Actor Ma Ju-lung, 80, dies of lung cancer

Veteran Taiwanese actor Ma Ju-lung died of lung cancer on Sunday. He was 80.

Ma, whose real name was Huang Cheng-hsiung, was diagnosed with the illness last year. His condition took a turn for the worse this month when he developed septicaemia (blood poisoning). He died in Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital days later. This comes less than a month after Ma's grandson, 22, died in a car accident in Tainan.

Ma, who started acting in the 1970s, got a career boost when he was in his 70s following his role as a town council representative in romantic drama musical Cape No. 7 (2008), which won him the Golden Horse Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He was also known for portraying Geta, an ageing mob boss, in Monga (2010), one of the top-grossing films in Taiwan that year.

Ma had a colourful personal life. He married his wife, Taiwanese actress Pei Hsiao-lan, 38 years ago. Although he and Pei, 65, had only two children together, the couple raised nine children in total.

Ma had five children from two previous marriages and took in two more - children of his younger brother, who had died young.

Several celebrities have paid their respects to Ma. His Monga castmates Rhydian Vaughan and Ethan Ruan were spotted at his wake. Mark Chao, another Monga co-star, could not attend as he was working in Beijing. Chao's manager went in his stead.

Vaughan says of working with Ma: "He had a very relaxed approach to life and took a lot of things in his stride."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2019, with the headline 'Actor Ma Ju-lung, 80, dies of lung cancer'. Print Edition | Subscribe