Victor Khoo fought cancer 'for 34 years'

SINGAPORE - Over 100 family members, friends and former colleagues of entertainment icon Victor Khoo attended his funeral mass at the Church of St Bernadette yesterday afternoon.

A multi-talented entertainer who made his name as a ventriloquist, emcee, radio presenter and magician, he died of cancer at the age of 63 on Friday.

Khoo's son, Brandon, gave a eulogy. The 34-year-old and his twin, Barry, are his sons from his first marriage, to Hong Kong singer Lam May Yee.

Brandon said of his father: "He was not just an icon in the entertainment industry, he was also a caring boss, a great friend to many and, most importantly, a loving husband and father."

Khoo ran his own entertainment firm, Victor Khoo Productions.

Brandon's mother had also suffered from cancer, and his father took care of her until she died in 1995. Khoo then went on to actively support several cancer charities.

Said his son in the eulogy: "Some say he fought cancer for six years. No, he fought cancer for 34 years. I don't know of anybody who can fight cancer for 34 years - since 1980, from my mom to (the) Breast Cancer Foundation, to himself."

Also present at the mass were his wife, Shellen, and their daughter Vanessa, 17. The couple have another daughter, Victoria, 18, who is overseas.

Khoo's six surviving siblings were also present. He was the eighth of 11 siblings.

The entertainer is best known for voicing and animating wooden puppet Charlee. Besides live shows, the pair hosted radio show Happy Talk for seven years, in the 1970s and 1980s.

His body was cremated yesterday at the Mandai Crematorium and Columbarium Complex.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.