Russell Wong

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Russell Wong
Russell Wong, AFI Film Festival Los Angeles 2009.jpg
Russell Wong in 2009
Chinese name 王盛德 (traditional)
Birth name Russell Girard Wong
Born (1963-03-01) March 1, 1963 (age 51)
Troy, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Flora Cheong-Leen

Russell Girard Wong (王盛德, pinyin: Wáng Shèngdé; born March 1, 1963) is an American actor as well as the brother of actor/model Michael Wong.

Early life and education[edit]

The sixth of seven children, Wong was born in Troy, New York; the son of Chinese-American restaurateur William Wong and Connie Van Yserloo, an American artist of Dutch and French descent.[1][2] 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.

Career[edit]

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 television and film roles followed, including an appearance as Narong Bansari on an episode of the 80s crime show The Equalizer, 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 role in the film adaptation of Amy Tan's best-selling novel The Joy Luck Club.

Wong finally got a breakthrough role in 1994, when he was cast in the leading role in the short lived TV series 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. People magazine named him one of fifty "Beautiful People" in 1995.

After Vanishing Son ran its course, Wong moved on to more big-screen work, including major roles in Prophecy II, The Tracker, and Romeo Must Die, as well as the made-for-TV epic The Lost Empire.

Personal life[edit]

Wong has one daughter, Eja Robinson-Wong, with African American dancer Eartha Robinson. He was married to Hong Kong based designer Flora Cheong-Leen. They divorced in 2012.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]