He was a Hong Kong entertainment pioneer whose influence on movies and TV for the past five decades can be felt all the way to Hollywood. Media mogul Sir Run Run Shaw died Tuesday at age 106.
Shaw is credited with creating and nurturing the martial arts movie genre and Chinese cinema. His long list of achievements includes producing Hollywood films, building a TV empire and, yes, even being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. (Via CCTV)
Shaw worked in film distribution with his brothers for years, eventually founding Shaw Brothers Studio in 1957, which become the largest film business in Hong Kong. Shaw launched the careers of many actors and directors and made kung fu classics like "The Chinese Boxer" and "Five Fingers of Death." (Via The Hollywood Reporter, Celestial Pictures Limited / "The Chinese Boxer")
Shaw is responsible for many other groundbreaking films, including his early hits "The Magnificent Concubine" and "The One-Armed Swordsman," which broke Hong Kong box office records in 1967. (Via Buena Vista Distribution / "The Magnificent Concubine" / "The One-Armed Swordsman")
Soon, Shaw helped the studio reach Hollywood from Hong Kong, eventually co-producing films like "Blade Runner" starring Harrison Ford in 1982. (Via Warner Bros. / "Blade Runner")
A film professor at Chapman University told the Los Angeles Times, “There are almost no fight scenes in Hollywood movies today that don’t rely on Asian martial arts. And that’s directly attributable to these martial arts movies that the Shaw Bros. brought over in the 1970s.”
Shaw's films have inspired some of the greatest Hollywood filmmakers, including Quentin Tarantino, who gave many nods to the Shaw Brothers in "Kill Bill Vol. 1." (Via Miramax Films / "Kill Bill Vol. 1")
But enough about movies. Shaw also took over Hong Kong's small screens — he founded Television Broadcasts Limited in 1967, and it is the largest TV empire in the city today.
Shaw's philanthropy is as legendary as his media influence, especially when it comes to education. He was involved in 4,000 schools, according to South China Morning Post. He also created the Shaw Prize in 2004, which recognizes scientists similarly to the Nobel Prize.
His television company released a statement saying he died peacefully, surrounded by family.