Hong Kong director Ringo Lam, who made iconic 1980s films like City On Fire, Prison On Fire, School On Fire, and Aces Go Places IV, has died. He was 63.
According to a report by Hong Kong’s Apple Daily, on Saturday (Dec 29), an unconscious Lam was discovered on his bed by his wife, who called an ambulance. However, the director was already dead by the time the ambulance arrived. No foul play is suspected, according to the report.
Considered one of Hong Kong’s greatest ever directors, he was born Lam Ling Tung in Hong Kong in 1955, and made his directing debut in 1983 when he was parachuted in to take over Leong Po-Chih as director for Esprit d’amour, which was produced by Hong Kong actor Karl Maka.
Lam would later go on to direct Maka and Sam Hui in the fourth instalment of the popular Aces Go Places – Aces Go Places, which became so successful that Karl Maka gave Lam the option of making any film he wanted. He then made his signature film, City On Fire in 1986, which is one of the most iconic Hong Kong triad movies ever made, and garnered Lam the Best Director Award at the 1987 Hong Kong Film Awards.
Lam made two more ‘On Fire’ movies – Prison On Fire, which was made and released in 1987, and School On Fire, in 1988.
In 1996, Lam ventured into Hollywood, directing Jean-Claude Van Damme in Maximum Risk. The film didn’t do well, and he returned to Hong Kong to direct Full Alert, which was another big success, garnering five nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
In 2014, Lam teamed up with fellow directors Tsui Hark and Johnnie To to make one third of the experimental film Triangle. his final film was 2016’s Sky On Fire, an action thriller starring Daniel Wu.