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Legendary Chinese Film and TV Mogul Run Run Shaw, Producer of 'Blade Runner,' Martial Arts Films, Dies at 106 Variety

"Sir Run Run Shaw, one of the pioneers of the 20th century Chinese film industry, has died age 106," reports Variety.

The story continues: "Shaw, who co-founded the Shaw Brothers film studio with his brother Runme, had been involved in the film industry in Shanghai and Singapore since age 19. The Shaw Brothers company was in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s and was influential in both the Asian and Western film industries. He personally has credits on some 360 films, ranging from martial arts classics to Ridley Scott’s 'Blade Runner.' "

The New York Times obituary about Shaw says that he is generally "seen as [the] creator of [the] Kung Fu genre."

Regarding Shaw's experiences in the TV industry, The NY Times writes: "His investments in the new phenomenon of Asian television were to prove even more lucrative than his movie productions. In 1972 he began Television Broadcasts (TVB), and he soon gained control of 80 percent of the Hong Kong market. TVB churned out 12 hours of its own programming a day, much of it soap operas and costume dramas that riveted Chinese television viewers on the mainland and throughout Southeast Asia."

The Times obituary adds: "In later years, the aging mogul ... seemed in need of help to keep his media empire intact. Concerned with the rise of cable and satellite television, he sold a 22 percent stake in TVB to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in 1993.

"Mr. Shaw had intended to maintain control over his media business by balancing his one-third share in TVB against Mr. Murdoch’s 22 percent and the 24 percent held by Robert Kuok, one of Hong Kong’s richest entrepreneurs. But the balance of power shifted when Mr. Murdoch sold his equity to Mr. Kuok shortly afterward. Then, in 1996, in Hong Kong’s first case of a hostile takeover, Mr. Kuok forced Mr. Shaw to sell him his shares in TVE, the lucrative publishing, music and real estate subsidiary of TVB. The deal reduced Mr. Shaw’s TVB stake to 23 percent."

The Times story also notes that Mr. Shaw, who became friendly with Macy's CEO in the early 1990s, "was once viewed as a white knight in New York. In 1991, when Macy’s was on the verge of bankruptcy, he bought 10 percent of its preferred shares for $50 million, becoming one of the largest shareholders in R. H. Macy & Company."

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