Radames Pera

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Radames Pera
Melissa Sue Anderson Radames Pera Little House on the Prairie 1976.JPG
Pera as John Edwards with Melissa Sue Anderson in Little House on the Prairie, 1976
Born (1960-09-14) September 14, 1960 (age 54)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1972 – mid 1980s

Radames Perá (born September 14, 1960) is an American former actor best known for his role as "Grasshopper" the student Kwai Chang Caine in the 1972–1975 television series Kung Fu. He is the only living regular cast member from the show (with due respect to the very alive James Hong who appeared in several episodes, including the pilot movie, as different characters.)

Early life and acting career[edit]

Pera was born in New York City, New York and is the son of actress Lisa Pera. His mother moved the pair to Hollywood in 1963 so she could pursue an acting career.

From 1972 until 1975, Radames appeared as a young Kwai Chang Caine in the ABC television series Kung Fu. Caine was an orphan from Hunan Province in China who had an American father and a Chinese mother. He appeared throughout its 4-year run on the ABC and in worldwide re-runs.[1] For the role of Caine, Radames had to shave his head and other than the pilot movie where he was initially shown with hair before scenes showing his head being shaved, he appeared bald in all other episodes. In the series he mainly worked with veteran Asian-American actors Philip Ahn (Master Kan), Keye Luke (blind Master Po who called him "Grasshopper") and Richard Loo (Master Sun) and was mostly shown living in a Shaolin Monastery where he was taught by the monks to be a Shaolin Master. He is depicted as the first person to be welcomed into a Shaolin Monastery who was not of full Chinese birth. The main role of Kwai Chang Caine as an adult was played by David Carradine.

Radames also had a recurring role on Little House on the Prairie as John, Jr., eldest adopted son of Mr. Edwards and became Mary Ingalls' love interest, during the show's first 3 seasons.[1]

At age eight, Radames was asked by director Daniel Mann to play the role of Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas' dying son in the film A Dream of Kings (1969). Radames met the Director at a dinner party and was eventually cast in the role of Stavros.[1]

Pera's other acting roles include a disturbed pre-teen in an episode of Night Gallery, Silent Snow, Secret Snow narrated by Orson Welles, guest appearances on The Six Million Dollar Man, as Don Ameche's son in Gidget Gets Married. Between 1969 and 1985 other guest-starring credits include two episodes of Lassie and Marcus Welby, M.D., and single episodes of Family Affair, Hawaii Five-O, and The Waltons among many others.

Radames dropped out of the acting business entirely in the mid 1980s.[1] His final television appearances were in episodes of Mickey Spillane's The New Mike Hammer and Starman. His last film role was as Sgt. Stepan Gorsky in John Milius' 1984 feature Red Dawn.

1985 – present[edit]

Pera developed other interests in video and electronics and eventually formed his own company, All Systems Go! in L.A.[1] in 1988, designing and installing home theaters and residential sound systems.[2] He now specializes in eliminating remote control clutter and other AV and WiFi solutions at his San Diego based company.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Pilato, Herbie J (1993). The Kung Fu Book of Caine: The Complete Guide to TV's First Mystical Eastern Western. Charles A. Tuttle. ISBN 0-8048-1826-6. 
  2. ^ Jackson, Nancy M. (2007). "Making a Move". My Business Magazine. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ CEPro Magazine |title=How Do Soundbar Soundfields Stack Up? |date=October 2013 |author=Sylvester, Scott |publisher=E.H. Publishing, Inc.

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