Rae Dawn Chong
Rae Dawn Chong
(m. 1989; div. 1990)
(m. 2011; div. 2014)
Rae Dawn Chong (born February 28, 1961) is a Canadian-American actress. She made her big screen debut appearing in the 1978 musical drama film Stony Island, and in 1981 starred in the fantasy film Quest for Fire, for which she received Genie Award for Best Actress.
Chong later starred in films Beat Street (1984), American Flyers (1985), The Color Purple (1985), Commando (1985), Soul Man (1986), The Principal (1987), Tales from the Darkside (1990), Time Runner (1993), and Boulevard (1994). She is the daughter of comedian and actor Tommy Chong.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2022)
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 descent. Her 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." Later in life, though, her grandfather "saw the error of his ways and embraced his heritage."
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. 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).
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 in 2000.
On television, Chong starred opposite Adrian Pasdar in the science fiction drama series Mysterious Ways from 2000 to 2002. later she starred in the first season of Lifetime comedy-drama series Wild Card opposite Joely Fisher. She returned to television appearing in two episodes of Better Things in 2016, and two episodes of 9-1-1 (2018-19). In 2021, she played Betty Currie in the FX series Impeachment: American Crime Story.
In 2021, Chong was honored with the "Invisible Woman Award" from the Women Film Critics Circle for "Supporting performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored" for her performance in the drama film The Sleeping Negro.
Chong married Owen Bayliss, a stockbroker, and they had a son named Morgan. They divorced in 1982. In 1989, she married actor C. Thomas Howell, her co-star in the feature film Soul Man. They divorced in 1990. In 2011, Chong married Nathan Ulrich (one of the founders of Xootr). They divorced in 2014.
Pop culture references
Chong has a song named after her titled "Raedawn", the eighth 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". 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. In the television show Psych, the main characters Shawn and Gus have a "bi-annual Rae Dawn Chong marathon".
|1980||Top of the Hill||Rita||TV Movie|
|1981||Quest for Fire||Ika||Genie Award for Best Actress|
|1984||Beat Street||Tracy Carlson|
|Choose Me||Pearl Antoine|
|Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers||The Gypsy|
|Badge of the Assassin||Christine Horn||TV Movie|
|The Color Purple||Squeak|
|Running Out of Luck||Slave Girl|
|1986||Soul Man||Sarah Walker|
|1987||The Squeeze||Rachel Dobs|
|The Principal||Hilary Orozco|
|Tales from the Darkside: The Movie||Carola|
|Curiosity Kills||Jane||TV Movie|
|Far Out Man||Herself|
|1991||Prison Stories: Women on the Inside||Rhonda||TV Movie|
|The Borrower||Diana Pierce|
|1992||When the Party's Over||M.J.|
|1993||Time Runner||Karen Donaldson|
|Father & Son: Dangerous Relations||Yvonne||TV Movie|
|Power of Attorney||Joan Armstrong||Video|
|The Break||Jennifer Hudson|
|Crying Freeman||Detective Forge|
|1996||Mask of Death||Cassandra Turner|
|Small Time||The Woman|
|For Hope||Woman at Bar||TV Movie|
|1997||Alibi||D.A. Linda Garcia||TV Movie|
|1999||Cosas que olvidé recordar||Mary|
|2000||Dangerous Attraction||Ann Rich|
|2006||Max Havoc: Ring of Fire||Sister Caroline|
|Deadly Skies||Madison Taylor||TV Movie|
|2010||Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer||Vivian|
|Etta, Kit, and Grace||Etta||Video Short|
|2011||Jeff, Who Lives at Home||Carol|
|Pegasus vs. Chimera||Mayda||TV Movie|
|2014||Knock 'em Dead||Jenny Logan|
|2015||Drizzle Of Hope||Ms. Johnson||Short|
|2021||The Sleeping Negro||Black Woman||Women Film Critics Circle Invisible Woman Award|
|2022||We Are Gathered Here Today||Mary Reed|
|TBA||Street Signs: Homeless But Not Hopeless||Narrator (Voice)|
|1974||Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color||Greta||Episode: "The Whiz Kid and the Mystery at Riverton: Part 1 & 2"|
|1980||Lou Grant||Adrienne||Episode: "Lou"|
|1983-85||St. Elsewhere||Billie Vaughn||Guest: Seasons 1 & 3; Recurring cast: Season 2|
|1986||Tall Tales & Legends||Circe Lafemme||Episode: "Casey at the Bat"|
|1991||The Hitchhiker||Leesa White||Episode: "New Blood"|
|1992–93||Melrose Place||Carrie Fellows||Recurring cast: Season 1|
|1994||Lonesome Dove: The Series||May Lawson||Episode: "Firebrand"|
|1995||The Outer Limits||Karen Heatherton||Episode: "Second Soul"|
|1996||Highlander: The Series||Claudia Jardine||Episode: "Timeless"|
|1997||Poltergeist: The Legacy||Tanya Moreau||Episodes: "Lights Out!" & "Spirit Thief"|
|2000–02||Mysterious Ways||Dr. Peggy Fowler||Main cast |
|2002||Judging Amy||Atty. Westland||Episode: "A Pretty Good Day"|
|2003-04||Wild Card||Sophie Mason||Main cast: Season 1|
|2007||That's So Raven||Lynn Thomas||Episode: "The Way They Were"|
|2016||Better Things||Patty Donner||Episode: "Period" & "Only Women Bleed"|
|2018–19||9-1-1||Stacey Mullins||Episode: "Hen Begins" & "Fallout"|
|2019||My Sister Is So Gay||Parker||Episode: "X Boyfriends" & "I Love You Nut-Nut"|
|2021||Impeachment: American Crime Story||Betty Currie||Recurring cast|
|Saturday Morning All Star Hits!||Sheena Murphy||Recurring cast|
|2022||Interview with the Vampire||Florence de Pointe du Lac||Recurring cast (4 episodes)|
- Pratt, Paul E. "Growing Up a Chong" Archived 2010-06-09 at the Wayback Machine, AsianWeek, 18 November 2005.
- Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television official website Archived 2010-04-14 at the Wayback Machine, last accessed October 22, 2007
- Spitz, Marc (2011). Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue. Gotham Books. ISBN 9781101552131.
- 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.
- "Chris Pratt: Biography". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- 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.
- "The women of 'Impeachment' explained: Betty Currie, omnipresent Clinton aide". Los Angeles Times. November 10, 2021.
- "Meet the cast of Impeachment: American Crime Story and their real-life counterparts". Radio Times.
- Benardello, Karen (2021-12-13). "Women Film Critics Circle Honors Passing and The Power of the Dog Amongst 2021's Best Movies". Shockya.com. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
- "The Sleeping Negro". Rotten Tomatoes.
- Franich, Darren (September 22, 2022). "A century of subtext comes out of the coffin in AMC's Interview with the Vampire". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
- Rae Dawn Chong Biography (1961-), JRank, Film Reference, accessed 10 May 2017
- "New drink, named it after Chong daughter".
- Hanson, Mark (2021-11-30). "Review: The Sleeping Negro Headily Wrestles with the Roots of Black Hopelessness". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
- "VisionTV". www.visiontv.ca. Archived from the original on September 26, 2009.