Fong (方逸華), two sons and two daughters from his first wife, and 20 grand and great-grandchildren.

Born in 1907 in Shanghai, Sir Run Run was the sixth of seven children, helping him earn his nickname, “Uncle Six”.  Despite his wealthy family background, Sir Run Run believed in working hard for success. At the age of 19, he joined his brother’s film distribution business and honed his skills in film editing, cinematography, script writing, and directing. In 1926, he co-founded Shaw Brothers, which released blockbuster martial arts films that were highly popular with western audiences. By the end of the 20th century, the studio produced more than 1,000 films, earning Sir Run Run the honor as the most influential man in the Chinese film industry.

The TVB Empire

Sir Run Run’s influence in television proved to be even more expansive. He launched Hong Kong’s largest free-to-air television station, TVB, in 1967. For three decades, Sir Run Run was always at the forefront of his empire, from organizing the first Miss Hong Kong pageant in 1973 to the station’s charitable shows.

From the 1970s to the 2000s, TVB was a powerhouse that churned out family dramas that appealed to both local and international Chinese viewers. TVB produced many talents, including Chow Yun Fat (周潤發), Tony Leung Chiu Wai (梁朝偉), Stephen Chow (周星馳), and Andy Lau (劉德華), who went on to find greater success in their film careers.

An Active Philanthropist

As one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest individuals, Sir Run Run was a philanthropist who had a passion for education. He set up two funds to develop education research, medical benefits, arts and culture. He conferred honorary degrees by universities in 1974 and 1977, and received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1974 and was knighted in 1977. In 1998, he received the Grand Bauhinia Medal from the Hong Kong government for his service as the Hong Kong Affairs Adviser during the Transition Period when Hong Kong was handed back to China. In 2007, he was awarded China’s highest recognition, the China Charity Honorary Life Award for his philanthropy.

In 2004, Sir Run Run set up the Shaw Prize, awarding scientists who made achievements in the areas of astronomy, mathematics, life and medical sciences. The Shaw Prize is also widely known as the Nobel Prize of the East.

TVB Executive Chairman Norman Leung (梁乃鵬) said the entire company is mourning Sir Run Run’s death and that “TVB’s success today is only possible with Sir his wise leadership”. The funeral will take place when his family and friends arrive from overseas. Meanwhile, Sir Run Run’s body has been sent to the United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong. Details about the public memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Source: ihktv.com

This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Well he lat this long. Too bad he did not see TVB’s wrecked in the past 10+ years.

      1. No its not, he did not witness in the last 10+ years of TVB downfall. Shame on YOU!!!!

      2. TVB is still doing well shown by it’s current stock value. Your comment on a great philanthropist who have just passed away is despicable. Would you like someone to say the same thing to you if someone in your family has just died “it’s regretful that your so and so didn’t see the downfall of the family business.”

      3. TVB has not done well in the stock market either. He did not see the downfall when his 2nd wife ruin it.

    1. I agree with Mockinggenius! This is the most disgusting, stupid and shameless comment that I have ever seen in my entire life! If you don’t like TVB, don’t watch its dramas or comment on its news! Nobody forces you to do so!

      1. I seriously doubt that was the most shameless comment you’ve ever seen in your life. seriously.

      2. TVB (0511) share price is steady at HK$50.05 with a market capital of HK$21.92 billion, of course that may be small change in the pockets for you.

      3. Bull crap Mockinghole. The stock price value in 1 year period, the high was 62. Its down to 50, its going down even further.

  2. To put things into perspective, Run Run Shaw was born a subject of the Qing Dynasty of China. In fact, the last emperor of China, Fu Yi, was not that much older than he.

  3. Rest in Peace, Uncle Six! You will surely be missed!

    Uncle Six was well-known for being a good boss who took care of his employees and treated them with respect. He was one of the forerunners of the HK film industry with his Shaw Brothers Studio, which produced so many great stars. Same with TVB — one reason why TVB was able to do so well back in the 70s/80s/early 90s was because of Uncle Six’s diligent management and the personal approach he took to things. It’s unfortunate that his wife didn’t have the same vision as him and pretty much ran TVB into the ground the past 15 years…sad!

    1. According to Time Magazine it’s a family pun on the word “rickshaw.” Here’s an excerpt:

      Learning English in private schools and at the YMCA, Run Run interrupted his studies at 19 to join his three elder brothers: Zuiweng (later Runji), Cunren (Runde) and Renmei (Runme). Family legend has it that the nicknames came from their father’s English wordplay on the word “rickshaw.”


    2. Actually, the version I heard (which is the version that Run Run Shaw supposedly had told the late music lyricist James Wang in a previous interview): his English name was derived from the Mandarin pronunciation of his real name 邵仁楞 (Shao Ren Leng).

      I think this might be the more likely version of how his name was derived, since it’s the version that has come up most often in books/articles/TV programs throughout the past few decades.

  4. RIP Sir…

    on a side note, the picture of him when he was young…Hoffman Cheng resembles him quite a bit

  5. RIP. Words alone cannot express the impact Sir Run Run Shaw had on this world.

  6. Thank you Sir for bringing us decades of tvb drama entertainment to the Chinese homes. You are irreplaceable. Rest in peace.

  7. Rest In Peace Sir 安息. I grew up watching TVB dramas, thank you for making an impact in the Chinese Entertainment World ~

  8. RIP. Hope that Shaw’s legacy lives on especially the philanthropic portion. He is more revered than Stanley Ho or Li Ka Shing.

  9. RIP him. He brought the world an entertainment empire but I respect his Shaw Prize the most.

  10. He is a legendary of ent. He even spread his empire overseas to other Asian countries during his younger time together with his brothers, ppl should honor him to bring in movies and tvb.

  11. Rest in peace Sir! You will be missed by many and hope that your legacy will live on. Thanks for all of the great work and all of the happiness you bought to many people including myself. Everyone is forever grateful!

    At least he had a good long life. Even my late grandma only lived until 100.

  12. So much respect and admiration for the efforts and work that he had done,and the changes he has made for Asia’s entertainment industry. You will be missed Sir, but will enver be forgotten.

    This genius is here to stay 🙂

  13. Without the legacy of the Shaw Brothers studios, there would have been no Kung Fu theatre to inspire cousins Gza and Ol’ Dirty Bastard and hence, there would have been no Wu Tang Clan.

    Letting out a ‘suuuu’…
    Here’s to you….

  14. At age 106…he lived a long full life; a wealthy one too. There shouldn’t be any sadness about his death but celebration to his legacy. A man who created many jobs and entertainments to many peoples around the world is to be respected and recognized . I admired his sucess and passion for arts in the filming industry for HK. He will be remembered forever in the history book of arts in fiming for many generations to come. A great example and inspiration to those who desire to as successful as he was. RIP Mr. Sir.

  15. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. That sucks.
    Rest in Peace.
    You gave so many of us so much happiness and pleasure by making your own dreams come true. Not many people can accomplish that in their lives.
    I really wish you had a spiritual successor to carry on your legacy instead of the greedy pencil pushers with selfish agendas that ultimately took over.
    Bless your kind soul!

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