Veteran actress Hsia Meng, once regarded as China's Audrey Hepburn, has died at 83 in Hong Kong.
The news was revealed by television host Cao Kefan on his Weibo account yesterday. Later, film director See Yuen Ng, an acquaintance of Hsia, confirmed that the actress actually passed away on Oct 30.
Hsia, born Yang Meng in Shanghai in 1933, moved to Hong Kong with her family in 1947. In 1951 at age 18, Hsia starred in her film debut, A night-time wife and shot to fame immediately. She participated in 38 films during her career, including A Torn Lily, Tales of the City and The Peerless Beauty.
Hsia was one of the top stars during the 1950s and 1960s. After she withdrew from the frontline, she invested in several film projects, including Homecoming (1984) and Boat People (1982), both regarded as classic Chinese films.
Her stage name, Hsia Meng, which literally translates to "Summer Dream", was given by director Yuan Yi'an after Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Hsia was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 18th Shanghai International Film Festival last year.
Renowned writer Dong Qiao described Hsia as a real actress, and not merely a star.
"She is telling stories, not just posing. Sadness and happiness, departure and reunion are played out like a dream on the silver screen. And in the end, there is just Hsai Meng (referring to her Chinese name)."
Actor Andy Lau, who took part in Boat People, expressed his condolences and remembers how his career started with the help of Hsia.
"(Hsia Meng) is an unforgettable person in my life. She chose me and changed my destiny. Her life was like a film, which lit both the front and back of the silver screen! Madame Meng, I will always remember you," Lau said.