Lawrence Kao

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Lawrence Kao
Lawrence Kao

Years active2009–present

Lawrence Kao is an American actor, best known for his roles as Tommy Wah in the Netflix series Wu Assassins, Donnie Lu in the Fox series Sleepy Hollow, Van in the CW series The Originals and Tim in the AMC series, The Walking Dead.

Life and career[edit]

Kao was born and raised in Hacienda Heights, California,[1] where he later graduated from Glen A. Wilson High School.

Kao played Lysander in his high school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. However, during one of the in-class previews of the show, he was falsely arrested for attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Minimum sentencing would have been 40 years behind bars. They released him in time for the closing night of the show, and after being forced to contemplate his life inside jail, he realized he wanted to pursue acting as a profession.[1]

Kao received his B.A. in Theater from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he was a part of Kaba Modern dance team.[1] Within the dancing community on campus, he befriended the Kinjaz dance team cofounders Mike Song and Anthony Lee.[1]

After graduation, he placed 3rd on America's Best Dance Crew (season 1) with Kaba Modern.[2] He then pursued a full-time career as an actor.[2] Starting out, he found that including his dancing credentials on his resume would always elicit a dance request at auditions, so he removed it after several incidents.[1]

In 2012, Kao made his television acting debut in the AMC post-apocalyptic horror series The Walking Dead. Following on from his first role, Kao won other roles on a variety of TV shows and films including Hawaii Five-0, Sleepy Hollow, Girlboss, Lucky Fifty, Silver Lake, NCIS: Los Angeles and The Purge.

On October 17, 2018, it was announced that Kao had been cast in the series regular role of Tommy Wah on the Netflix crime drama series Wu Assassins.[3][4]

As of June 2019, Kao is dancing with the Kinjaz dance team.[2]



Year Title Role Notes
2015 Circle Asian Kid
2017 I Hate You Chi
2018 Silver Lake Eric
2019 Lucky Fifty Jay


Year Title Role Notes
2012 The Walking Dead Tim 3 episodes
2013 Hawaii Five-0 Ty Amano Episode: "A ia la aku"
2014 NCIS: Los Angeles John Stikler Episode: "One More Chance"
2015–2016 The Originals Van 5 episodes
2017 Sleepy Hollow Donnie Lu 2 episodes
Girlboss Sonny Episode: "Motherf*ckin' Bar Graphs"
2019 The Purge Andy Tran 2 episodes
Wu Assassins Tommy Wah Main cast


  1. ^ a b c d e Vu, Jes (October 15, 2015). "The Originals' Lawrence Kao talks Kinjaz, Witches & the Pursuit of Acting". Kollaboration. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Davenport, Rashod. "Entering the Wu: Lawrence Kao". Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  3. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (October 17, 2018). "'Wu Assassins': Lawrence Kao And Celia Au Join Netflix Martial Arts Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  4. ^ Fishman, Scott (August 7, 2019). "Lawrence Kao on Why Netflix's 'Wu Assassins' Isn't Just Any Martial Arts Series". TVInsider. Retrieved August 8, 2019.

External links[edit]