James Hong Biography

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Birth Name: James Hong
Born: 02/22/1929
Birth Place: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


Slender and long-faced, of modest height and most typically clean-shaven, Hong has conveyed an ascetic, perennially middle-aged image which led to his being cast as vicious ganglords, quiet servants and other stereotyped roles including a Japanese general in "Airplane!" (1980), Charlie Chan's "number one" son on the syndicated TV series, "The New Adventures of Charlie Chan" (1957-58), and Wang the bar cook on the CBS sleuth show "Switch" (1975-78). Hong, though, has always brought not only a relaxed conviction to such roles but also a dignity and presence that frequently makes them memorable, as with his role as Faye Dunaway's butler in "Chinatown" (1974) and the sequel, "The Two Jakes" (1990), or one of his best-remembered parts, that of Chew ("I only make the eyes!") in the sci-fi epic "Blade Runner" (1982). As Asians became increasingly visible in American culture in the 80s and 90s, Hong only seemed to get busier: three different guest roles on both "Tour of Duty" and "MacGyver", among dozens of other TV assignments; six feature films in 1992 alone (a number of them martial arts extravaganzas); and even a shot at directing with "The Vineyard" (1990). High-profile Hollywood films which used him in the 90s were typically of a somewhat cartoonish nature: "Wayne's World 2" (1993), "The Shadow" (1994), "Tank Girl" (1995).




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