Famed Chinese martial arts novelist Jin Yong has died at the age of 94, Hong Kong media reported on Tuesday (Oct 30).

The novelist, whose real name is Louis Cha, died at the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, said Apple Daily News.

His son-in-law, Dr Ng Wai-cheong, confirmed the news on Tuesday, said the South China Morning Post. The report said he died after a long illness.

Apply Daily also reported that Cha’s friend, writer Chip Tsao, said that the wuxia great did not leave any last words.

Mr Tsao said: “He was not in good health this year, he was getting old and his organs were starting to fail and he could not speak very clearly.”

A former journalist and newspaper editor, Cha was considered the grandfather of Chinese martial arts, or wuxia, fiction. He was known for writing the Legends Of The Condor Heroes series of books.

Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau, who shot to fame with his role as Yang Guo in the 1983 TV adaptation of Return Of The Condor Heroes, was contacted by iQiyi for his thoughts on Cha’s passing.

Lau said: “Jin Yong is a genius in the world of wuxia fiction. It was fate that led me to play Yang Guo, a character he penned.”

He added: “I’ve actually always asked about his health and his death is definitely a huge loss to the wuxia world. I hope he rests in peace and I send my condolences to his family.”

Other stars including Alec Su, Wang Leehom, Jordan Chan also posted their condolences. Chan, who acted as Wei Xiaobao in one of the TV adaptations of Cha’s The Deer And The Cauldron, said on Chinese microblogging site Weibo: “Xiaobao bids farewell, Swordsman Cha, may you leave in peace.”

Bollywood star Aamir Khan, star of popular Indian film Three Idiots, also posted on Weibo about Cha’s passing, professing himself a fan of Cha.

He said: “I am very saddened to hear the sad news of Mr Louis Cha passing away. His book The Deer And The Cauldron gave me a lot of joy. I read it just a few months back. I wish I could have met him. He has given so much joy to so many generations. I am his big fan. I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.”

Cha’s works were largely set in the world of the jianghu, a pugilistic society where martial arts exponents travel China trading blows, teaching skills and upholding a strict code of honour.

He was one of the best-selling Chinese authors, with more than 300 million copies of his works sold worldwide. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network