For his role in the Broadway production of M. Butterfly, talented stage and screen actor B.D. Wong (born Bradley Darryl Wong) would enter into history as the only actor ever to be honored with a Tony, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, and a Theater World Award for a single performance. Proving equally adept onscreen, Wong's memorable early roles in The Freshman (1990) and Father of the Bride (1991) found him simultaneously attempting to break out of the Asian-American cinema stereotype while seeking out roles that would expand his dramatic capabilities. A native of San Francisco whose musical experimentation during his childhood eventually lead to the discovery of acting, Wong's parents were consistently supportive in nurturing his creative energy. Wong worked his way into Bay Area community theater while still a student at Lincoln High School, and his association with the San Francisco Unified School District proved an essential component in developing his skills as an actor. Following his subsequent graduation from San Francisco State University Wong moved to New York City, where he performed in dinner theater and off-Broadway productions. After making his professional bow in a New York Town Hall production of Androcles and the Lion, Wong began to essay small television roles on such series as Simon & Simon and Sesame Street about the time of his feature debut in The Karate Kid II (1986). Soon thereafter, Wong received coaching from Donald Hotton to prepare for his role in M. Butterfly, and following much critical acclaim, Wong slowly gained onscreen momentum with roles in Jurassic Park (1993) and the HBO AIDS-drama And the Band Played On (both 1993). In his constant search to portray original and diverse characters, Wong had a recurring role as Father Ray Makuda on the HBO series Oz. Subsequent performances included roles in Seven Years in Tibet (1997), voice work in the animated Disney film Mulan (1998), and the crime thriller The Salton Sea (2002). Television viewers became acquainted with Wong through his role on Law and Order: Special Victim's Unit.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Made professional acting debut in a New York production of Androcles and the Lion at age 20 in 1982.
- Changed his stage name from Bradd Wong when producers of M. Butterfly wanted to keep the gender of the show's main character in question.
- In 1988, became the first actor to be honored with all five major New York theater awards for a single role, receiving a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Clarence Derwent and Theatre World awards for his work in M. Butterfly.
- Authored the 2003 book Following Foo: (the electronic adventures of the Chestnut Man), which details his son Jackson's battle to survive after being born 11 weeks premature.
- Received the 2005 Family Tree Award from the Family Pride Coalition for his efforts in advancing the causes of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents and their families.