Hawaiian-born actor Mark Dacascos has been a student of kung-fu and won hop kuen (his parents are both martial arts masters) for most of his life, and at age nine he won an international tournament. His family moved frequently while he was young, and as a result, he became fluent in Mandarin Chinese and German. Due to his expertise in martial arts, it should come as no surprise that martial arts movies make up the so much of his film career. Dacascos would appear in a number of memorable projects over the course of his career, most memorably playing new world warrior Mani in the French film Brotherhood of the Wolf, and starring on TV shows like The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, Hawaii Five-0, and playing the legendary Chairman on Iron Chef America.
Biography by Ryan Shriver
- Is of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese, Irish and Japanese ancestry.
- Won an international martial-arts competition at age 9.
- Is fluent in German, Chinese and Mandarin.
- Parents are both martial-arts masters.
- Enjoys snowboarding, surfing and playing the drums.
- Was spotted on the streets of San Francisco by representatives of director Wayne Wang and given a part in his Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1984), but his role was ultimately cut from the film.
- Early in his career, he portrayed a young Conan the Barbarian in a Universal Studio tour.
- Once considered becoming a Shaolin monk.
- Met his wife, actress Julie Condra, on a plane to Vancouver, where both were flying to perform in the film Crying Freeman.
- Favorite dish to cook is banana pancakes.