Acclaimed martial arts actor, Hong Kong Phooey, who rose to fame in the Seventies for his part in movies such as “The Great Choo Choo Robbery” and “Mr Disguiso”, has been found dead at his home in Beverly Hills.
Cause of death has not been established, although police have ruled out the cartoon character being “Rubbed out” by long-term rival Batfink.
Phooey is only the latest in a long line of stars from your childhood who have died this year.
“HK” as he was known in the trade, rose to fame in a series of short films which showcased his trademark slapstick style.
But behind the bungling on-screen persona was a skilled martial artist with a minute eye for detail and timing.
“HK was a consummate professional,” said Hanna Barbera studio executive Simon Williams.
“Back in the Seventies we had none of the CGI we have now, you couldn’t fool the camera. A lot of those stunts you see on the screen were done in a single take. The guy was a perfectionist.”
Phooey later took uncredited roles in Police Story and The Raid and worked as a fight choreographer on Ong Bak.
Last night, former associates lined up to pay tribute to the star, who at the peak of his career was known as “Number One Super Guy”.
“HK was one of the greats,” a tearful Tony Jaa told the Hollywood Reporter. “He taught me most of what I know.”
And veteran Jackie Chan described Phooey as “quicker than the human eye”.
Phooey will be buried in a filing cabinet later this week.