Rosalind Chao

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Rosalind Chao
Rosalind Chao in 2005.jpg
Chao at the Just Like Heaven premiere in Los Angeles (September 8, 2005)
Born (1957-09-23) September 23, 1957 (age 65)
Anaheim, California, U.S.
Alma materPomona College (BA)[1]
University of Southern California (BA in journalism)
Years active1970–present
SpouseSimon Templeman
Rosalind Chao
Traditional Chinese趙家玲
Simplified Chinese赵家玲

Rosalind Chao (Chinese: 趙家玲; born September 23, 1957) is an American actress. Chao's best-known roles have been Soon-Lee Klinger in the mid-1980s CBS show AfterMASH, Rose Hsu Jordan in the 1993 movie The Joy Luck Club, the recurring character Keiko O'Brien on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the 1990s, and Dr. Kim on The O.C. in 2003. She also played Hua Li, Mulan’s mother, in the live-action 2020 remake of Mulan.[2]

Early life[edit]

Chao was born in Anaheim, California. Chao's parents ran a successful pancake restaurant, Chao’s Chinese and American Restaurant, across the street from Disneyland, and employed her there from an early age.[3][4] She attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, and later USC, graduating in 1978.[1]


For some time, Chao worked at Disneyland as an international tour guide.[5]

Chao's parents were instrumental in her decision to pursue acting;[6] 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 skills.[7]

As a child she played the daughter of a laundry owner (played by James Hong) on the 1970 episode of Here's Lucy entitled "Lucy the Laundress".[8]

Deciding not to pursue 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.[9][6]

Her big break was with the role of Soon-Lee, a South Korean refugee, in the final episodes of the TV series M*A*S*H.[9] Soon-Lee married longtime starring character Maxwell Klinger (Jamie Farr) in the series finale "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen",[10] the most-watched U.S. sitcom television episode of all time as of 2021. 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 Ishikawa O'Brien on both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with eight appearances in the former and nineteen 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]

In August 2018, Chao was cast as Mulan's mother in the 2020 live-action retelling of Mulan.[13][14] In 2019, Chao was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences citing her contributions to critically acclaimed films The Joy Luck Club and I Am Sam.[15][16][17]

Personal life[edit]

While working in theatre at the Mark Taper Forum, Chao met Simon Templeman; the couple would eventually marry.[18] They have two children, a son and a daughter.[18][19]



Year Film Role Notes
1980 The Big Brawl Mae
1981 Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge Emily Chan
1981 An Eye for an Eye Linda Chen
1983 Going Berserk Kung Fu Girl
1987 Slam Dance Mrs. Bell
The Tribulations of a Chinese Gentleman Lianhua
1988 White Ghost Thi Hau
1990 Denial Terry
Thousand Pieces of Gold Lalu Nathoy/Polly Bemis
1992 Memoirs of an Invisible Man Cathy DiTolla
1993 The Joy Luck Club Rose
1994 North Chinese Mom
Love Affair Lee
1997 The End of Violence Claire
1998 What Dreams May Come Leona
2000 Enemies of Laughter Carla
2001 The Man from Elysian Fields Female Customer
Impostor Newscaster Uncredited
I Am Sam Lily
2003 Freaky Friday Pei-Pei
2005 Life of the Party Mei Lin
Just like Heaven Fran
2007 Nanking Chang Yu Zheng
2009 The Rising Tide Narrator
2012 Knife Fight Kate - Focus Group Moderator
2015 Stockholm, Pennsylvania Dr. Andrews
2017 Tragedy Girls Mayor Campbell
2019 Plus One Angela
The Laundromat Gu Kailai
2020 Mulan Hua Li
Magic Camp Lorraine Uncredited
2021 Together Together Dr. Andrews
The Starling Fawn


Year Film Role Notes
1970 Here's Lucy Linda Wong 1 episode[8]
1972 Anna and the King Princess Serana 1 episode
1973 Kung Fu Dancer 1 episode, uncredited
1976 ABC Afterschool Specials The Kurmese Ambassador's Daughter 1 episode
1977 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Lily Episode: "The Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin"
Kojak Grace Chen Episode: "The Summer of '69: Part 1"
1978 The Incredible Hulk Receptionist Episode: "Married"
1979 How the West Was Won Li Sin Episode: "China Girl"
The Ultimate Imposter Lai-Ping Television film
Emergency! The Convention Kathy Television film
The Amazing Spider-Man Emily Chan Episode: "The Chinese Web" (Part 1 & 2)
A Man Called Sloane Soom Nuk Episode: "Tuned for Destruction"
Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women Flower Television film
1981 The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Leslie Chiu Episode: "The Roller Disco Karate Kaper"
The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island Hotel Clerk Television film
Twirl Kim King Television film
One Day at a Time Gloria Episode: "Julie Shows Up: Part 2"
1981–83 Diff'rent Strokes Ming Li / Miss Chung Recurring role (8 episodes)[9]
1982 Moonlight Daphne Wu Television film
Bring 'Em Back Alive Episode: "The Reel World of Frank Buck"
1983 The Terry Fox Story Rika Television film
M*A*S*H Soon-Lee Recurring role (2 episodes)
1983–85 AfterMASH Soon-Lee Klinger Main cast (30 episodes)
1986 Riptide Lucy Episode – "Smiles We Left Behind"
Falcon Crest Li Ying Recurring role (4 episodes)
Jack and Mike Holly Sykes Episode: "Pilot"
St. Elsewhere Mary Wilson Episode: "Not My Type"
The A-Team Alice Heath Episode: "Point of No Return"
American Playhouse Ku Ling Episode: "Paper Angels"[9]
1987 Spies Episode: "From China with Love"
Stingray Colette Tran Episode: "Anytime, Anywhere"
Max Headroom Angie Barry 2 episodes
Private Eye Kai-Lee Episode: "Nobody Dies in Chinatown"
1988 Beauty and the Beast Lin Wong Episode: "China Moon"
Tour of Duty Li Kiem Episode: "Gray-Brown Odyssey"
Shooter Lan Television film
Miami Vice Mai Ying Episode: "Heart of Night"[20]
1989 Jake and the Fatman Elaine Nakasone Episode: "The Way You Look Tonight"
1990 Drug Wars: The Camarena Story Thanh Steinmetz 3 episodes
Against the Law Toy Feng Episode: "Pilot"
1991 Thirtysomething Willa Camden Episode: "California"
1991–92 Star Trek: The Next Generation Keiko O'Brien Recurring role (8 episodes)[6]
1992 Intruders Dr. Jenny Sakai 2 episodes
1993–99 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Keiko O'Brien Recurring role (19 episodes)
1994 Web of Deception Dr. Sheila Prosser Television film
1995 Murder, She Wrote Phoebe Campbell Episode: "Nailed"
Chicago Hope Allison Granger Episode: "Rise from the Dead"
1995–96 The Magic School Bus Mrs. Li (voice) 2 episodes
1996 To Love, Honor and Deceive Sydney's Unnamed Friend Television film
1998 Brimstone Nina Chou Episode: "Poem"
1999 Get Real Anne Collins Episode: "Passages"
ER Dr. Chao Episode: "Humpty Dumpty"[20]
2000 Family Law Dr. Seabourne Episode: "Going Home"
2001 Gideon's Crossing Claire Hines Episode: "Filaments and Ligatures"
The West Wing Jane Gentry Episode: "The Fall's Gonna Kill You"
Arliss Karen Episode: "As Others See Us"
Three Blind Mice Li Mei Chen Television film
Citizen Baines Dr. Judith Lin[21] Recurring role (3 episodes)
Once and Again Tami Seitz Episode: "Pictures"
2002 Dharma & Greg Patricia Episode: "Tuesday's Child"
MDs Angela Yuan Episode: "R.I.P."
2003–06 The O.C. Dr. Kim Recurring role (6 episodes)[9]
2003 Without a Trace Helen Collins Episode: "Hang on to Me"
Monk Arleen Cassidy Episode: "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School"[21]
The Parkers Prof. Thornhill Episode: "Cheaters Never Prosper"
2003–04 10-8: Officers on Duty Lt. Maggie Chen 4 episodes
2004 Century City Doctor Episode: "The Face Was Familiar"
Medical Investigation Dr. Kramer Episode: "Price of Pleasure"
Center of the Universe Dr. Geisler Episode: "Art's Heart"
2005 Six Feet Under Cindy 3 episodes
According to Jim Sally Wu Episode: "James & the Annoying Peach"
2006 Ben 10 Councilwoman Liang (voice) Episode: "Side Effects"
W.I.T.C.H. Joan Lin, Mandy (voice) Episode: "V Is for Victory"
2007 Tell Me You Love Me Cynthia Recurring role (3 episodes)[9]
2008 Grey's Anatomy Kathleen Patterson Episode: "All By Myself"
2009 Private Practice Lillie Jordan Episode: "Slip Slidin' Away"
2010 CSI Michelle Huntley Episode: "Long Ball"
Trauma Therapist 2 episodes
The Event Doctor 2 episodes
2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Mrs. Zhuang Episode: "Cadaver"
2012 Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Pastor Jin Recurring role (4 episodes)
Bones Mandy Oh Episode: "The Suit on the Set"
2014 Intelligence Sheng-Li wang Episode: "Pilot"
Shameless Doctor Episode: "Strangers on a Train"
The Neighbors Barb Hartley 2 episodes
Forever Frenchman Episode: "The Frustrating Thing About Psychopaths"
2015 Castle Mimi Tan Episode: "Hong Kong Hustle"
Sin City Saints Mrs. Wu 5 episodes
2016 The Muppets Woman #1 Episode: "A Tail of Two Piggies"
Hawaii Five-0 Governor Keiko Mahoe Episode: "Makaukau 'oe e Pa'ani?"
The OA Patricia Knowler Episode: "Champion"
2017 Black-ish Dr. Stone Episode: "Manternity"
The Catch Kohana Takashi Episode: "The Dining Hall"
2018 Code Black Jae Eun 2 episodes
2019 This Is Us Anna Episode: "The Pool: Part Two "
2020 The L Word: Generation Q Grace Lee Episode: "Lose It All"
2020–22 Better Things Caroline 6 episodes
2022 The First Lady Tina Tchen [22]
TBA The Three-Body Problem Upcoming series


Year Title Role Notes
2008 Some Girl(s) Lindsay
2018 The Great Wave Etsuko National Theatre of Great Britain


Year Title Role
1995 Shanghai: Great Moments Rosalind Chao / Guide


  1. ^ a b "Esther Brimmer '83, Bernard Chan '88, Rosalind Chao '78 and Cruz Reynoso '53 Win Blaisdell Distinguished Alumni Award". Pomona College. Pomona College Magazine. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  2. ^ Shelly Kraicer (August 14, 1999). "China vs. Hollywood : the BBC World Service talks to me". Retrieved June 23, 2007.
  3. ^ Rosalind Chao (February 4, 2007). Sundance Film Festival '07 – Nanking Party (YouTube). Gilbert, Arizona, U.S.: Greening Productions. Event occurs at 00:00:50. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2008. I grew up with Chinese parents, and I learned nothing about it
  4. ^ Khatchatryan, Astgik (February 4, 2020). "Rosalind Chao On Starring In Disney's Live-Action 'Mulan' And Growing Up In O.C." Orange Coast Magazine. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  5. ^ "From Outer Space to Disney Parks … Meet the Dads from ABC-TV's 'The Neighbors'". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Rosalind Chao Biography". Fandango. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Hodgins, Paul (February 1, 2008). "A career made from scratch". Orange County Register. Santa Ana, California, united states: Terry Horne. Retrieved February 2, 2008. Former Star Trek actress Rosalind Chao talks about her latest work with playwright Neil LaBute.
  8. ^ a b "Here's Lucy Season 2 Episodes". TV Guide.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Rosalind Chao Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Inc. Archived from the original on February 26, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  10. ^ "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen". M*A*S*H. Season 11. Episode 16. February 28, 1983. CBS.
  11. ^ RJ. "AfterMASH: Main Article" (embedded video). Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  12. ^ T'Bonz (August 26, 2010). "Star Trek: The Next Generation Casting Memo Unearthed". Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  13. ^ Hipes, Patrick (August 13, 2018). "'Mulan' Rounds Out Cast, Reveals First-Look Photo As Filming Underway On Live-Action Movie".
  14. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (August 14, 2018). "Disney's 'Mulan' Casts Jimmy Wong & Doua Moua".
  15. ^ Paul Sheehan (July 2, 2019). "Oscars invite 842 new members in 2019: Complete list by branch (and 2014-2018 totals too)". Gold Derby. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  16. ^ Pete Hammond (July 2019). "Motion Picture Academy Adds 842 New Members, Half Of Whom Are Women". Deadline. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  17. ^ MATT DONNELLY and MARC MALKIN (July 2019). "Academy Reaches Gender Parity in 2019 New Member Invitations". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  18. ^ a b John, Rory (January 17, 2014). "What Ever Happened To… the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation?". Showbiz Geek. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  19. ^ Chao, Rosalind [@chao_time] (November 1, 2018). "Halloween pumpkins ❤️#tbt". Retrieved July 11, 2019 – via Instagram.
  20. ^ a b "Rosalind Chao – Ovreview – MSN Movies". MSN Movies. MSN. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  21. ^ a b "Rosalind Chao Filmography". Retrieved 2008-04-09.
  22. ^ Petski, Denise (June 14, 2021). "'The First Lady': Rosalind Chao, Michael Potts & Donna Lynne Champlin To Recur On Showtime Anthology Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 9, 2021.

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