Veteran martial arts filmmaker Chang Cheh, mentor to kung fu film superstar Bruce Lee and action director John Woo, died June 22 of pulmonary disease. He was 79.
Born in 1923 in mainland China, Chang was one of the most distinguished filmmakers in Hong Kong during the 1960s and 1970s. He received a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Hong Kong Film Awards.
Apart from his kung fu films, Chang was well-known for his ability to discover and turn young martial artists into major stars.
Chang directed Lee in many of his films.
Woo worked as Chang’s assistant for many years. Woo’s filmography includes “A Better Tomorrow,” “Hard-Boiled,” “The Killer,” “Bullet in the Head,” “Face/Off,” “Mission: Impossible 2” and his current release “Windtalkers.”