run run shaw deadThe billionaire media mogul and co-founder of Shaw Studios, which produced hundreds of influential martial arts pics along with the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, died early Tuesday local time in Hong Kong. Sir Run Run Shaw was 106. He started the Shaw Organization with brother Runme in 1926, and it evolved from an exhibition entity into one of the biggest producers of Asian features and television shows. He was a force of nature, and his name is synonymous with Hong Kong Cinema and TV. In fact, much of Hong Kong’s culture can be attributed to Shaw and his Studios. During his 44 years at the helm, his Shaw Studios produced thousands of television programs/films. He also was a philanthropist and helped start many schools and hospitals in the country.
Starting in the early 1950s and peaking during the 1970s and ’80s, Shaw Brothers Studios made such popular and influential martial arts films as The One-Armed 36th-chamberSwordsman — directed by Shaw Brothers regular Chang Cheh, the first Hong Kong movie to gross HK$1 million — and its sequels; The 36 Chambers of Shaolin and Eight Diagram Pole Fighter, both directed by Lau Kar-leung and starring Gordon Liu; Come Drink With Me with Cheng Pei Pei, one of Shaw Brothers’ most popular female stars; the cult classic Five Deadly Venoms; The Flying Guillotine; and Five Fingers Of Death. His company produced as many as 40 films a year. The movies coming out of Hong Kong inspired many filmmakers worldwide and helped launch the career of director John Woo. In fact, Woo started his career as an assistant director at Shaw Studios working with Chang Cheh.

Related: Lau Kar-leung Dies

In 1974, Run Run Shaw was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Three years later, Shaw was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Then in 1998, he was awarded the Hong Kong government’s highest medal of honor: the Grand Bauhinia Medal. Just last month, on Dec. 13, the media mogul was given a special award for his contribution to cinema from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, becoming the oldest recipient of a BAFTA Award. His great-nephew accepted the award on his behalf. It was Run Run Shaw who made a sizeable donation in the 1970s that allowed BAFTA to grow its organization; BAFTA still has a theater named after him at its London headquarters.
tvb_logo_dayHis free television station in Hong Kong, TVB, remains a dominant force in the country today and still churns out content. In March 2011, when he stepped down from his position at TVB, he sold his interest in the company for billions. He used his money for good of mankind. For instance, in 1998, he donated $100 million at one point to help victims of the 8.0 Sichuan earthquake in China that killed more than 69,000 people and left tens of thousands homeless. In 2002, he established what is known as the Nobel Prize of the East. The Shaw Prize, which gives its recipients $1M, is awarded each year to “individuals, regardless of race, nationality and religious belief, who have achieved significant breakthroughs in academic and scientific research or application, and whose work has resulted in a positive and profound impact on mankind.”