Leo Fong

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Leo T'ien Lung Fong
Born 馮 天龍
(1928-11-23) November 23, 1928 (age 88)
Xinhui, Jiangmen, Guangdong, China
Website http://www.leotfong.com/

Leo Fong (born November 23, 1928) is a Chinese American actor, martial artist, boxer, and former Methodist minister who has been filmmaking, acting, and directing since the early 1970s.

Early years[edit]

Fong was born in the Xinhui district of the city of Jiangmen, located in the province of Canton, China in 1928. At the age of five, he arrived in Seattle, Washington with his parents and siblings, where they were detained for a time, as was common with immigrants from Asia. Upon being released in Seattle, the family traveled overland to Chicago, where Leo's maternal uncle owned a restaurant, and where his father had been guaranteed work. After enough time working at the restaurant, Leo's father Richard had saved enough money to purchase a small grocery store in the tiny agricultural community of Widener, Arkansas. After suffering racial taunts at school, going home telling his father and finding out what they actually meant and then later suffering further racial taunts, he got into a fight at school and he was unfairly punished by a teacher. At age 12 he bought a book called The Fundamentals of Boxing by Barney Ross. He studied the book from cover to cover and learned how to defend himself from bullies.[1] He took up boxing at age 15. Having a knock out punch, his amateur record was 18–7.[2]

His entry into eastern martial arts began in the 1950s with judo and jiu jitsu. Through the years he studied and practiced various martial arts styles to the point where he developed his own style called Wei Kune Do.[1]

He was a sparring partner and friend of famed martial artist Bruce Lee. Fong appeared on the cover of the 10th anniversary edition of Black Belt magazine. Bruce Lee arranged it.[3]

Fong has a bachelor of arts degree in physical education, a masters of theology degree as well as a degree in social work.[1]

Film career[edit]

The first film in which he acted was Murder In The Orient (1974), a Filipino martial arts exploitation film that co-starred Ronald L. Marchini and also featured Eva Reyes and Rodolfo 'Boy' Garcia.[4] In 1975 he starred in Bamboo Trap with Filipino actors George Estregan, Chanda Romero, Eddie Garcia, Rez Cortez and martial arts cult hero Ron van Clief.[5]

Since the late '70s as well as being the main actor in films, he has branched out into writing, directing, and producing films.[6] Some of his films in the early to mid-'80s featured the same stock of actors, Cameron Mitchell, Hope Holiday and Stack Pierce.

A more recent film of his is Transformed, a 2005 film with a somewhat Christian theme and anti-drug message that featured Tadashi Yamashita and Fred Williamson. This was the second time that he had appeared in a film with Williamson. The first was Blind Rage, a 1978 film about a gang of blind men that rob a bank.[7] As well as acting in Transformed, he also directed and produced it, composed the theme song and was involved in the editing.[8] His latest film work includes Drifter TKD, a 2008 film in which he played Master Lee[9] and The Last Musketeer 2009 which he produced.[10]

Present and recent film activities[edit]

Recently Fong has played the part of a reporter in Office Paranormal that also stars Shalim Ortiz and Robert Miano.[11]

Selected filmography[edit]


  • Murder in the Orient (1974)
  • Tiger's Revenge (1975)
  • Bamboo Trap (1975)
  • Enforcer from Death Row (1978)
  • Blind Rage (1978)
  • The Last Reunion (1980)
  • Killpoint (1984)
  • Ninja Assassins (1985)
  • Low Blow (1986)
  • Rapid Fire (1988)
  • License to Kill (1988)
  • Jungle Heat (1988)
  • Blood Street (1990)
  • Showdown (1993)
  • Cage II (1994)
  • Carjack (1996)
  • Transformed (2005)
  • Drifter TKD (2008)
  • Thunderkick (2008)
  • The Shadow Boxer (2012)
  • Hard Way Heroes (2016)

Fighting Style[edit]

Wei Kune Do (Way of the Integrated Fist): A complete system based on its roots in Jeet Kune Do, Serrada Escrima, Western Boxing, Choy Lay Fut, Northern Shaolin, Wrestling, Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Judo, Jujutsu, Arnis, and Wing Chun.