The popular artist, comedian and actor Van Hiep died of cancer on April 9 in Hanoi at the age of 71.

Born in 1942 in Hanoi, Hiep became famous nationwide for his simple and natural acting, both on stage and screen.

He found most success in comedy. Whether he played a good or bad character, he always found humour in the role. He is most remembered for Ong Gia Hon Nhien (Carefree Old Man) and Nguoi Vac Tu Va Hang Tong (Village Horn Blower), as well as for his role as the village head in TV series Gap Nhau Cuoi Tuan (Weekend Get-together). Since then, the title “Ong truong thon” (Village Head) has stuck to him.

Comedian Minh Vuong wrote on her personal page: “We, the artists, and the public will never forget your contributions to the national theatre and cinema.”

Someone under the name Hoan Tran chipped in with the comment: “This was the saddest news for me. The image of village head Van Hiep, with his humorous deeds and words, is part of my childhood.”

After graduating from the first class of the Hanoi College of Theatre and Cinema (now Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema), he worked at the Vietnam National Theatre form 1963 to 1990. Then he moved to the Department of Culture and Information.

After his retirement in 2002, Hiep worked as a screenwriter and playwright, stage director and lecturer. He also continued to act.

During his 40-year-long career, Hiep acted in more than 1,000 plays and films.-VNA