Sawong “Lor Tok” Supsamruay’s 105th Birthday – Rising from humble beginnings to become one of Thailand’s most acclaimed comedic actors, Sawong Supsamruay—known to audiences as Lor Tok—appeared in more than 1000 films, and stars in today’s Doodle.
Born in Bangkok on this day in 1914, Supsamruay worked on his family’s orchard as a boy until it was destroyed by a flood. He later made a living tending riverboats, driving a bicycle rickshaw, and boxing professionally. After joining a comedy troupe, he got his first chance to act on screen in the 1933 fim Wan Chakayan, officially kicking off a 50+ year acting career.
Supsamruay’s portrayal of a poor man named Lor Tok who forgets his roots after striking it rich in the popular film Klai Kuer Kin Kuer resonated so much with audiences that the name stuck throughout the rest of his career. Unlike this character, Supsamruay stayed true to himself no matter how successful he became, bringing a self-deprecating charm to his roles as the amusing sidekick to various leading men during the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.
Although best known for his comedies, Lor Tok took on dramatic roles as well, winning a Thai National Film Association award for his performance as a moneylender in Money, Money, Money. Beyond acting, Lor Tok started his own production company, where he both directed and starred in films. In 1995 he was named a National Artist of Thailand in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in the performing arts.
The actor’s larger-than-life legacy was introduced to a younger Thai generation through the animated Dracula Tok Show, which caricatured the beloved comedian. Today, fans can also visit the Lor Tok Museum, opened by his widow in the simple wooden house they shared together.
Happy 105th Birthday, Lor Tok!
You can find more about Sawong “Lor Tok” Supsamruay’s 105th Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page