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Actor famed for portraying Mao dies of heart attack
Updated: 2005-07-05 13:49

A former Chinese soldier who shot to fame because of his uncanny resemblance to Mao Zedong has died from a heart attack, Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

Gu Yue portrayed Mao in 84 movies and television programs before his death Saturday in Guangdong province at age 66, Xinhua said.

Gu joined the army in 1949 and was first recruited by Marshal Ye Jianying to play the role of Mao in 1978, two years after Mao's death, Xinhua said. His original name was Hu Shixue.

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