Hong Kong gongfu master and director Lau Kar Leung dies at 76

26 June 2013 / 3 years 4 months ago

Hong Kong gongfu master and filmmaker Lau Kar Leung, who rose from being a stuntman to action choreographer and maker of swordflicks such as 1978's The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin, died on Tuesday, aged 76.According to an article in The Straits Times, he died at a Hong Kong hospital from respiratory failure due to pneumonia, his doctor said at a press conference attended by his friend, actor-producer Natalis Chan, reported The Hong Kong Standard.Lau was diagnosed with lymphomatic cancer in 1994 and needed blood transfusions since 2011 because of bone marrow problems, reported Apple Daily.His second wife, Mary Jean Reimer, and their two daughters were with him when he died. Next to him were two stalks of white roses, which he wanted on his deathbed, said his actor-director brother Lau Kar Wing.Reimer, 49, wrote on Facebook: "He died peacefully as I hugged him tightly. His friends... many children, brothers, children of cousins were around to kowtow to him and send him off."Reimer, who caused a stir in 1984 when she married Lau despite their 29-year age gap, later wrote, "I'm heartbroken. Heaven is cruel."Lau, who came from a family of pugilists, brought the Hong style of fighting into Hong Kong movies.He is best remembered for The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin, which starred Gordon Liu and, Drunken Master II in 1994, which starred Jackie Chan.The latter film brought him two prizes at the Golden Horse Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards. In 2005, he won the best action choreography in the Golden Horse Awards for the film Seven Swords.

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