Veteran Hong Kong actor Ng Man Tat (吳孟達) died in hospital on Saturday (Feb 27), according to media reports. He was 70.
The comedian, who acted in Stephen Chow movies such as "Hail The Judge" (1994) and the two-part "A Chinese Odyssey" (1995), was suffering from liver cancer, Hong Kong news outlet The Standard said.
Mr Ng's close friend Tenky Tin Kai Man, also an actor, said that he died in the late afternoon in Union Hospital in Hong Kong with family members, including his wife, children and siblings, at his side.
"He left us peacefully. Doctors had been prescribing medications to make him feel better. He passed away in his sleep," Mr Tin was quoted as saying in The Standard.
Mr Ng was admitted to hospital on Feb 20 even though news reports earlier said that he had previously sought treatment in Macau.
Mr Tin told the media on Feb 21 that his friend called him after surgery and said "the worst is over". Other friends who visited Mr Ng in hospital also said that he was fine.
There were no reports on why his condition deteriorated.
Mr Ng started his career in 1973, at the age of 22. In 1991, he was awarded Hong Kong Film Award's Best Supporting Actor for his role in "A Moment of Romance," featuring Andy Lau.
Mr Ng has also been nominated for a number of other awards, including Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards.
Mr Ng was once well-known as Mr Chow's sidekick although they have not collaborated since "Shaolin Soccer" in 2001. But the actor denied that there had been a falling out between them and did not rule out working with Mr Chow again.
Mr Ng had been struggling with deteriorating health in recent years. In 2014, he was rushed to hospital with breathing problems, and was later diagnosed with heart failure.