Jimmy Wang Yu, Pioneering Hong Kong Movie Martial Arts Big title, Dies at 79

Jimmy Wang Yu, the trailblazing martial artist who starred in classic Hong Kong movies Golden Swallow, One-Armed Swordsman and The Chinese language Boxer and paved the model for the likes of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee, has died. He used to be 79.

Wang died in a Taipei smartly being facility on Tuesday, his daughter Linda Wang revealed on Instagram. He had been stricken by continual ill smartly being for a assortment of years.

On Fb, Jackie Chan wrote, “One more martial arts hero has left us… The contributions you’ve made to kung fu movies, and the purple meat up and wisdom you’ve given to the youthful generations will continuously be remembered in the industry. And your movies will continuously remain in the hearts of your fans. We can miss you!”

Born Wang Cheng-chuan in Shanghai in 1943, he migrated with his family to Hong Kong. Wang started acting in the early 1960s and caught the eye of the fledgling Hong Kong branch of the Shanghai-essentially essentially essentially based Shaw Brothers Studio, which had begun to broaden its manufacturing slate with motion movies and wuxia motion pictures.

A contract participant in the initiating keep, Wang’s early profession used to be indelibly linked with Shaw Brothers, for better and worse, and he would change into a mainstream superstar in the studio’s most infamous wuxia motion pictures including One-Armed Swordsman (1967) which broke field living of industrial data in Hong Kong, Golden Swallow (1968), Return of the One-Armed Swordsman (1969) and floor-breaking kung fu movie The Chinese language Boxer (1970).

The Chinese language Boxer, which noticed Wang’s persona single-handedly defend on a gang of Japanese karate thugs, proved to be a mountainous hit and located an audience originate air of Hong Kong and Asia. Written, directed and starring Wang, the movie is credited with setting up a unusual template for Hong Kong motion motion pictures, giving birth to the kung fu motion pictures, with storylines that veered away from swords and fantasy sides and centered more on fight scenes driven by hand-to-hand strive in opposition to. It also established a trendy trope ancient in infinite kung fu motion pictures, that of a loner seeking revenge however facing apparently very now doubtlessly no longer odds/numbers of enemies.

The preeminent Hong Kong motion superstar of the slack 1960s and early 1970s, Wang’s profession used to be derailed by a in fact messy and public proper strive in opposition to with Shaw Brothers after he broke his contract with the studio in 1970. The studio sued the superstar, successful after a highly publicized trial. Also weighing on Wang’s celeb used to be a chain of scandals in his personal lifestyles, including intercourse scandals, alleged hyperlinks to organized crime and time and again brawling in public.

In an interview with Eastern Kicks, Wang referred to himself as a “avenue fighter” and acknowledged that in the interval between 1964 and 1968 he used to be recurrently in the newspapers for struggling with, most regularly with paparazzi, and even a policeman.

Finding work more challenging to reach by in Hong Kong, Wang would relocate to Taiwan to work with Shaw Brothers opponents Golden Harvest.

In Taiwan, and now producing his possess parts, Wang used to be prolific and amongst the a colossal assortment of kung fu motion pictures he made in this interval, One-Armed Boxer (1972), A Man Known as Tiger (1972) and Seaside of the Battle Gods (1973) get all gone on to reach cult keep of abode.

With the upward thrust of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, and the success of Shaw Brothers stars Ti Lung and David Chiang, Wang’s recognition started to dip by the mid-1970s. A self-proclaimed avenue brawler in preference to a martial artist by coaching, Wang’s lack of abilities, hidden to an extent by editing, used to be initiating to repeat compared to his better-expert opponents.

Wang used to be serene in query in international productions, nonetheless, with producers in the west taking a search to cash in on the kung fu craze. In 1975, Wang starred in the first Hong Kong-Australia co-manufacturing, The Man From Hong Kong. The next 300 and sixty five days he starred in The Queen’s Ransom. Both motion pictures co-starred a declining George Lazenby.

One more notable Wang movie from this interval used to be Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976), which Quentin Tarantino would detrimental as considered one of his popular motion pictures and that would later affect RZA’s The Man With the Iron Fists. 

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From left: ‘The Chinese language Consultants’ aka ‘One-Armed Boxer’ (1971), ‘The Man From Hong Kong’ (1975), ‘A Man Known as Tiger’ (1973)
All courtesy of Everett Collection

By the 1980s, Wang’s profession started to sluggish down, and he used to be better identified for the scandals in his personal lifestyles. There were reports of domestic abuse, continued reports of his alleged hyperlinks to Triads and in Taiwan. He used to be charged with kill in 1981, however the charges were dropped resulting from a lack of evidence.

Within the 1990s, Wang’s motion pictures received a unusual audience after his work, notably The Chinese language Boxer, used to be championed by the likes of Tarantino.

In his later years, Wang appeared in Peter Chan’s 2011 movie Wu Xia, starring Donnie Yen and Tang Wei. The movie used to be a tribute to the One-Armed Swordsman sequence and premiered at the Cannes Movie Pageant. His closing movie appearance came in 2013, in the Taiwanese fright movie Soul. In 2019, Wang used to be awarded the lifetime success award at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards.

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