Victor Wong

Active - 1933 - 1997  |   Born - Jul 31, 1927   |   Died - Sep 12, 2001   |   Genres - Action, Comedy, Drama, Children's/Family, Thriller

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A longtime character actor most recognized for his roles as wise grandfatherly figures in such popular films as Big Trouble in Little China and Disney's 3 Ninja series, Victor Wong was also a founding figure of Chicago's enduring Second City comedy troupe and a noted Beat Generation artist.

A fourth generation Chinese-American born in San Francisco's Chinatown, Wong studied political science and journalism at U.C. Berkeley before switching to the University of Chicago and founding Second City. Later attending the Art Institute of San Francisco and obtaining a master's degree, Wong became involved in the Beat scene of the 1950s and early '60s, creating art and becoming friends with both City Lights bookstore owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti and writer Jack Kerouac. Breaking ground as one of the first Chinese-American television reporters while working for San Francisco's KQED from 1968 to 1974, the aspiring actor was soon working with the local Asian-American theater troupe, later moving to New York to appear in numerous plays and in small roles on daytime TV. Wong's first film role came in 1984 with Wayne Wang's Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart. Quickly establishing a noted screen presence with roles in such diverse films as The Golden Child (1986) and The Last Emperor the following year, Wong created a persona that was much in demand until his retirement from acting in 1998, following two strokes.

On September 12, 2001, Victor Wong died in his sleep in his farmhouse near Locke, CA. He was 74.

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