Kung Fu King retires at 104

Whether it is evolution or the wonders of modern medicine, many people are living longer than ever. Staying active is often the key to a prolonged and healthier old age, which is what makes the story of Run Run Shaw remarkable.

If you grew up with chop socky Kung Fu movies on Saturday afternoon television, you know the name Run Run Shaw. Starting the Shaw Brothers in his native China, Shaw and his sibling Runme Shaw produced such martial arts classics as One-Armed Swordsman, Five Fingers of Death (which reportedly launched the Kung Fu movie trend), Five Deadly Venoms, Shaolin Prince, and Blade Runner (along with the Ladd Company in the U.S.).

The Shaw Brothers also owned ninety movie theaters, and reportedly once helped save Macy’s from bankruptcy. According to a report in Forbes, as Shaw was nearing 100, his media empire was worth $3.5 billion.

And it also goes without saying the Shaw Brothers influence loomed large in Kill Bill, even opening up with the Shaw Brothers logo, which one viewer commented on YouTube, “Nobody is better than SB. They are to Kung Fu what Hammer was to horror.”

Now it’s been announced that finally, at the tender age of 104, Run Run Shaw will be stepping down from running his empire, and one would certainly think it’s well deserved. 

At the same time, another hero of great genre cinema, Roger Corman, is currently working on three films at once, as the documentary on his life and career, Corman’s World, hits theaters, and as reported on Deadline, the guy doesn’t believe in retirement. Perhaps Shaw doesn’t want to step down at his age either, but you certainly couldn’t blame the guy if he wanted to catch up on some rest.