Veteran, versatile entertainer Victor Khoo dies
Popular ventriloquist, entertainer Victor Khoo dies of cancer
Victor and Charlee. Their familiarity and fame were such that there was never any need for honorifics or surnames.
Now, with the death of Mr Victor Khoo, what remains is the legacy of the joy and laughter they brought to Singaporeans.
Mr Khoo died from cancer yesterday morning after struggling with the disease for some time.
He was 63.
A popular figure in the 70s and 80s, he was known for his versatility: Hosting radio shows and corporate events, performing magic and, of course, his famous ventriloquist act with Charlee the puppet.
Together, they entertained audiences all over the world.
He performed at the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, several parts of Europe and many more countries in Asia.
Indeed, he paved the way for Singaporean entertainers.
Mr Khoo went from hosting a radio show in the early days of Rediffusion to hosting several corporate events.
He even tried his hand at directing a film.
But most fans remember Mr Khoo and Charlee hosting Happy Talk on radio in the 1990s.
A family spokesman said in a statement yesterday: "We remember him for his generosity, his wit, his unfailing optimism, and his warmth and affection.
"He always had time for his family and close friends. Even at the end, he had a smile and a squeeze of the hand for us and all who visited."
Ms Pamela Wildheart, who worked with Mr Khoo on several projects, said the most memorable time she had with him was reciting poetry under the stars at an event at The Night Safari in 2006.
The recording artist and former radio personality added: "He was always so spontaneous, he was game for anything and everything.
"I would go to him with an idea and we would immediately discuss it. He was the kind of friend whom you call and you know that he would come down to meet you immediately.
"I have the highest respect for him."
She remembers him as a soft-hearted man who raised Singapore's showhosting standards.
Another entertainer who worked with Mr Khoo, Mr Benjamin John, said Mr Khoo was the best showman he has ever worked with in Singapore.
The singer, in his 50s, said tearfully: "Mr Khoo was the only one who appreciated me in Singapore.
"I lived in Europe and around Asia for 35 years and Mr Khoo was the only one who made me look good in front of the Singaporean audience.
"We performed together for Mr Lee Kuan Yew, his wife and PM Lee (Hsien Loong). He was simply the best you can get and he did so much for the entertainment scene in Singapore."
Former Singapore Press Holdings head of marketing Tham Kai Wor, 70, who had worked with Mr Khoo in organising The Straits Times 150th Anniversary event in 1995, said: "Mr Khoo was always very accommodating and amiable. He had a big heart for everyone and was always there whenever you needed him."
Mr Khoo was the emcee for the event, entertaining about 1,500 staff.
He leaves behind his sons, Barry and Brandon, from his first marriage to the late Lam May Yee, his wife, Shellen, and daughters, Victoria and Vanessa.
The family said in the statement: "We will miss him terribly."
I have the highest respect for him.
- Ms Pamela Wildheart