Rae Dawn Chong

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Rae Dawn Chong
Born (1961-02-28) February 28, 1961 (age 60)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Years active1974–present
Owen Bayliss
(div. 1982)
(m. 1989; div. 1990)
Nathan Ulrich
(m. 2011; div. 2014)
Parent(s)Maxine (née Sneed) Chong
Tommy Chong

Rae Dawn Chong (born February 28, 1961) is a Canadian-American actress. She is best known for her roles in the films Quest for Fire (1981), Beat Street (1984), The Color Purple and Commando (both 1985), Soul Man (1986), Boulevard (1994) and Time Runner (1993). She is the daughter of comedian and actor Tommy Chong.

Early life[edit]

Chong was born on February 28, 1961 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the first daughter of actor/comedian Tommy Chong. Her father is of Chinese and Scots-Irish descent and her birth mother, Gail Lewis, was of Black Canadian and Cherokee descent. Her half-sister Robbi Chong, by Maxine Sneed, is a model and actress. They have three younger half-brothers (one adopted) and a half-sister by their father's second wife. In addition to Rae Dawn, two of her sisters and her adopted brother Marcus Chong have pursued acting careers.

Chong has said that her paternal grandfather left a poor village in China in the 1930s to live with an aunt in Vancouver, where Chinese immigrants were mostly sequestered in a small area due to racial discrimination, and that although he spoke Cantonese, he refused to teach it to his children or grandchildren. She said, "I think my grandfather had great racial shame, which was hard on us growing up. ... We grew up desperate to know anything about our Chinese culture." However, later in life, her grandfather "saw the error of his ways and embraced his heritage."[1]


After acting in a few television roles, Chong's second feature film was Quest for Fire (1981), for which she won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1983.[2] Other notable roles have been in the films Choose Me (1984), Beat Street (1984), The Color Purple (1985), and Commando (1985). She appeared with her father in Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers (1984), and Far Out Man (1990).

Her most active period in films was during the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. She has continued working in television and film. She was considered for the role of Anne Lindsey in Highlander: The Series.

Chong played the love interest in Mick Jagger's video "Just Another Night".[3]

At 19 years old, Chris Pratt was waiting tables at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant in Maui when he was scouted by Chong; she cast him in her directorial debut, the short horror film Cursed Part 3, which was filmed in Los Angeles.[4][5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Chong married Owen Bayliss, a stockbroker, and they had a son named Morgan. They divorced in 1982.[7] In 1989, she married actor C. Thomas Howell, her co-star in the feature film Soul Man. They divorced in 1990.[7] In 2011, Chong married Nathan Ulrich (one of the founders of Xootr). They divorced in 2014.[citation needed]

Pop culture references[edit]

Chong has a song named after her titled "Raedawn", the 8th track of Vaudeville Villain, the third studio album by British-American rapper-producer MF DOOM, released under the alias Viktor Vaughn. He confirms the reference in his lyrics "New drink, named it after Chong daughter".[8] Comedian Stephen Lynch also has a song about Chong—"R.D.C. (Opie's Lament)"—as the 12th track on his 2000 debut album A Little Bit Special.



Year Title Role Notes
1978 Stony Island Janetta
1981 Quest for Fire Ika
1984 Choose Me Pearl Antoine
1984 Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers The Gypsy
1984 Beat Street Tracy Carlson
1984 Fear City Leila
1985 City Limits Yogi
1985 American Flyers Sarah
1985 Commando Cindy
1985 The Color Purple Squeak
1986 Soul Man Sarah Walker
1987 Running Out of Luck Slave Girl
1987 The Squeeze Rachel Dobs
1987 The Principal Hilary Orozco
1988 Walking After Midnight (documentary)
1989 Rude Awakening Marlene
1990 Tales from the Darkside: The Movie Carola Segment: "Lover's Vow"
1990 Far Out Man Herself
1990 Chaindance Ilene Curtis
1990 Denial Julie
1990 Amazon Paola
1991 The Borrower Diana Pierce
1992 Nitecap Host
1993 When the Party's Over M.J.
1993 Time Runner Karen Donaldson
1994 Boulevard Ola
1994 Boca J.J.
1995 Power of Attorney Joan Armstrong
1995 Crying Freeman Detective Forge
1995 The Break Jennifer Hudson
1995 Hideaway Rose Orwetto
1996 Starlight Arianna
1996 Mask of Death Cassandra Turner
1997 Highball Herself
1997 Goodbye America Danzig
1998 Small Time The Woman
1999 Dangerous Attraction Ann Rich
2000 The Visit Felicia
2005 Constellation Jenita
2006 Max Havoc: Ring of Fire Sister Caroline
2006 Deadly Skies Madison Taylor
2010 Cyrus Vivian
2011 Jeff, Who Lives at Home Carol
2012 Shiver Detective Burdine
2012 Pegasus vs. Chimera Mayda
2014 Knock 'em Dead Jenny Logan
2015 Drizzle Of Hope Ms. Johnson Short
2017 Five Minutes Delores Short
2018 Reborn Dory Ryder
TBA The Sleeping Negro Black Woman Completed
TBA Street Signs: Homeless But Not Hopeless Narrator (Voice) Completed


Year Title Role Notes
1974 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Greta The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton
1980 Top of the Hill Rita TV Movie
1980 Lou Grant Adrienne Episode: "Lou"
1985 Badge of the Assassin Christine Horn TV Movie
1990 Curiosity Kills Jane TV Movie
1991 Prison Stories: Women on the Inside Rhonda TV Movie
1992 Nitecap as host
1992–93 Melrose Place Carrie Fellows 3 episodes
1993 Father & Son: Dangerous Relations Yvonne TV Movie
1995 The Outer Limits Karen Heatherton Episode: "Second Soul"
1996 Highlander: The Series Claudia Jardine Episode: "Timeless"
2000–02 Mysterious Ways Dr. Peggy Fowler 17 episodes[9]
2003 Wild Card Sophie Mason 43 episodes
2006 Deadly Skies Madison Taylor TV Movie
2007 That's So Raven Lynn Thomas Episode: "The Way They Were"
2016 Better Things Patty Donner 2 episodes
2018–19 9-1-1 Stacey Mullins 2 episodes
2019 My Sister Is So Gay Parker 2 episodes


  1. ^ Pratt, Paul E. "Growing Up a Chong" Archived 2010-06-09 at the Wayback Machine, AsianWeek, 18 November 2005.
  2. ^ Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television official website Archived 2010-04-14 at the Wayback Machine, last accessed October 22, 2007
  3. ^ Spitz, Marc (2011). Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue. Gotham Books. ISBN 9781101552131.
  4. ^ Collis, Clark (July 11, 2014). "How Chris Pratt Went from Zero to Hero". Entertainment Weekly. pp. 24–31. Archived from the original on February 2, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  5. ^ "Chris Pratt: Biography". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  6. ^ Hulten, Kevin (August 29, 2007). "Lake's Chris Pratt found success in Hollywood, and now he plans on bringing it home". Lake Stevens Journal. Archived from the original on January 26, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Rae Dawn Chong Biography (1961-), JRank, Film Reference, accessed 10 May 2017
  8. ^ "New drink, named it after Chong daughter".
  9. ^ "VisionTV". www.visiontv.ca. Archived from the original on September 26, 2009.

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