Rosalind Chao

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Rosalind Chao
Rosalind Chao in 2005.jpg
Chao at the Just Like Heaven premiere in Los Angeles, California (September 8, 2005)
Born (1957-09-23) September 23, 1957 (age 58)
Los Angeles, California, US
Ethnicity Chinese American
Education Bachelor of Journalism
Alma mater Marywood School
University of Southern California
Pomona College
Occupation Actress
Years active 1972–present
Spouse(s) Simon Templeman
Children 2

Rosalind Chao (/ˈrɒzəlɪnd ˈ/;[1] simplified Chinese: 赵家玲; traditional Chinese: 趙家玲; pinyin: Zhào Jiālíng; born September 23, 1957 (1957-09-23))[2][3] is an American actress. Chao's best-known roles have been as a star of CBS's AfterMASH portraying South Korean refugee Soon-Lee Klinger for both seasons, and the recurring character Keiko O'Brien with twenty-seven appearances on the syndicated science fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Chao is married to actor Simon Templeman [2] with whom she has two children.[4]

Early life[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, California as a second-generation Chinese Californian,[5][6] Chao's parents ran a successful Chinese American pancake restaurant, Chao's, across the street from Disneyland, and employed her there from an early age.[6] After moving from Garden Grove to Villa Park, California, Chao was enrolled at Marywood, an all-girl school where she was the only non-white student.[7] She graduated from Pomona College in 1978.[8]

For some time, Chao worked at Disneyland as an international tour guide.[9] It was there she met Simon Templeman; the couple would eventually wed and have their reception at the Disneyland Hotel.[9]


Chao's parents were instrumental in her decision to pursue acting;[5] she began at the age of five in a California-based Peking opera traveling company at the instigation of her parents who were already heavily involved, and during the summers they sent her to Taiwan to further develop her acting.[7] She later performed in television commercials and guest starred on TV series in her teenage years. Her first acting role was in the CBS sitcom Here's Lucy, but she was first noticed performing in another CBS sitcom: 1972's short-lived Anna and the King as the eponymous king's (Yul Brynner) eldest daughter.[2]

Dropping out of acting, Chao enrolled in the communications department at the University of Southern California where she earned her degree in journalism. However, after spending a year as a radio newswriting intern at the CBS-owned Hollywood radio station KNX,[7] she soon returned to acting.[2][5]


Remembering Chao from Anna and the King,[5] television producer Burt Metcalfe provided her big break with the role of Soon-Lee, a South Korean refugee, in the final episodes of the TV series M*A*S*H.[2] Soon-Lee married longtime starring character Maxwell Klinger (Jamie Farr) in the series finale "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen",[10] the most-watched television episode of all time (as of 2015). Chao continued playing the character in the M*A*S*H sequel: 1983's AfterMASH, her first role billed at co-starring status.[11]


Chao regularly portrayed the Japanese exo-botanist Keiko O'Brien (née Ishikawa) on both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) with eight appearances in the former and 19 in the latter before DS9's end in 1999. In 2010, a preliminary casting memo for The Next Generation from 1987 was published, revealing that Chao was originally considered for the part of Enterprise security chief Tasha Yar.[12]

Performance credits[edit]





  1. ^ Rosalind Chao (2007). Nanking: ‍ '​Nanking - Unscripted‍ '​ (AOL Video). New York City, United States: Moviefone. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Rosalind Chao Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  3. ^ "Rosalind Chao Biography". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Rosalind Chao Biography". Fandango. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  6. ^ a b Rosalind Chao (2007-02-04). Sundance Film Festival '07 - Nanking Party (YouTube). Gilbert, Arizona, United States: Greening Productions. Event occurs at 00:00:50. Retrieved 2008-06-02. I grew up with Chinese parents, and I learned nothing about it 
  7. ^ a b c Hodgins, Paul (2008-02-01). "A career made from scratch". The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, California, united states: Terry Horne). Retrieved 2008-02-02. Former Star Trek actress Rosalind Chao talks about her latest work with playwright Neil LaBute. 
  8. ^ Pomona College Alumni Directory 2000, p. 40.[verification needed]
  9. ^ a b "From Outer Space to Disney Parks … Meet the Dads from ABC-TV’s ‘The Neighbors’". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  10. ^ "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen". M*A*S*H. Season 11. Episode 16. 1983-02-28. CBS. 
  11. ^ RJ. "AfterMASH: Main Article" (embedded video). Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  12. ^ "T'Bonz" (2010-08-26). "Star Trek: The Next Generation Casting Memo Unearthed". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Rosalind Chao - Ovreview - MSN Movies". MSN Movies. MSN. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b c d e "Rosalind Chao Filmography". Fandango. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Rosalind Chao". The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  17. ^ a b c "Rosalind Chao Filmography". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  18. ^ "US-China Institute :: calendar :: the rising tide". Los Angeles, California, USA: USC US-China Institute. Archived from the original on 2011-04-03. Retrieved 2011-04-03. 
  19. ^ BWW News Desk (2008-01-15). "LaBute's 'Some Girl(s)' Opens Feb.6 at Geffen Playhouse". Retrieved 2008-01-20. 

External links[edit]