Television icon’s death casts pall over “Star Awards 2013 Show 1”

April 22, 2013 | 09:23
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It was glitz and glamour on stage, but tears and tissues backstage during the “Star Awards 2013 Show 1” on Sunday.

Rui En (left) and Elvin Ng (right) won the Favourite Onscreen Couple (Drama) award for their performance in "Unriddle 2" at the "Star Awards 2013 Show 1" this year.

SINGAPORE: The death of Singapore television icon Huang Wenyong on Saturday cast a pall over the Sunday's “Star Awards 2013 Show 1", which honours the best talents in Singapore Mandarin television.

Rui En and Elvin Ng won the Favourite Onscreen Couple (Drama) award to the cheers of their fans.

Newcomer Xu Bin picked up the Favourite Male Character award, his first award ever, with the Favourite Female Character award going to Rui En.

Romeo Tan won the coveted Rocket Award, which recognises the artiste who had shown the greatest improvement, and changed the subject when asked if he would like to thank his rumoured girlfriend.

But Huang’s death overshadowed everything, with reporters crowding the backstage holding area, asking the stars in attendance for their reaction to Huang’s passing, giving the festivities a melancholic undercurrent.

Tears were shed and tissues were pressed into trembling hands.

Their questions brought back fond memories of Huang in the minds of numerous stars like Ann Kok, Yvonne Lim, Aileen Tan, Zhu Hou Ren, Hong Hui Fang as well as Zheng Ge Ping, and moved them to tears.

Tears for a friend

Huang’s death caused the show’s production team to add in a special segment to pay tribute to the late star at the last minute, where the audience observed a minute of silence before viewing a short video of Huang’s past works.

Not even resident macho man Zheng Ge Ping could resist shedding manly tears during the segment.

“I was really sad when I saw the video. I cried. With him around, it was never boring,” said Zheng, adding that it was especially hard for his wife Hong, who had worked with Huang on countless occasions.

“We always had a lot to talk about. There was once I told him we should find a topic that we could discuss endlessly when he got better, but he has put an early full stop to our conversation.

“Everyone’s destination is the same. Why did he have to leave early?” lamented Hong.

“Every time I see him in the make-up room, he’d say we should work together some time. But now, we’ll never get the chance,” said Kok tearfully.

For Tay Ping Hui, who was among the first of Huang's celebrity friends to express his grief over social media on Saturday, the outpouring of emotion backstage at the “Star Awards Show 1” came as no surprise.

“I see genuine grief; I see a sense of loss in many, many people today. While I find it a little overwhelming, I totally understand,” said Tay.

“Everybody knows who Huang Wenyong is. Everybody loved him.”

But the golden rule of showbiz remained – the show must go on.

“I really didn’t want to attend this awards ceremony after Huang’s death,” said Aileen Tan, her eyes slick with tears.

“But it’s our job and I believe big brother Wenyong would have wanted us to remain professional.”

Romeo Tan won the Rocket Award at the "Star Awards 2013 Show 1" this year. He said he had worked with late Singapore actor Huang Wenyong in "Joys of Life" and described it as a memorable experience.

Audience at the “Star Awards Show 1” including MediaCorp's Chairman (2nd left) and CEO (2nd right) observe a moment of silence to honour the late veteran MediaCorp actor Huang Wenyong.

Yvonne Lim (left) and Ann Kok (right) share their memories of Huang Wenyong backstage at the "Star Awards 2013

Show 1".
Veteran actor Zhu Hou Ren's eyes were red when he described his old friend, the late Huang Wenyong, as a man who treated everyone well, regardless of social status.

A tearful Aileen Tan, who had worked with Huang Wenyong on numerous occasions over the years said she was deeply impressed by the late actor's professionalism.

Zheng Ge Ping requested a wide shot to avoid showing the redness in his eyes after answering questions about late actor Huang Wenyong.


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