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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

A teary farewell

Huang Wenyong's former colleagues recall his last words to them as they pay their final respects
The Straits Times - April 26, 2013
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A teary farewell
By Yip Wai Yee

Tributes to the late veteran TV actor Huang Wenyong continued to pour in from his former colleagues, as they paid their final respects at his funeral procession yesterday afternoon.

Actor Pierre Png, 39, who was one of the eight pallbearers, told Life! that he volunteered for the job as it would be "a great honour".

He said: "Singapore has lost a real TV icon and, of course, I'm very sad about his death but I'm also happy to say that I have enough good memories of him to last a lifetime.

"He always had a liking for me and said that I was very handsome. But he would also say that God is fair because I desperately needed to improve my Mandarin.

"The last time I saw him, it was at the 30th drama anniversary event last year. He had clearly lost a lot of weight but I didn't ask about it. I just looked at him with concern and he nodded back at me, as if to reassure me that he was okay. He knew what I was thinking but he clearly did not want anyone to worry about him."

Fellow actor Zhang Yaodong, 35, was also a pallbearer. He too had signed up for the responsibility, he said, because he wanted to "do something" for a man who had "always been so good to me".

He said: "Wenyong dage (Chinese for big brother) has always given me good advice over the years. When I first decided to try going to China to look for other work opportunities, I remember very clearly that he said, 'Just make sure you spend more time with your family and be filial to your parents'. I will remember him forever."

Actor Tay Ping Hui, 42, another pallbearer, said that Huang's last words to him were "Eat a little more".

With a sad smile, he added: "I think that would also be what I'd say to him if I could speak to him one more time. And also, of course, 'See you later'."

The other pallbearers were Brandon Wong, Zen Chong, Bryan Wong, Cavin Soh and Zheng Geping.

Other celebrities who turned up at the funeral, such as Chen Hanwei and Zoe Tay, were visibly upset and declined interviews.

Actress Xiang Yun, 51, who has acted opposite Huang in several dramas as his TV wife, wrote on her personal Facebook page that she remembers him best for being "hardworking and a professional".

She wrote: "Often during Chinese New Year, everyone would be eager to take leave and go home, but as soon as the company asked Wenyong to stay back and work, he would never reject the request."

Veteran actor Chen Shucheng, 63, said in a speech: "I am a very impulsive person, while Wenyong was a very gentle man. So when it came to many issues, we had very different views. But he would always let me win the argument, because he was a much bigger man than me."

yipwy@sph.com.sg

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