Flame Awards 2013: Shocker of the year

Flame Awards 2013: Shocker of the year

We don't get shocks in the mostly staid local entertainment industry very often.

When we do though, they can be heartbreaking, like the untimely passing of a much-loved Channel 8 actor.

Or they can be scintillating, like the speculation behind a new couple's reasons for being together.

Some shockers are mildly depressing, like the breakdown of what once was a happy celebrity marriage.

Which of these shocked you most?

Huang Wenyong
Death of a veteran

He was Singapore's first TV drama star, with more than three decades of experience.

So it was no surprise that when Huang Wenyong died from lymphoma in April, many Singaporeans turned up at his three-day wake and walked with the funeral procession to Bright Hill columbarium.

The actor was 60.

He had been looking thin and haggard in the months before his death, but had always brushed it off by saying he had chronic stomach flu.

But the truth was that he had been suffering from cancer, an illness he kept secret because he "didn't want people to worry for him", according to friend and fellow actor Chen Guohua.

"That's him. He's a very caring person who wanted to go through this by himself," Chen told The New Paper back in April, when we met him at Huang's wake.

The death still evokes grief for those who knew him.

Speaking to us last month, actress Hong Huifang said she remembers when she received a text that her former co-star had died.

"I was at my son's birthday party," she said.

"The next day was the Star Awards rehearsal and everyone was crying. Everyone kept calling, asking if it was true."

Her husband, actor Zheng Geping, was no less distraught when he found out.

Both felt "shocking" was the word to describe Huang's death. Said Zheng: "Definitely we did not want to see him go so early. But he went to a better place."

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