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In a continuation of the series on Thai history, Greg and Ed discuss the fascinating career and tragic death of Mitr Chaibancha, perhaps Thailand’s greatest movie star. From his early days fighting poverty to a promising career as a lightweight Muay Thai fighter, to an Air Force flight at Don Meuang Royal Thai Air Force base, Khun Mitr’s life was interesting from the start.

After a chance meeting, Khun Mitr met a film producer and was cast in his first small movie role. From there, his career took off, and he would eventually star in an insane 266 films over a 14 year career (averaging one every three weeks!). Specializing in both romance and action, most of his films were made on a small budget but were a hit across the country as his legend grew.

Unfortunately, Khun Mitr’s last film, The Golden Eagle (don’t miss the awesome plot summary by Greg), would end in tragedy as his refusal to use a stuntman would result in his untimely death. His cremation was mobbed by hundreds of thousands of fans, something that the Bangkok Post called “The most riotous and trouble-plagued funeral rite in living memory”. Click here to see a documentary on Mitr (in Thai), including footage of his cremation.

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