Lin Dai


I remember browsing through Chinese movie magazines as a child. Dad, an avid Chinese movie fan, must have bought those bilingual magazines that publicize Shaw movies. In one of the magazines, I remember seeing for the first time, Lin Dai, the Movie Queen from Hong Kong as she appeared in Madam White Snake which happened to be one of my favorite Chinese movies of all time. Of course, I didn’t get to see the movie until years later when I was older and the movie was played as a rerun in the then popular Capitol theatre in Taiping. I have seen clips of the funeral of the movie queen in the same theatre when Lin Dai’s last movie, Blue and Black, a two parter was screened back to back. There was always a big crowd in theatres then.

Lin Dai was the unforgettable Movie Queen of Hong Kong. A four time winner, Lin Dai was first crowned the Movie Queen at the fourth Asian Film Festival for her outstanding performance in Golden Lotus in 1957 and then for Diau Charn in 1958. Later, she won the Best Actress for the third and fourth time at the Asian Film Festival in 1961 and 1962 respectively for her performance in Les Belles and Love without End. Lin Dai’s tragic death due to an overdose of sleeping pills and gas emission left Chinese communities around the world shocked and thousands of fans flocked to her funeral in grief.

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