Throngs of Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing fans in Hong Kong and abroad flocked to memorial services yesterday to mark the 11th anniversary of the beloved Canto-pop idol's death.
It was 11 years ago yesterday that the massively popular singer and actor killed himself by jumping from the 24th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Central. News of his suicide shocked Cheung's millions of fans around the world. He was 46.
On The Peak yesterday, bouquets of flowers and wreaths surrounded the wax figure of Cheung at the Madame Tussauds museum. Many were personally delivered by fans from Japan, South Korea, Singapore and the mainland.
"Thank you Leslie for your relentless zeal in your creative works and the inspiration you have brought to us," the message on one wreath read.
Helen Tang, from Sichuan province, said she had travelled to Hong Kong to attend a memorial service at Baptist University, during which videos of Cheung's concerts were to be screened.
"I've been a fan of his since I was 16," said Tong, 28, in Cantonese she had picked up from years of listening to Cheung's music. "I love every single one of his songs and all his movies."
Affectionately known as "Gor Gor", which means older brother in Cantonese, Cheung shocked Chinese communities around the world when he jumped to his death on April 1, 2003.
At an annual memorial held outside the Mandarin Oriental hotel lobby yesterday, scores of emotional fans showed up to pay their respects, many with tears in their eyes. Floral wreaths lined the pavement.
"The April 1 service outside the hotel is an annual cultural tradition in the Hong Kong calendar," said Carol Lee, spokeswoman for organiser Red Mission, an international alliance of Cheung fans.
"Cheung will always be remembered for his charisma, timeless stage performances and captivating personality."
She urged the government to do more to promote the memory of Cheung as a local cultural icon, such as by opening a "Gor Gor" museum.
Cheung rose to fame as a Canto-pop singer in the 1980s before moving into acting. His acting career took off in 1986 when he starred opposite Chow Yun-fat in John Woo Yu-sen's gangster drama A Better Tomorrow.
Other notable roles followed in films such as Happy Together and Days of Being Wild.
Watch:A top Hong Kong talent agent on losing pop star Leslie Cheung to suicide