Image Courtesy: Google Doodle
Sawong Supsamruay (1 April 1914 – 29 April 2002) was a Thai comedian and actor. He was named a Thailand National Artist for performing arts in 1995. With an acting career that stretched from the 1930s into the 1980s, Lor Tok had roles in more than 1,000 films. He was also known to audiences as Lor Tok.
Life and Career
Sawong Supsamruay was born on 1 April 1914 in Thailand. As a boy, he climbed coconut trees and learned to play traditional Thai musical instruments. He attended Wat Nuan Noradit School until Mattayom 3 (the equivalent of ninth grade) and then went to work on the family orchard. After floods wiped out the orchard, Lor Tok worked on a river pier, helping to moor ferry boats. Other occupations included boatman on the Pasi Charoen canal, a trishaw driver in Nakhon Ratchasima, and a professional boxer. He is said to have often walked from Nakhon Ratchasima to Bangkok on foot, a journey that took three days. He also served in the Royal Thai Army.
Lor Tok joined a comedy troupe and began performing with another popular comedian of the day, Jok Dokchan. His film debut was in 1933 in Wan Chakayan. Other films were Panan, Yod Phi, Hong Fah, Phra Apaimanee and Roy Khan. With an acting career that stretched from the 1930s into the 1980s, Lor Tok had roles in more than 1,000 films.
He established his own production company in 1969 called Tok Boom Parpayon. Among the films he directed was Luk Kuey, which starred Mitr Chaibancha and Petchara Chaowarat.
The actor’s larger-than-life legacy was introduced to a younger Thai generation through the animated Dracula Tok Show, which caricatured the beloved comedian. Today, fans can also visit the Lor Tok Museum, opened by his widow in the simple wooden house they shared together.
Sawong Supsamruay passed away on 29 April 2002 at an age of 88 in Thailand.
Award and Legacy
His work and efforts brought a lasting impact on Thailand. He was named a Thailand National Artist for performing arts in 1995. With an acting career that stretched from the 1930s into the 1980s, Lor Tok had roles in more than 1,000 films.
On 1 April 2019, Google celebrated Sawong Supsamruay’s 105th Birthday with a doodle.Tags: 1 April 1914, 29 April 2002, actor, Google Doodle, Lor Tok, Observer Voice Sawong Supsamruay, Remembering Sawong Supsamruay, Sawong Supsamruay, Sawong Supsamruay Birthday, Sawong Supsamruay Death anniversary, Sawong Supsamruay Observer Voice, Sawong Supsamruay’s 105th Birthday, Thai comedian, Tribute to Sawong Supsamruay