Renowned Chinese comedian Yan Shunkai (File photo/CGTN)
Renowned Chinese comedian, actor and film director Yan Shunkai died on Monday at the age of 80.
The household name was famous for his role in "The True Story of Ah Q", the first film he ever starred in and which brought him many accolades, including "The Gold Stick Prize" at the Second International Festival of Comedy Films in Switzerland in 1982.
He was the only Chinese to have ever won this award.
Yan also performed at China's first Spring Festival Gala Evening in 1983, making later appearances in 1988 in a self-directed comedy "A Tan Biography" and then in 1993 in a sketch titled "Zhangsan the person."
Yan had been suffering from cerebral and myocardial infarctions and had been in hospital for at least seven years. He reportedly could no longer walk and was having trouble talking.
The actor who put a smile on Chinese people's faces thanks to his comedy skits was born in Shanghai in 1937. He graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in 1963, and joined the Shanghai Farce Troupe.
In 1981, he starred in "The True Story of Ah Q", which was based on an episodic novella by Lu Xun, one of the pioneers of modern Chinese literature.
Yan received the Best Actor award at the 6th Hundred Flowers Awards, the Chinese equivalent of the Golden Globes, in 1983.
Yan "did not pursue cheap laughs, laughs induced from crass and unsophisticated scenes and dialogues. He could make people laugh in tears and also gave people a special aesthetic enjoyment and presented a unique style of arts," Shen Weimin, general secretary of Shanghai Farce Troupe, said following the news of Yan's death.
"He was a great example to the young generation of artists, and his passing is a great loss to the whole theater industry."