Yet the passing of another great legend – the well-known Taiwanese comedian Chu Ke-Liang died at approximately 5am this morning.
As verified by National Taiwan University Hospital, he passed away in his sleep at the age of 70. The cause of death was liver failure due to final stages of colorectal cancer. While he underwent surgery, his condition exacerbated after his admittance into the hospital two months ago.
The family has signed a consent form, allowing the doctors to give up rescuing him in cases of emergency.
His rollercoaster life
For those who have followed the films the Hokkien comedian has starred in, they would agree that he has left an indelible legacy in the showbiz industry. As one of the greatest Taiwanese TV’s stars in the ’80s, he was well-loved by the audience for his distinctive sense of humour.
Nevertheless, the Taiwanese actor had his fair share of downtrodden times as he disappeared from the limelight in 1995. It was reported that he went missing to avoid his gargantuan gambling debt of over NT$1 billion (US$35 million). In 2009, he returned to the entertainment industry after an entire decade, as his whereabouts were exposed by the Taiwanese paparazzi.
Making a comeback in 2009, he then hosted a new variety show and cut his first music album. Following that year, he clinched a Golden Bell award for Best Variety Show Host in 2010, alongside his co-host Rene Hou. The Lunar New Year blockbuster, Night Market Hero in 2011 Ke-liang starred in was such a hit it helped him to reach a new pinnacle in his fame and success.
Fond memories of the comedian in Singapore back in 1997 and 2010
Known for his ludicrous antics and off-colour jokes with some of the most colourful language, Ke-liang’s performance at Suntec Convection Centre in 2010 after 13 years was eagerly anticipated. It was the second time that he put up a performance in Singapore, after the previous one in 1997 – before he went into hiding.
The events management company even mobilised 20 security guards to ensure the safety of Chu Ke-Liang from his debtors, lest any of them were to put him in harm’s way.
Once he set foot in Singapore, he was reported saying that he couldn’t wait to sink his teeth into local delicacies such as Bak Kut Teh and Chilli Crab. His friends in Singapore also played host to him and taught him the right way to enjoy a plate of Yu Sheng while making wishes. Needless to say, Ke-Liang wished for prosperity, record-breaking success for his variety show and for his family to be safe and sound.
Outpour of condolences and tribute following his death
Amongst many celebrities paying tributes to the comedian, veterans such as Yu Tien, Ruby Lin and Mickey Huang have also expressed condolences for his family. In response, the family expressed their deepest gratitude to those who have shown support after his comeback. They added that Ke-liang was always working conscientiously for every performance in a bid to bring laughter and joy to his friends.
His daughter Jeannie Hsieh – a popular singer in Taiwan – expressed her gratitude for her beloved father in a moving remark, with hopes that he will move on to a better place free from suffering. She will also be continuing on with her performance in New York this Saturday, as that’s what her dad would very much like her to do.
Our hearts go out to the passing of this legendary comedian whose legacy will forever live on in our hearts.