BEIJING, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Chen Qiang, a veteran actor who is perhaps best known for the villains he portrayed early in his career, has passed away at the age of 94.
Chen, a native of Ningjin in north China's Hebei province, died at a hospital in Beijing Tuesday night.
The award-winning actor starred in more than 40 movies over the course of several decades, including "The Red Detachment of Women," "The White-Haired Girl" and other revolution-era classics.
He largely portrayed darker characters, such as greedy landlords, in the films he worked on before the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Chen claimed in some interviews that his vivid performances nearly had him killed when he was still a stage performer. A stage performance of "The White-Haired Girl" resulted in a newly-recruited soldier pulling a gun on Chen during the act. Fortunately, the rifle was taken away from the soldier before he could fire.
Chen turned to comedy in his old age. He worked with his son Chen Peisi, also a well-known comedian, on a number of movies in the 1980s and 1990s.