Challenging traditional stereotypes for Asian-American actors, Russell Wong has earned a reputation as a sexy, charismatic leading man whose good looks are matched by his skills as a performer. The sixth of seven children, Russell Wong was born on March 1, 1963, in Troy, NY; his family moved to Albany when he was a baby, where his father ran a restaurant. When Wong was seven years of age, his parents divorced, and he moved with his mother to California, settling near Yosemite. In 1981, Wong graduated from Mariposa County High School, and that fall enrolled at Santa Monica City College. Wong supported himself as a photographer and as a dancer (appearing in rock videos with David Bowie, Donna Summer, and Janet Jackson, among others) before scoring his first screen roles in 1985, appearing in a Hong Kong musical called Ge wu sheng ping (aka Musical Dancer) and in a screen adaptation of James Clavell's best-seller Tai-Pan. A number of undistinguished television and film roles followed, but Wong began breaking into better roles in 1989, when he made a memorable guest appearance on the drama series 21 Jump Street and won a leading role in Wayne Wang's acclaimed independent romantic comedy Eat a Bowl of Tea. Supporting roles in China Cry and New Jack City were to follow, and Wong found himself working with Wayne Wang again when he was cast in a meaty role in the film adaptation of Amy Tan's best-selling novel The Joy Luck Club. Wong finally scored a high-profile breakthrough role in 1994, when he was cast in the leading role in the made-for-TV movie Vanishing Son, in which he played a Chinese political activist exiled in America. The show was popular enough to spawn three sequels, and was later spun off into a syndicated TV series. After Vanishing Son ran its course, Wong moved on to more big-screen work, including major roles in Prophesy II, The Tracker, and Romeo Must Die, as well as the made-for-TV epic The Lost Empire. Russell Wong is also the brother of Michael Wong, a fellow thespian active in both Hong Kong and the United States.