Hong Kong film-maker Chor Yuen dies aged 87

Chor Yuen died on Monday afternoon, with his family by his side, after experiencing some discomfort in the morning. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM HK01.COM

HONG KONG - Renowned Hong Kong film director Chor Yuen, famous for directing films such as The House Of 72 Tenants (1973) and martial arts flick Killer Clans (1976), has died. He was 87.

Hong Kong outlet Ming Pao Weekly reported that the news was confirmed by a spokesman for the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers.

According to the spokesman, Chor Yuen died on Monday (Feb 21) afternoon, with his family by his side, after experiencing some discomfort in the morning.

Born Cheung Po-kin in Guangzhou, China, he joined the Cantonese film industry in the 1950s at the behest of his father, Cheung Wood-yau, who himself had found fame in the industry as an actor.

Chor Yuen made his acting debut in the 1954 film Madam Yun. His first directing credit followed in 1959 with Grass By The Lake.

For the next three decades, Chor Yuen wrote and directed dozens of Cantonese films, including some for Shaw Brothers Studio, such as The House Of 72 Tenants. The cast of the film included Hong Kong comedy legend Lydia Sum, and it topped the Hong Kong box office that year over Bruce Lee's final complete martial arts film, Enter The Dragon.

He was also famous for adapting 17 works - including Clans Of Intrigue and Sentimental Swordsman - by Taiwanese martial arts novelist Gu Long for the big screen in the 1970s, many with actor Ti Lung in the leading role.  

Chor Yuen, who also acted and played a crime boss in Jackie Chan's Police Story (1985), made a switch to directing television dramas in the 1990s  before quietly fading out of the spotlight.

His last public appearance was in April 2018, when he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards.

"When you look back on your life and are not regretful for having toiled in vain or ashamed for wasting your time, then you can proudly say to yourself, you have lived a life without regrets," he said in his acceptance speech.

According to South China Morning Post, the director had been diagnosed with dementia about eight years ago.

He is survived by his wife, Nam Hung, an actress.

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