Marcus Chong

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Marcus Chong
Born Marcus Wyatt
(1967-07-08) July 8, 1967 (age 47)
Seattle, Washington, USA
Known for
Parent(s)
  • Martin Wyatt (birth father)
  • Tommy Chong (adoptive father)
Awards 1991 Theatre World Award

Marcus Chong (born Marcus Wyatt[1] on July 8, 1967)[2] is an American actor. His best-known roles are Huey P. Newton in Panther (1995), directed by Mario Van Peebles, and Tank the Operator in The Matrix (1999).

Born in Seattle, he was adopted as a child by actor/comedian Tommy Chong.

Career[edit]

Wyatt began acting at age nine; his debut was portraying the young Frankie Warner in the 1979 miniseries Roots: The Next Generations (1979). Wyatt was a guest star in Little House on the Prairie, in "Blind Journey" part 2.[3]

Chong originated the role of student Lee Cortez in the Broadway production of Stand-Up Tragedy,[2] written by Bill Cain which opened at the Criterion Center Stage Right and closed in October 1990 after 13 performances.[4] The short-lived role never-the-less earned him a 1991 Theatre World Award; he was also nominated Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.

In the early 1990s, Chong played lead character Miguel Mendez on the TV show Street Justice. He later appeared in the Vanishing Son action series as Fu Qua Johnson.

In 1999, Chong appeared as Tank the Operator in The Matrix. In May 2003 Chong filed a lawsuit at Los Angeles Superior Court against Warner Bros and AOL Time Warner, saying Warner was in breach of a 1998 verbal agreement, and a 2000 contract to continue the character of Tank in the film's two sequels.[5] It was reported that a breakdown in talks caused by his salary demands, prompted The Wachowskis to write Chong's character out of the second and third films in the series.[5]

In 2001, Chong appeared in Season 3 of the TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit ("Inheritance").

More recently he had a role in season 4 of Burn Notice.[6]

Early years[edit]

Chong was born Marcus Wyatt in 1967 in Seattle, Washington; his mother is of Asian ancestry. His father is Martin Wyatt, who was a sports reporter in San Francisco for KGO-TV.[7]

As a boy Marcus was adopted in 1978 by Tommy Chong (a Canadian comedian of European-Chinese ancestry), and his second wife Shelby Fiddis; he joined their household in Los Angeles. When Wyatt turned 18, he took on the Chong family surname.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Marcus Chong Biography on filmreference.com". Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b "Marcus Chong - Performer". The Broadway League. 
  3. ^ "Little House on the Prairie Season 5 Episode 13". TV.com. 
  4. ^ "Stand-Up Tragedy". The Broadway League. 
  5. ^ a b "Matrix's 'Tank' sues makers over replacement". The Guardian. 20 May 2003. 
  6. ^ Burn Notice: Season 4, Episode 15: Brotherly Love at IMDb
  7. ^ DAN RALEY, "Where Are They Now? Martin Wyatt, former Huskies running back", Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 30 January 2007, accessed 8 December 2013