The martial arts world has lost another legend…
Although his passing was recently announced, it is with sadness to announce the death of Chan Sing, a veteran martial arts action star during the 1970s heyday of kung fu films, playing both heroes and villains. Chan passed away in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 4 at the age of 82.
Chan was known for his powerful build and basher-style of martial arts in films, having worked with many legends in the genre, including Jackie Chan, Jim Kelly, Yasuaki Kurata, and many others.
Born in 1936, Chan was a trained expert in Okinawa-te Karate and previously worked as a corrections officer before beginning his film career. He was a disciple of the great auteur Chang Cheh, who cast him in films like Return of the One-Armed Swordsman and The Invincible Fist. He continued to appear mainly in Shaw Brothers films over the next few years. He would eventually leave Shaws and work with the likes of Ng See-Yuen, who cast him in The Good and the Bad in 1972, which also marked his second lead hero role after Black List for the indie-based Hong Kong Kai Fa Film Company. Chan and Kurata would work together in a few films such as The Angry Guest, the aforementioned The Good and the Bad, Gold Snatchers, and Rage of the Wind.
Chan would continue to work throughout much of the 1970s for various companies, from the playing the titular Iron Fisted Monk for Golden Harvest, the lead villain in New Fist of Fury for Lo Wei Motion Picture Company, Bruce Lee the Invincible for Wuzhou Film Company, and The Tattoo Connection for First Films. His alternating between playing heroes and villains doesn’t take away the fact that he was a great presence on screen with his basher style martial arts skills, due to his expertise in karate.
In the 1980s, Chan took a change of pace and appeared in not only action, but other genre films, including the first installment of Cinema City’s iconic comedy-action caper franchise Aces Go Places. In 1996, after nearly thirty years in the industry, Chan retired from films and relocated to Canada. After being in Canada for over two decades, Chan has spent most of his time in Indonesia.
Chan is survived by his wife Elizabeth and is preceded in death by his son, George Edward Chan, a piano prodigy who passed away after battle cancer in 2017.
World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Chan Sing. As a final tribute, here’s Chan taking on favorite on-screen rival Yasuaki Kurata in 1973’s Gold Snatchers, thanks to YouTube user chanwahshun.
Rest in Peace, Chan Sing.