The daughter of comedian Tommy Chong, actress Rae Dawn Chong began appearing on Canadian television in her preteen years. Chong's first major TV role was on the popular 1974 sitcom The Wiz Kid of Riverton. Seven years later, she exploded onto the big screen as the mud-covered cave dweller Ika in Quest for Fire (1981), which earned her the Canadian equivalent of the Academy Award. Playing a variety of striking characters, she would be prominently cast in such films as The Color Purple (1985), American Flyers (1987), and Commando (1985). By the 90's, Chong was a bankable actress with multiple projects per year, including successful TV roles as well, on shows like Wild Card and Mysterious Ways.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Is of African-Canadian, American Indian, Scottish, French, and Irish heritage.
- Provided background sounds for her father's comedy records as a child.
- Was discovered by a Disney talent scout while singing at her sixth grade graduation.
- Appeared in the music video for Mick Jagger's 1985 song "Just Another Night."
- Was profiled in the 1987 book Starring Mothers.
- Appeared in a production of Oh, Kay! at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City in 1991.