While the nation flooded social media with celebratory National Day messages yesterday, one particular Instagram post caught our eye: Xiang Yun's touching tribute to former Ch 8 actress Wang Xiu Yun, who had passed away on the morning of Aug 9. She was 72.
According to Xiang Yun, the veteran actress had passed away from kidney failure, and prior to her death, had rejected dialysis. Xiang Yun also adds that in the years before Xiu Yun passed on, she had diabetes and had stayed in several nursing homes. She reportedly has a god-daughter who is overseeing the funeral arrangements.
Xiu Yun Jie, as she’s affectionately known to her colleagues, got her start in showbiz as an actress in the 1970s with Mediacorp, then known as Radio Television Singapore. She is best remembered by viewers for kindhearted motherly roles in the '80s and '90s. Her most memorable role was that of a selfless mum in the 1989 Ch 8 classic A Mother’s Love, which starred Zoe Tay and Li Nanxing.
After she left showbiz in 1998, she taught children’s acting classes in her free time, while still pursing her love for acting part-time. Xiang Yun, who last worked with the late actress in Ch 8 drama Housewives’ Holiday in 2009, tells us that Xiu Yun also sold kids clothes in departmental store Metro. “I bought kids’ clothes from her to support her as my kids were still young back then,” says Xiang Yun. “Then she moved on to sell kitchenware in Takashimaya, I visited her a few times and bought some pots and pans from her too.”
Back then, a reporter had caught wind of Xiu Yun working in a department store and secretly snapped pics of her at work. Those photos were later published. “She was a little upset when the reporter did that. She confided in us and told us that it was a little intrusive," says Xiang Yun.
She adds: “She’s my senior in showbiz, and I have acted in several dramas with her. She is very good-tempered and she never gets angry. The actors used to tease her and she’d always laugh and say: ‘Don’t disturb me!’.”
Xiang Yun also reveals that the former Ch 8 actor Chen Guohua would also visit Xiu Yun at her work place and buy her lunch from time to time.
When Huang Wenyong passed away in 2013, Xiu Yun contacted Xiang Yun to let her know that she wouldn’t be attending the wake as “her legs hurt” and that she wasn't able to walk for long distances.
Xiang Yun tells us that she attended Xiu Yun’s wake at Ang Mo Kio Ave 8 this morning and that she had ran into Zheng Geping, Hong Huifang, Chen Xiuhuan and several production crew there.
“All of us were a little teary at the wake," she says. "The pain and sadness from knowing that Xiu Yun Jie has passed away is the same as the feeling I had when Wenyong died. I feel sad and heavy-hearted. At least her suffering has ended, and she’s in a better place now.”