Sunday, May 29 2022


The Arbitrator sighs his last, leaving a generation of young talented actors

Update: February, 14/2021 - 20:55


People's Artist Hoàng Dũng

HÀ NỘI — People's Artist Hoàng Dũng, dubbed "The Arbitrator" after the lead role he played in the TV series Người Phán xử of the same name that captured the attention of millions of viewers and set the trend for TV entertainment over the past few years, passed away on Valentine's Day at Hà Nội's National Institute for Haematology and Blood Transfusion aged 65.

He was still acting in a TV series, "Returning among the Loved" when he found out about his acute cancer. He kept his shooting schedule amid chemo sessions. His passing away has been anticipated among the actors' circle, but still it shocked many of them. 

"We know that life, ageing, illness and death make the circle of life no one can avoid," People's Artist Trung Hiếu, Director of Hà Nội's Theatre Company, his successor reportedly told Tuổi Trẻ online. "But Hoàng Dũng's passing away makes all our actors ache. An artiste life is like that of a silkworm, who passionately pulls out his silk threads, until the last, and he dies." 

Trung Hiếu was quoted as saying that he would turn the National Funeral Home into a stage to solemnly honour the late actor's signature roles on theatrical stage, the musician Bá Nhỡ in Tiếng đàn vùng Mê Thảo (The Sound of Music in Mê Thảo land). A short extract from the play will be staged and a chorus shall sing the lead song of the theatrical play. Trung Hiếu committed to throwing a solemn yet simple funeral that will not become too painful, just like what People's Artist Hoàng Dũng wanted. 

Trained to be theatrical 

Born in 1956 in Hà Nội, Hoàng Dũng graduated from Hà Nội's Performing Arts College in 1978 and worked at the Hà Nội Theatrical Troupe. 

He could play many roles, both comedy and tragedy. His theatrical repertoire included 11 plays, where the most memorable roles could be musician Bá Nhỡ in the above-mentioned play, as Chính in Tôi và Chúng Ta (I and We) by late writer Lưu Quang Vũ. Tôi và Chúng ta, with a record of more than 1,000 shows being performed in the 1980s, forecast the ground-breaking changes in the Vietnamese society many years later. 

He rose up in the theatre management, to become its Deputy Director in 2002 and Director from 2007 until 2017 when he retired. 

He was awarded Emeritus Artiste in 1994 and People's Artiste in 2007. Besides, he was member of the Artistic Committee of the Vietnam Stage Artists Association, Vice President of Hà Nội Theatrical Society, Hà Nội City's Arts Council. 

"Hoàng Dũng was a committed artiste and he took his role, be it main or supporting, very seriously and creatively," People's Artiste Khắc Lợi was quoted by saying. 

Cinema and TV roles

Though he was successful as a theatrical actor, Hoàng Dũng became famous nationwide for his role in cinema and TV series. He had played in three feature films and 20 TV series. 

Since he officially retired from Hà Nội Theatre in 2017, he became even more famous for his acting styles and his role's statements became trendy. 

For some unknown reasons, all the roles he took since 2017 until the last one in 2021 were all fathers. In 2017, he played a successful businessman but an underground ring leader in "The Arbitrator," an adaptation from an Israeli series of the same name. His quote became famous, "Family is the only thing that exists, all the rest things are not important!"

Then he played a harsh father and successful businessman in "Come home, dear child!" in 2019. 

The same year he had another role, also as a loving yet tough father, who works as a provincial party secretary in Sinh Tử (Life or Death). His acting in this political-inspired series sealed his signature: his commanding eye contact, his brief yet clear and powerful prose, his manners, all set the standards for the role. 

In 2020, he played in the Covid-19 inspired series called, Những ngày không quên (The Unforgettable Days) about Việt Nam's fighting the pandemic from the early days. 

His last TV series, Trở về giữa yêu thương (Returning among the Loved) was premiered on December 16, 2020, was Hoàng Dũng's last public appearance. After revising his playing in the first series, he reportedly told director, "I wasn't doing very well, I will try harder the next time," which moved director Trịnh Lê Phong deeply, according to Phong's Facebook post. 

The Patriarch

Hoàng Dũng leaves behind a team of young actors and actresses, who all called him Dad.

Farewell the Patriarch, the Arbitrator, the Musician. You were the Silkworm that weaved life's multicolour and diverse painting until your last breath.

People's Artiste Hoàng Dũng is survived by his wife and two sons, one is seeking an acting career like his father. VNS 

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