Hong Kong cinema, no, the whole cinematic world, has lost a legend.
Raymond Chow, a former executive at the Shaw Brothers Organization who would go on to form the legendary Golden Harvest film company, passed away on November 2 at the age of 91.
Under the Golden Harvest label, Chow helped launched the careers of the likes of Angela Mao, Bruce Lee as an adult, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, and Jackie Chan to name a few.
Born on October 8, 1927 in Hong Kong, Chow attended Shanghai’s Saint John’s University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism in 1949. Two years later, Chow worked at the Voice of America office in Hong Kong, but his film career launched in 1958 when he was made head of publicity and production chief of Shaw Brothers. He was there until 1970 when he left to form Golden Harvest.
While Golden Harvest began in 1970, it was when Chow lured Bruce Lee to join his company instead of Shaw Brothers that the company would become of the best Hong Kong film companies in the 1970’s and 80’s. The company focused solely on action orientated films but have delved into other genres as well.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Golden Harvest worked as co-producers on Hollywood films such as The Cannonball Run and its 1984 sequel as well as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action franchise.
On November 5, 2007, after a successful career as a producer and executive, Chow announced his retirement from the industry. This allowed Chow to make a few appearances in front of the cameras in cameo roles, including 2014’s Kung Fu Jungle/Kung Fu Killer as Mr. Chow.
World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Raymond Chow. As a final tribute, here is Chow talking about Bruce Lee in an interview for The Legend of Bruce Lee:
Rest in Peace, Raymond Chow.
H/T: The Straits Times