Anita Mui Dies at Age 40
Anita Mui, star of stage and screen, died on Tuesday, December 30, after a battle with cervical cancer. She was aged only 40, and her death comes three years after her sister passed away, also from cervical cancer.
Mui began performing at the age of five, and dropped out of high school to support her family, singing in bars and nightclubs. She broke through in 1982 when she came first out of 3,000 contestants in a Hong Kong talent contest, and went on to become known as 'The Madonna of Asia', thanks to her enduring ability to reinvent herself, which kept her on top of the business for almost two decades.
She made no less than 46 albums, and her 1986 release, Bad Girls, is the best-selling Cantonese album of all time in Hong Kong, with over 400,000 copies sold. [That's one for every fifteen people there, which would be equivalent to more than 18 million sales in America]. She won the "best female singer" award five straight times, then announced she wouldn't accept it any more, in order to give newcomers a chance. Her final concert was only six weeks ago, and she still hold the Hong Kong record with 33 consecutive sold-out shows.
Her reputation as an actress was hardly less outstanding, with her 1987 performance in Rouge winning her the Taiwanese Golden Horse award, and she worked alongside almost all Hong Kong's top names. Here, we particularly remember her double role in Saviour of the Soul, just ahead of her portrayal of Wonder Woman in Heroic Trio, but she also shone in A Better Tomorrow III, Drunken Master II, Rumble in the Bronx... The list goes on. Drama, action, comedy - she handled them all deftly, expressing more emotion with her eyes than the "real" Madonna has managed in her entire career.
She also worked as a tireless campaigner for both charity and the cause of democracy in Hong Kong. With her tragic, early death, an era comes to a sad close.
Source: collated from various
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