Huang Wenyong's death casts pall over Star Awards show

The usually upbeat, celebratory mood of the annual Star Awards Show 1 at the MediaCorp TV Theatre was nowhere to be felt last night.

The ceremony began on a sombre note, as colleagues of veteran actor Huang Wenyong struggled to come to terms with news of his death on Saturday.

The well-loved actor died of lymphatic cancer at age 60. Audience members in the theatre stood up and observed half a minute of silence; a two-minute video montage of his many TV appearances also played.

Actress Rui En, 32, donned a black jacket over her siren red gown out of respect to the late actor when she accepted her award for favourite on-screen couple with Elvin Ng, also 32.

"Wenyong da ge (big brother), you will be missed," she said.

Backstage, veterans like Xiang Yun, 51, who starred opposite him in 1984's The Awakening, and Lin Meijiao, 45, both dressed in black, were spotted with teary eyes.

Yvonne Lim, 37, and Ann Kok, 40, also broke down while talking about the actor.

Lim said: "I told him that if I ever get married, I want him to host my wedding and he said 'yes'. But we'll never get to fulfil this promise now."

Bryan Wong, 42, summed up what most at Caldecott Hill feel about the actor, whose career spanned over 30 years: "It's easy to describe him. He's a good person."