PETALING JAYA: Legendary actor Tan Sri Jins Shamsudin has died at the age of 81.
The national art laureate was having a meal at his home in Taman Melawati yesterday when he experienced breathing difficulty and was rushed to a clinic nearby where he died at 5.45pm.
Screen colleagues paid tribute to the actor, known for his moving portrayals in a variety of roles that spanned almost six decades.
“No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession and to his country,’’ said a family member.
Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011, Jins’ health deteriorated over the years. In August 2015, however, Jins made an appearance at the premiere of Bukit Kepong which was restored in HD in conjunction with the National Day celebrations.
Born on Nov 5, 1935, in Taiping, Jins made a name for himself in the film industry, where he starred in various movies including Pancha Delima (1957) and Sarjan Hassan (1958).
Jins got his start in show business when he was hand-picked by the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee for Pancha Delima, which was produced in Singapore.
His career took off and he acted in films such as Megat Terawis (1960), Lela Manja (1960) and Bukan Salah Ibu Mengandung (1969).
He also ventured into directing and excelled in the field as well. In the Jefri Zain series (Gerak Kilat, Bayangan Ajal and Jurang Bahaya) Jins played a suave spy which earned him the nickname “Malaysian James Bond”.
In 1982, his film Bukit Kepong received seven awards at the Malaysia Film Festival (FFM) including Best Film, Director and Actor for himself.
He wrote and directed Ali Setan, a romantic comedy which won five awards at the FFM in 1986.
Actress Noorkumalasari, 60, who was Jins daughter in the Esok series, recalled Jins’ distinct style.
“In Tiada Esok Bagimu, I was required to cry for the whole day. At the end of the day, it was about 3am, and I had no more tears left, so I asked Jins to stand in front of me, and immediately I was moved to tears because his eyes were full of emotion.”
KRU Group CEO and executive president Norman Abdul Halim said Jins would be remembered for his many contributions to the local film industry.
“He was always looking for ways to push the envelope through his work as an actor-director,” said Norman.
In 2015, KRU Productions restored Jins’ Bukit Kepong from its film reel and re-released it in cinemas.
Actress Vanida Imran, 43, was also saddened by news of Jins’ passing. In 2002, Jins directed Vanida in Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!, a theatre performance staged at Istana Budaya.
“He was very fatherly. He was also very humble. He was always open to sharing his stories,” she said.
Actress Fauziah Ahmad Daud, 54, (fondly known as Ogy) said she was forever grateful to Jins for grooming her to be the director that she is today.
“When he was guiding me, he would say: ‘Understand what I am teaching you, do not copy and paste what I am teaching you. Be true to yourself.’”
Jins spent two years training under renowned Hong Kong director Lo Wei at Shaw Studios Hong Kong in 1967.
He furthered his education with a Diploma in Motion Picture Technology at the London Film School in 1970, and earned a PhD from UUM in 2010 with a thesis centred on Malay films from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Jins also dabbled in politics. A staunch Barisan Nasional supporter, Jins was among the pioneers who sat in the protem committee in Singapore in 1960.
He was sworn in as a senator on Oct 13, 2004, making history as the first celebrity to be a member of the Upper House.
The late actor is survived by his wife Puan Sri Halijah Abdullah and their sons, Putera Hang Jebat and Putera Hang Nadim. He has another son from a previous marriage, Jefri.
The burial will take place at Masjid Ulu Klang on Thursday.