Wednesday, July 06, 2005

'Chairman Mao' dies in sauna

From today's Daily Telegraph (free subscription required)

China's film industry has lost one of its most famous faces: that of Chairman Mao.

The actor who played the Great Helmsman in films celebrating his life and works has died at 68.

Gu Yue, who acted the role no fewer than 84 times in a quarter of a century, was reported to have died of a heart attack in a sauna after drinking too much at a ground-breaking ceremony for a new film studio.

Gu was a soldier who joined the People's Liberation Army at the age of 13 at the end of China's Civil War in 1949.

But his big break came in 1978, when the then PLA commander, Marshal Ye Jianying, was looking for an actor to represent Mao, who had died two years earlier.

Gu's resemblance was spotted and he was plucked from the ranks.


Anonymous Gavin said...

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4:19 pm  

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