Shaw, Run Run

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Shaw, Run Run

Run Run Shaw, 1907–2014, Chinese film mogul, best known of the six Shaw brothers who founded an Asian movie empire. In Shanghai, he and his elder brother Runme Shaw made their first film (1924) and soon established the Shaw Organization (1926) and Shaw Studios (1930), both of which became major factors in the growth and production of Asian films; subsequently, film production was moved to Singapore and Hong Kong. Many of the brothers' films were shown in Shaw-owned theaters in SE Asia and in a network of Chinatown cinemas worldwide. Moving to Hong Kong from Singapore in the late 1950s, Shaw founded the colony's then-largest privately owned film studio and soon became known as Asia's movie king, producing flashy, action-packed historical, martial-art, and horror features until 1985 when his brother died. His kung-fu epics, which he is thought to have mainly invented, were particulary popular in the West and influenced a number of Western filmmakers, e.g., Quentin Tarantino. After 1985, Shaw focused much of his attention on television, founding and running Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB), a producer of programs for Hong Kong and overseas Chinese audiences. In the early 21st cent. he was the driving force behind the construction of Hong Kong Movie City, a studio and production facility. Shaw also had large real estate and publishing interests, and became a major philanthropist, donating billions to charity and establishing the Shaw Prize for scientific achievement. He was knighted in 1977.

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