April 21, 1968 |
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Occupation||Physician, reality television personality|
Pam Ling (born April 21, 1968 in Los Angeles, California) is a Chinese American physician, best known as a castmate on The Real World: San Francisco, the third season of MTV's long-running reality television show.
On the Real World
On the show, Ling was a Phi Beta Kappa member from Harvard, an overachiever, and in her third year of medical school. In the first few weeks of their stay in the house, she was finishing up a difficult rotation. Like castmate Mohammed Bilal, she was one of the more calm and low-key roommates, and was one of the last roommates that Puck would agree to talk to during conflict resolutions with the rest of the house. She became close with castmates Pedro Zamora and Judd Winick, and the three became inseparable, with Cory joining them halfway through their stay in San Francisco.
She attempted to maintain a long-distance relationship with her then-boyfriend Chris Barbour, and the roomies surprised her by having him visit San Francisco on her birthday, putting on a mock presentation of This is Your Life, with a tuxedo-wearing Winick as the announcer, and her boyfriend as the final person to appear. Unbeknownst to anyone, Winick had developed feelings of his own for Ling, and after she would get home late at night from work and fall asleep with a book across her lap and a pen in her hand, Winick would turn off her bedside lamp, put the book away and cover her up. Ling and Winick supported Zamora by attending his lectures whenever they could.
After the Real World
After the show ended, Ling and Barbour broke up, while her and Winick’s relationship moved beyond friendship. They visited Zamora in his hometown of Miami as he was hospitalized and their feelings deepened during their visits. On November 11, 1994, the day after the last San Francisco "Real World" episode aired, Zamora died. The death hit Ling and Winick especially hard, as they had become the closest to Zamora after leaving the show. Ling and Winick began dating in 1995 and moved in together. They announced their relationship at a Real World Reunion Special which brought together the casts of the first four seasons. After dating for five years, Winick proposed to Ling in March 2000 wearing a gorilla suit. They married in a civil ceremony on August 26, 2001. Writer Armistead Maupin spoke at their ceremony. They had a child in May 2005 and currently live in San Francisco.
The couple continues Pedro Zamora's work in AIDS education. Ling completed her residency in primary care at the University of California, San Francisco in 1999, and entered into an AIDS-research fellowship. She currently specializes in HIV/AIDS research. Her husband lectures about AIDS and wrote a book about the life of Zamora entitled Pedro and Me .
In popular culture
In Pedro, Nick Oceano's 2008 film dramatizing Pedro Zamora's life, Ling is portrayed by Jenn Liu. Ling and Winnick can be seen in a cameo in a scene in which Jenn Liu and Alex Loynaz, as Ling and Zamora, are meeting up on a set of stairs.
- Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned by Judd Winick (2000; Henry Holt & Co.)
- The Real World Diaries (1996; Pocket Books; MTV Books)