Rae Dawn Chong
|Rae Dawn Chong|
February 28, 1961 |
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
|Spouse(s)||Owen Baylis (?-1982)
C. Thomas Howell (1989–1990)
Nathan Ulrich (2011–present)
|Parents||Maxine (née Sneed) Chong and Tommy Chong|
Rae Dawn Chong (born February 28, 1961) is a Canadian-American actress. She is best known for her roles in the films Quest for Fire (1981), The Color Purple (1985), and Commando (1985). She has become a naturalized United States citizen.
Chong was born in 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the first daughter of Maxine Sneed and Tommy Chong. Chong's father is of Chinese, Scotch-Irish, and French descent, and her mother is of Afro-Canadian and Cherokee descent. Her sister Robbi Chong is a model and actress. They have three younger half-brothers (one adopted) and a half-sister by their father's second wife. In addition to Rae Dawn, two of her sisters and their half-brother Marcus Chong have pursued acting careers.
Chong says that her grandfather left a poor village in China in the 1930s to live with an aunt in Canada and although he spoke Cantonese he refused to teach his children or grandchildren. "I think my grandfather had great racial shame, which was hard on us growing up," says Chong. "We grew up desperate to know anything about our Chinese culture."
After acting in a few television roles, Chong's second feature film was Quest for Fire (1981), for which she won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1983. Other notable roles have been in the films Choose Me (1984), Beat Street (1984), The Color Purple (1985), Commando (1985). She appeared with her father in Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers (1984), and Far Out Man (1990).
Her most active period in films was during the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. She has continued working in television and film. She was considered for the role of Anne Lindsey in Highlander: The Series.
Marriage and family
Chong married Owen Bayliss, a stockbroker, and they had a son named Morgan. They divorced in 1982.
In 2011, Chong married Nathan Ulrich.
Chong provoked controversy with remarks about Oprah Winfrey during a June 27, 2013 interview for Matty P's Radio Happy Hour, remarking that Winfrey was a "great brown-noser. If you're in a room with her, she'll pick the most powerful person and she'll become best friends with them." Chong said that there was bad blood between them since Chong did Commando alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, saying, "That's when she was a total bioootch."
Chong also had words of admiration for Winfrey, noting, "I respect her and I say kudos to you and I don't give two cents about the other parts of it. She shifted the DNA in terms of our thinking of a woman of a certain size and a certain shape. I love her for that."
Chong later posted a YouTube video saying that she was praising Winfrey, but that her words got twisted by the media. "Out of context, it's a most unfortunate choice of words and I regret it." Then stating, "Do I take back everything I said? No."
- 1978: Stony Island
- 1981: Quest for Fire
- 1984: Choose Me
- 1984: Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers
- 1984: Beat Street
- 1984: Fear City
- 1985: City Limits
- 1985: American Flyers
- 1985: Commando
- 1985: The Color Purple
- 1986: Soul Man
- 1987: Running Out of Luck
- 1987: The Squeeze
- 1987: The Principal
- 1988: Walking After Midnight (documentary)
- 1989: Rude Awakening
- 1990: Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
- 1990: Far Out Man
- 1990: Chaindance
- 1990: Denial
- 1991: The Borrower
- 1992: When the Party's Over
- 1992: Amazon
- 1993: Time Runner
- 1994: Boulevard
- 1994: Boca
- 1995: Power of Attorney
- 1995: Crying Freeman
- 1995: The Break
- 1995: Hideaway
- 1996: Starlight
- 1996: Mask of Death
- 1997: Highball
- 1997: Goodbye America
- 1998: Small Time
- 1999: Dangerous Attraction
- 2000: The Visit
- 2005: Constellation
- 2006: Max Havoc: Ring of Fire
- 2006: Deadly Skies
- 2010: Cyrus
- 2011: Jeff, Who Lives at Home
- 2012: Pegasus vs. Chimera
- 2013: Knock 'em Dead
- 1974: Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color
- 1980: Top of the Hill (movie)
- 1980: Lou Grant (1 episode)
- 1985: Badge of the Assassin (movie)
- 1990: Curiosity Kills (movie)
- 1991: Prison Stories: Women on the Inside (movie)
- 1992: Nitecap (as host)
- 1992–93: Melrose Place (3 episodes)
- 1993: Father & Son: Dangerous Relations (movie)
- 1995: The Outer Limits (episode: "The Second Soul")
- 1996 Highlander: The Series (1 episode)
- 2000–02: Mysterious Ways (17 episodes)
- 2003: Wild Card (43 episodes)
- 2005: Deadly Skies (movie)
- 2007: That's So Raven (1 episode)
2007"Force of Impact"
- Chong, Tommy. Cheech and Chong, 2008.
- Rae Dawn Chong Biography (1961-), JRAnk, Film Reference, accessed 8 December 2013
- Pratt, Paul E. "Growing Up a Chong", AsianWeek, 18 November 2005.
- Asian Week. "Growing Up a Chong" by Paul E. Pratt. November 18, 2005.
- Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television official website, last accessed October 22, 2007
- Spitz, Marc (2011). Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue. Gotham Books.
- USA Today. "Rae Dawn Chong calls Oprah 'vile,' uses n-word" July 19, 2013.
- LA Times. "Rae Dawn Chong voices 'regret' for slamming Oprah Winfrey with N-word" by Scott Collins. July 19, 2013.
- Vision TV Drama