Anita Mui Yim-Fong, an icon of the Hong Kong entertainmentindustry, died yesterday aged 40, from the side effects of cancer.

Mui, who had a career that spanned twodecades, reached the top of both the music and film industries and came to beregarded as a national treasure. She drew plaudits from across the industry, tothe top of government.

Mui starred in a string of localincluding hits A Better Tomorrow 3, The Heroic Trio, DrunkenMaster 2, My Father Is A Hero and Rumble In The Bronx, with the recent July Rhapsody her final on-screen role.

She had been cast to appear in Zhang Yimou's Shi Mian Mai Fuwhich is now in production. But it appears that she had not started shooting.According to unconfirmed fan-sites she turned down the role in recent days asher medical condition worsened.

She was characteristically busy and outwardly optimistic until the last -appearing in public as recently as a fortnight ago. Inwardly, however, she wasprobably more realistic and in the last weeks she gathered together many of hershowbiz friends for private farewells. Her death was announced by Jackie Chan.