HCM CITY — Vietnamese-American musician and comedian Chí Tai, a leading actor in Vietnamese theatre overseas, died on Wednesday after suffering a stroke while exercising in HCM City earlier that day. He was 62.
Tai, whose real name was Nguyễn Chí Tai, was born in HCM City in 1958. He loved music and theatre when he was a boy.
He began his career when he was 18 years old as a guitarist for music bands in the city. In 1981, he moved to live in the US, working with his siblings and friends in the band Chi Tai’s Brothers.
He later worked with Thuy Nga Paris By Night, a music show produced by the US-based Thuy Nga Production.
He opened his studio and worked with famous Vietnamese singers in the US and France. He mixed and produced many albums and soundtracks for musical productions released by Thuy Nga Paris By Night.
In 1997, he became involved in comedy, and shot to fame quickly after working with famous comedian Hoai Linh in a series of comic shows featuring social issues.
He later returned to HCM City to develop his career. In an acting career spanning more than two decades, he was renowned for his portrayal of Vietnamese characters in famous plays such as Ken Rể (How to Choose a Son-in-law), Đanh Ghen (Jealous) and Dan Chơi Hang Mưon (The Player), leaving a strong impression on overseas Vietnamese.
He performed in several hundred music and theatre videos, CDs and MVs.
He was ranked among the leading lights of comedy theatre alongside famous personalities like People’s Artist Hồng Van and Meritorious Artist Hoai Linh.
Recently, he was also a popular TV actor, playing leading roles in dozens of TV shows and series produced by Viet Nam Television and HCM City Television, such as Hoi Ngo Danh Hai (Festival of Famous Comedians) and Người Hat Tình Ca (Singing Love Songs).
He performed in more than 40 films, including quality productions by respected movie directors like Vietnamese-American Dustin Nguyễn and Đỗ Đuc Thịnh.
His funeral took place yesterday and was attended by several popular Vietnamese artists in HCM City. His body will be moved to the US according to his family’s wishes.
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