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RIP: Austin Wai (Wai Tin-chi)

Impact bids a sad farewell to yet another legend: Wai Tin-chi (Austin Wai)

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Shaw Brothers' star Austin Wai (Wai Tin-chi), brother of actress Wai Ying-hung has passed away in Beijing aged 55. Born in 1957, the 4th child of the family and elder brother to Wai Ying-hung, Austin began his career as a student of legendary Peking Opera actress Fan Fok-fa, his classmates at Chun Chau Opera including Mang Hoi & John Lone.He began his career with appearences in such projects as Iron Fisted Monk & The Shaolin Plot, he can even be seen in Game of Death alongside Sammo Hung, before begining his career in earnest at Shaw Brothers alongside his sister as well as at Golden Harvest various independent companies and appearing in such classics as Five SuperfightersIncredible Kung Fu MasterFinal Test,Burning Ambition, Pom Pom & Hot Hot (Hardboiled Killers), various TV series and solid supporting turns in everything from The Blade to SPL, Flashpoint and most recently Kung Fu Wing Chun.

He had begun to concentrate on business interests outside of film & television in recent years, but was still happy to lend a hand and make appearences in projects for his friends. Wai had recently blogged that he had been suffering from arthritus for some time, but his passing at 55 is a very sad loss to the industry. I had the pleasure of meeting him several times over the years, working with him on Once a Blacksheep  and Pom Pom & Hot Hot  where he seemed amused that an Englishman would be so aware of his film work, and got to know him somewhat over the years. He leaves behind a legacy of fine work, and will be warmly remembered by those who knew him and a legion of martial arts movie fans around the world. The battle's fought and the game is won, rest in peace Master Wai.