Versatile musician and romantic ruler
Updated: 2012-10-16 07:55
Throughout his long life, Cambodia's former king, Norodom Sihanouk, remained a versatile and romantic man, despite his varied political activities and numerous personal upheavals.
Sihanouk displayed a talent for art and music when still a primary student, and over the course of his life composed more than 30 songs extolling his country and singing the praises of the friendship between China and Cambodia. Miss China and China, My Second Homeland are among his best-known compositions. Some observers believed that Sihanouk would have been a great musician, had he not become his country's king.
In a video shown on Cambodia's state-owned television in February 2003, Sihanouk sang for 60 minutes, accompanied by a six-piece band composed of family members. In 2002, at a banquet after an ASEAN summit, Sihanouk danced with two female political leaders, his elegant dancing garnering much praise.
Sihanouk was also interested in making movies. Between 1966 and 1997, he made 19 films, combining the roles of writer, director and actor. In one of his movies, the story of a political coup, he starred as the deposed leader.
He met his wife, Monineath, when the 18-year-old was competing in a beauty pageant. They married in 1954.
Xinhua contributed to the story.