Singapore Celebrity, Jimmy Nah, Dead At 40

4 Jan

SINGAPORE: He shot to fame in the 1980s in a Channel 8 series “Friends Next Door”, playing a character who was perennially on sick leave – one so popular with comedy fans that it became his stage-name: MC King.

More recently, the 40-year-old actor and host took to the big screen in several Jack Neo hits such as “Home Run” and “I Do, I Do”, and had just completed a new Channel 8 drama “Taste of Love”, due to debut on Jan 22.

Friends and family saw nothing amiss with Mr Jimmy Nah – who, in a blog entry on New Year’s Eve, wished for good health and the renewal of his MediaCorp contract come Feb 29 – so, his sudden death on Friday shocked everyone.

According to artiste manager, Ms Teo Lian Huay, Mr Nah had accompanied his mother to a doctor’s clinic in the morning, and had seemed all right then.

But later, back home, she found him gasping for air in his room and he was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. He was pronounced dead at about 1pm.

The cause of death had yet to be established as of press time: The police said he had no prior medical history and foul play was not suspected. Other reports say he was given the all-clear in a recent medical check-up.

Friends rushed to the hospital on hearing the news, including actors Huang Shinan, Rayson Tan and Carol Lin.

Mr Huang, who owns an events company, told TODAY he was shocked because he had been on the phone with Mr Nah the night before, and nothing had seemed amiss.

“He was always so full of zeal, always on the lookout for opportunities,” he said, adding that he had never heard Mr Nah complain of tiredness even after a hard day’s filming.

“He was a source of motivation and would encourage me whenever I had problems in my business.”

Ms Teo said Mr Nah’s mother called him a filial child and was the elder of two sons.

Besides acting, Mr Nah was a part-time radio deejay and an events host. Fans also remember him from the Comedy Night shows in the 1990s, which he hosted with Mr Neo and Mr Mark Lee.

News of Mr Nah’s death spread quickly, with fans flooding online forums with their condolences and bewilderment that he died so young.

Cleaner Ms Ang Hua, 59, told TODAY: “I have been watching him on television since the day he entered the industry and I really liked him. He was entertaining and funny.”

Film-maker Mr Neo wrote on his blog: “I still cannot believe he has left … I wish what I am writing now is just a script or a bad dream, and that all this never happened.”

Himself an avid blogger, Mr Nah posted photos that he took of fellow celebrities, and almost every entry ended with a short video-clip of the day’s events. His last post was on Dec 31, in which he listed his wishes for the new year.

Said Mr Huang: “We had plans to work together again, but now he is gone. Life is so unpredictable.”

Channel News Asia

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