In 1985, Cambodian Haing S Ngor became the first Asian to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the iconic The Killing Fields. The Globe sat down with the film’s screenplay writer Bruce Robinson on the 24th anniversary of Ngor’s murder to hear his reflections on the man and the movie
Twenty-four years ago, on a rainy February night on the edge of Los Angeles’ Chinatown, Dr. Haing S Ngor, a Cambodian physician, parked his Mercedes in a dank, dark, graffiti-daubed alley. Down that end of town, at least, such a car seemed out of place. Sadly, the gunshots that soon followed, were not.
Ngor was found bleeding out on the sidewalk by his neighbors. They knew him better as the Academy Award-winning – yet formerly unknown – star of The Killing Fields.
Ngor’s attackers pulled the trigger when he refused to give up a gold locket that contained a photo of his late wife, Huoy. Unlike her husband, she had not survived the brutal ‘communist utopia’ and forced labor camps of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge Kampuchea.
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