Russell Wong in 2009
|Chinese name||王盛德 (traditional)|
|Birth name||Russell Girard Wong|
March 1, 1963 |
Troy, New York, U.S.
Early life and education
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. 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.
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.
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2011 film)
- What Women Want (2011)
- Unshakable (2010)
- The Sanctuary (2009)
- Dim Sum Funeral (2008)
- The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)
- Stranglehold (2007) (video game)
- Undoing (2007)
- Honor (2006)
- Twisted (2004)
- Black Sash (2003)
- True Crime: Streets of LA (2003) (video game)
- Romeo Must Die (2000)
- Takedown (2000)
- The Prophecy II (1998)
- Vanishing Son (1994)
- The Joy Luck Club (1993)
- New Jack City (1991)
- China Cry: A True Story (1990)
- China Girl (1987)
- Russell Wong's official website
- UCLA Asia Pacific Arts Interview
- Russell Wong at the Internet Movie Database