Dustin Nguyen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the actor. For the artist, see Dustin Nguyen (artist).
Dustin Nguyen
Dustin Nguyen 22072007 BKKIFF.jpg
Born Nguyen Xuan Tri
(1962-09-17) September 17, 1962 (age 53)
Saigon, South Vietnam
Occupation Actor
Martial artist
Years active 1985–present

Angela Rockwood
(m. 2001-2011)

Bebe Pham
(m. 2011-present)
Children Sky (2013) and Scarlett (2015)
Website dustintringuyen.com

Dustin Nguyen (born September 17, 1962) is a Vietnamese-American actor, director, writer and martial artist. He is best known for his roles as Harry Truman Ioki on 21 Jump Street and as Johnny Loh on V.I.P.[1] In Films, he's known for starring in Little Fish, The Doom Generation and The Rebel.

Early life[edit]

Born as Nguyễn Xuân Trí in Saigon, South Vietnam, his mother My Le, was an actress and dancer, and his father, Xuan Phat, was an actor, comedian, writer and producer in South Vietnam.[2] The family left Vietnam in April 1975 as it fell to Communist Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army forces.[3]

They arrived in Guam, then the family was moved to a refugee camp in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, and finally with the assistance of a Methodist church they relocated to Des Peres, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.[3][4] After Nguyen graduated from Garden Grove High School in Garden Grove, CA, he attended Orange Coast College[1] and majored in communications. Nguyen practices several martial arts including Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Eskrima, and Jeet Kune Do.[3]

Personal life[edit]

After a car accident on September 3, 2001 that left his wife, Angela Rockwood-Nguyen, a quadriplegic, Nguyen and his wife became active in The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center. That accident also claimed the life of Vietnamese-American actress Thuy Trang, a member of the original cast of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He separated from his wife in 2011.[5]


He made his acting debut on Magnum, P.I., portraying a Cambodian freedom fighter in the episode "Crouching." He was a cast member on both 21 Jump Street and V.I.P., and has guest-starred on a number of other series, including General Hospital, Highlander, and most notably seaQuest DSV, playing the role of Chief William Shan. Moreover, he played a cameo role in Charlie's Angels. Nguyen also auditioned for the role of Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat, but lost out to Robin Shou. In 1993 he played a Vietnamese man sent off to fight with the Viet Cong, in the film Heaven & Earth. In 2005, Nguyen starred as a former heroin addict opposite Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett in the critically acclaimed Little Fish.[6] He starred in the 2007 films The Rebel and Saigon Eclipse. In 2008 he starred in the Vietnamese martial art film Huyen Thoai Bat Tu (The Legend Is Alive, The Immortal Legend)[7] where he plays a mentally disabled martial artist. Nguyen screened in 2009 the Thriller The Gauntlet under the Direction from Matt Eskandari and stars alongside Chinese actress star Bai Ling.

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Zero Tolerance Johnny
2015 Jackpot Tu Nghia Director
2015 The Man with the Iron Fists 2 Li Kung
2014 22 Jump Street Vietnamese Jesus/Harry Truman Ioki Cameo
2013 Once Upon a Time in Vietnam Dao
2011 Popular Dysfunctions Comandante Chitt
2011 The Gauntlet Jin-Soo
2010 Floating Lives Vo
2010 Fool for Love (vi) Dung
2009 The Legend Is Alive
2007 The Rebel Sy
2007 Saigon Eclipse Kim
2007 Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee Troy Poon
2005 Little Fish Jonny
2003 The Break
1998 Hundred Percent Isaac
1995 The Doom Generation Quickiemart Clerk
1995 Virtuosity Suburban Reporter
1994 Vanishing Son IV Hung
1994 Vanishing Son II Hung
1994 3 Ninjas Kick Back Glam
1993 Heaven & Earth Sau
1993 No Escape, No Return Tommy Cuff
1992 Rapid Fire Paul Yang
1991 Earth Angel Peter
1985 Sunset Strip Chinese Youth


Year Title Role Notes
2012 The Amazing Race Vietnam himself TV host
2009 The Unit Transit Officer
2003 JAG Lt. Bao Hien
1998 - 2002 V.I.P. Johnny Loh
1997 Die Gang Marc Wiessner
1995 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Lo Gee
1995 VR.5 Ky Buchanan
1995 Vanishing Son Hung
1994–96 Phantom 2040 Tranh
1993 SeaQuest DSV Chief William Shan
1993 Highlander Jimmy Sang
1993 Murder, She Wrote David Kuan
1992 Highlander Chou Lin
1992 Street Justice
1992 The Commish
1987–90 21 Jump Street Officer Harry Truman Ioki
1989 Danger Bay Duk Chin
1987 Shell Game Doug
1986 The A-Team Bobby
1985 Magnum, P.I. Joe
1963 General Hospital Suki


  • The Amazing Race Vietnam (2012-ongoing) - Himself
  • 2007 AZN Asian Excellence Awards (2007) - Himself
  • "E! True Hollywood Story" - Himself (1 episode, 2004)
  • "Howard Stern" - Himself (4 episodes, 1999)
  • "The Howard Stern Radio Show" - Himself (2 episodes, 1999)
  • "Intimate Portrait" - Himself (1 episode)

In production[edit]

  • CinemAbility (2011) (filming) - Himself
  • The Slanted Screen (2006) - Himself


In March 2009, he won the Vietnamese Cánh Diều Vàng (Golden Kite Award) for best actor, for his starring role in the Phuoc Sang Films vehicle Huyền Thoại Bất Tử (The Legend Is Alive).[8][9]


  1. ^ a b Levine, Robert (1994-05-24). "Taking a Big Leap From `Jump Street' After finding success in the '80s on the police show, Dustin Nguyen is moving into films and `seaQuest' while sharpening his martial arts skills. Series: FAST TRACK: Up and Comers in Arts and Entertainment * One in a Series". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  2. ^ Knutzen, Eirik (4 July 1987). "One Jump ahead". Toronto Star. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Chen, Vivien Lou (1992-05-01). "Jobless Actor Rejects Asian Stereotypes Series". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  4. ^ Brennan, Patricia (13 December 1987). "Dustin Nguyen Out Of Saigon And Into TV". cglass.vinu.edu. Washington Post. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Angela Rockwood profile". Sundance Channel. 
  6. ^ Chang, Richard (31 March 2009). "Vietnamese film festival returns to O.C.". ocregister.com. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Todd Brown (27 November 2008). "Dustin Nguyen Returns In Vietnamese Action Drama THE LEGEND IS ALIVE (HUYỀN THOẠI BẤT TỬ)". twitchfilm.com. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Todd Brown (3 March 2009). "Dustin Nguyen Star Vehicle THE LEGEND IS ALIVE Dominates The Vietnamese Golden Kite Awards". twitchfilm.com. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "culture vulture". vnagency.com. 24 December 2009. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 

External links[edit]