BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Ding Guangquan, a Chinese cross-talk artist and mentor, passed away Thursday in Beijing at the age of 73, according to the Chinese Quyi Artists Association.
He was renowned for his efforts in mentoring foreigners to become Chinese cross-talk artists and comedians. Since 1989, he had taught more than 140 foreigners from over 90 countries.
Ding's students include Mark Henry Rowswell from Canada, whose stage name is Dashan, and Germany's Esther Haubensack, who goes by the name Hao Lianlu in China, both of whom are well-known for their on-stage performances and TV roles.
He also gave free courses at colleges in Beijing to teach students about the art of Chinese cross-talk, which played a big part in the international spread of the art form.
Born on Oct. 14, 1944, Ding became a disciple of another cross-talk icon, Hou Baolin, in 1973. Ding eventually carried on Hou's style, which is listed as an intangible cultural heritage item of Beijing.