Photo: Straits Times

Lin died of pneumonia last Saturday (Dec 14). She was 58.

According to local evening daily Shin Min Daily News, Lin had no religious affiliation in life and felt that a sea burial would be “freer”.

The actress’ husband Chen Zhicheng said Lin had idolised her grandfather.

He said to the news outlet: “In her grandfather’s time, sea burials were not common but he chose to depart in that way and I think that influenced her.”

The former actress was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy – a progressive disorder that affects the nervous system and one’s movement – in 2010.

Lin told Shin Min in a 2015 interview that she began using a wheelchair in 2014.

The eldest of Lin’s three children, 29-year-old dance student Chen Meiqi, told Chinese publication Lianhe Wanbao: “My mother always encouraged us to be independent – she was a strong woman and our role model.

“She always told us growing up that when she was hurt, she would not cry or whine to her mum and dad, and that we need to be able to take care of ourselves instead of relying on others,” she added.

Photo: Straits Times 

Lin starred in various Channel 8 drama serials in the 1980s, such as CID 83 (1983) opposite the late actor Huang Wenyong, who died after a six-month battle with lymphoma in 2013 at age 60.

In 1991, she became the first actress under Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), now known as Mediacorp, to be affected by a new contract clause – which stipulates that actresses who get pregnant during the course of their contract will have their contracts terminated.

According to news archives, Lin was unaware that she was pregnant when she signed a one-year contract with the broadcaster and after considering her circumstances, SBC allowed her to stay on with the company until the start of 1992.

Her appearances gradually reduced after the 1980s and early 1990s, only taking on roles periodically like in the 2006 drama serial Family Matters.

She also appeared in a short film by Anthony Chen, called The Reunion Dinner (2011).

In an interview with Wanbao, Chen recalled directing her: “I’m glad that making films has given me a chance to rediscover many actors. There was one scene in the film where she was looking in the mirror and I thought it was quite beautiful and touching – very much like a mother from an earlier generation.”

Lin’s wake was attended by local celebrities like Chen Shucheng, Xiang Yun and Edmund Chen.

This article was first published in The Straits Times 

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