Tue, May 16, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Chu Ke-liang dies at 70

‘DEAR BROTHER CHU’:The entertainer’s formerly estranged daughter, singer Jeannie Hsieh, said he is now performing for his fans in another place, free of care and pain

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

A still image from the 2013 film David Loman shows Hsieh Hsin-da, known by his stage name Chu Ke-liang.

Photo: Hsu Shih-ying, Taipei Times

Entertainer Hsieh Hsin-da (謝新達), widely known by his stage name Chu Ke-liang (豬哥亮), died of colorectal cancer and liver failure at National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital yesterday.

He was 70 years old.

“We are sad to announce that our dear brother Chu has left us at 5am at NTU Hospital,” Chu’s family said in a statement.

“He died peacefully and will no longer feel the pain caused by his illness. We are truly thankful to our friends for their support and encouragement during this period of time, but he was tired, so he left the stage of life,” it said.

One of Chu’s daughters, techno music singer and actress Jeannie Hsieh (謝金燕), also wrote a statement saying her father is performing for his fans in another place, free of care and pain.

She added that she would bring her father’s expectations with her when she performs in New York on Saturday.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) extended her condolences to Chu’s family.

“Today, Taiwan lost an adept comedian. As his daughter said, Chu has gone to a different place to perform for his fans. We wish big success for his first show in heaven,” Tsai said.

Born in Kaohsiung in 1946, Chu began his career in the entertainment business as a cabaret show director.

He was discovered through an improvised performance he made at a local cabaret, and he soon became known as the “King of Cabaret Theater” in the south for his use of off-color jokes, coarse language and distinct hairstyle.

Chu’s shows at the cabarets were recorded in videotapes, which were widely viewed by audiences at home and travelers on tour buses.

Despite amassing a fortune, Chu was deeply in debt due to his gambling addiction.

In 1988, he was shot by gangster who had come to collect a debt.

In 1993, Chu had to flee for his life. He returned to entertainment in 1997, but went into hiding again two years later after accumulating more gambling debts.

Commenting on his subsequent 10-year hiatus from show business, Chu often said he “went abroad to continue his studies.”

Chu restarted his career in 2009 with the help of former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Yu Tian (余天) and other entertainers by becoming the host of variety shows on Formosa TV and Chinese Television System.

The TV shows scored high ratings and in 2010 Chu won the Golden Bell Award for Best Entertainment Program Host.

He later starred in the 2013 film David Loman (大尾鱸鰻).

Local media paid close attention to Chu’s relationship with Jeannie Hsieh, who was long estranged from her father.

Despite Chu’s repeated requests, Hsieh refused to meet with him and told media how he mistreated her and her mother.

She said she would temporarily leave show business in Taiwan to avoid seeing him.

The two reconciled after Chu was diagnosed with terminal-stage colorectal cancer.

Chu had two sons and three daughters from four marriages.

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