Veteran crosstalk artist Li Wenhua, who had been named China's national comedian, died of complications from laryngeal cancer on May 9, 2009. He was 82.
Crosstalk artist Li Wenhua
Li's long-time stage partner, Jiang Kun, published the news to media via SMS.
"He went away very peacefully," Jiang told Sohu.com. Jiang had accompanied Li since the latter was hospitalized in Beijing's Chaoyang Hospital last year.
Li, born in 1927 in Beijing, was honored as one of ten national crosstalk comedians in 1985.
He was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 1983. His condition became stable two years later after he underwent a complete resection of larynx, which however permanently kept him away from the stage.
Li's funeral is scheduled for May 15.
Crosstalk, or Xiangsheng in Chinese, is a traditional Chinese performing art. During a typical crosstalk show, two artists entertain the audience with funny dialogues.
(CRI May 11, 2009)