Mr. Li Han Hsiang
(1926 - 1996)
Film director Li Han-hsiang was born in Liaoning and grew up in Beijing. He studied Western painting at National Peking Art School and then studied theatre in Shanghai. He arrived in Hong Kong in 1948 and through the introduction of director Shen Fu, he joined the actors’ training school of Yung Hwa Film Company. He then tried out his luck in various companies working as actor, dubbing artiste or set designer. In 1956, he directed "Blood in Snow"(1956) which won critical acclaim and paved the way to his career with Shaw Brothers. Li made over 70 films in his lifetime and was particularly adept in Huangmei opera and costume movie. His films "Diau Charn" (1958), "The Kingdom and the Beauty" (1959) and "The Love Eterne" (1963) won Best Film and Best Director awards at the Asian Film Festival and Golden Horse Awards. In 1963 he went to Taiwan and set up the Grand Motion Picture Company which played a key role in speeding up the development of Taiwan's film industry. The studio went into financial difficulties and closed down later on. Li then rejoined Shaw Brothers in 1972 and made "The Warlord" (1972), "Legends of Lust” (1972), “The Empress Dowager” (1975) and “Tiger Killer” (1982) and other films. In 1983 he started to make films with Mainland studios and came out with "The Burning of Imperial Palace" (1983), "Reign Behind a Curtain" (1983), "The Last Emperor” (1986) and so on. Li died of heart attack in 1996, while making TV series "Burning of First Emperor’s Palace"(1996).