Wang Danfeng, one of the most influential movie stars in the past 40 years in China, passed away this morning at the age of 94.
Awarded as one of the "movie stars of the new China" in 1962, the first honorary title in Chinese film, Wang enjoyed a high reputation for being a pioneer in acting. Having received two Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2013 and 2017, respectively, she is regarded as one of the most representative actresses in the history of Chinese film.
Throughout her 40-year acting career, she performed in more than 50 classic films, including in Nursys Diary, Home, Soul of the Sea, Women Barber and the Peach-Blossom Fan. All of them were popular in the 1960s when Wang became one of the top movie stars in China.
As a legendary actress, Wang has never been forgotten by her fans despite her death. People always recall her as well as her works. "Wang Danfeng is the Chinese Audrey Hepburn," one netizen named Gungun Ruyun wrote on Sina Weibo. "Thanks for all the classic works you brought us, you are the real goddess," noted Dai Ni Zuo Jianzhi, also on Sina Weibo.
Famed for her beauty, Wang was chosen to be an actress by director Zhu Shilin when she was young.
Wang continued to perform until the 1980s, when she was 60 years old, but still contributed in Hong Kong and Chinese mainland.
Wang was also the red-banner pacesetter in Shanghai, her birthplace and a member of the council of the China Film Association. As a famous public figure, she was known for her beauty and strength.
"Wang Danfeng is my idol," said Luo Wen, a famous Hong Kong musician in 1981, during an interview with a Hong Kong newspaper. "I have watched all her films, and I can still remember the lyrics of the little swallow, which Wang sung in Nursys Diary."