|Sir Run Run Shaw|
AKA Run Run Shaw
Birthplace: Ningbo, China
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Film/TV Producer, Business, Philanthropist
Executive summary: Kung fu movie mogul
Hong Kong movie mogul Sir Run Run Shaw produced more than 300 films, and helped popularize kung fu action movies and Asian cinema in the West. His first job was delivering movie reels by bicycle to cinemas in villages across the city-state of Singapore, and he started making silent films with his brothers in about 1924. He co-founded the Shaw Organisation, a Singapore-based film distribution and cinema chain, in 1924; Shaw Brothers Studio, a filmmaking concern, in 1930, and Television Broadcasts Limited, a/k/a TVB, a Hong Kong broadcasting conglomerate, in 1967. At the peak of his success in the 1980s, Shaw's companies owned hundreds of theaters in Asia and in major metropolitan Chinatowns across America and Europe.
Most of his movies were filmed without a soundtrack, for easier dubbing into assorted Chinese languages, including Cantonese, Hunanese, Mandarin, and others, and English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. In addition to the language variables, Shaw's movies were generally filmed with varying scenes and costumes for their varied markets — steamy, sexy scenes and clothes for the US, European, and Japanese markets, and "colder," fully-clothed versions of the same movies for audiences in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
The studio's martial arts movies include such classics as Come Drink With Me (1965), The One Armed Swordsman (1967), Five Fingers of Death (1973), The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978), and Five Element Ninja (1985). Beyond chop socky, Shaw also produced musicals such as Hong Kong Nocturne (1966), the folk tale Monkey Goes West (1966), and the occasional non-Asian film, including the science fiction classic Blade Runner (1982) with Harrison Ford and the lesser effort Meteor (1979) with Sean Connery and Henry Fonda. After his wife grew ill in the mid-1980s, dying in 1987, Shaw largely withdrew from the motion picture business, and since then he has concentrated his efforts on the television business.
Shaw is a billionaire, owning amusement parks, office buildings, and shopping centers, and he is known for his philanthropy. He has endowed the Shaw Prizes, which offer $1M honorariums annually for achievement in astronomy, medicine, and mathematics, and he is the namesake of Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in Hangzhou, China, as well as wings or buildings at the City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, and St. Teresa's Hospital in Hong Kong, Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1977 and now more than 100 years of age, Sir Run Run Shaw continues to serve as Chairman of TVB.
Father: Shaw Yuh Hsuen (textile manufacturer, b. 1867, d. 1920)
Mother: Wang Shun Xiang (b. 1871, d. 1939)
Brother: Run De Shaw
Brother: Run Fun Shaw
Brother: Run Je Shaw
Brother: Run Me (Shaw Organisation co-founder, b. 1901, d. 1985)
Brother: Sun Me Shaw
Wife: Wong Mei Chun (b. 1902, d. 1987)
Wife: Mona Fong Yat Wah (film producer, b. 1934, m. 1997)
Shaw Organisation (Co-Founder, 1924)
Shaw Brothers Studio (Co-Founder, 1930)
Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) (Co-Founder, 1967)
Member of the British Empire (1974)
Knight of the British Empire (1977)
Grand Bauhinia Medal (1998)
Asteroid Namesake 2899 Runrun Shaw
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