Actor Morris Rong dies of heart attack at 43
CNATAIPEI, Taiwan -- Morris Rong (戎祥), a TV comedian and movie actor who shot to fame after starring in the 2009 China-produced film “Crazy Racer,” died of a heart attack early Friday at the age of 43.
January 26, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Rong was not breathing and had no heart beat when he was rushed to Taiwan Adventist Hospital at 2:24 a.m. after falling unconscious at a KTV lounge, the hospital said Friday.
Doctors at the hospital failed to resuscitate him, and he was pronounced dead one and a half hours later, having succumbed to a heart attack.
Rong's wife Salem Lai told the media at the hospital that her husband's death came as a shock to her because Rong did not have a history of heart disease.
“Perhaps, he was too tired these days, and drinking might also have been a factor,” a tearful Lai said, adding that she was grateful for friends' concern and help.
Rong, the son of Maj. Gen. Rong Shao-hsin, who once served as a security guard for the late President Chiang Ching-kuo, began his acting career as a TV variety show assistant and comedian.
His career plunged to its lowest ebb in 2007 when he was sent to jail to force him to quit marijuana use.
After serving his jail term, Rong actively projected a positive image and served as an ambassador against drug abuse.
He also invested in a food store in the vicinity of Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan and a pub in Taipei.
His acting career saw a breakthrough in 2009, when he starred as a criminal ring leader in the film “Crazy Racer.” The movie became a box office hit in China, and its success helped him stage a comeback in Taiwan's entertainment world.
Rong had since starred in several other popular Taiwan- and Hong Kong-produced films, including “Gangster Rock” and the “Great Magician.” His skilled performance as a warlord in the “Great Magician” won him critical acclaim.
The actor is survived by his wife. The couple did not have any children.