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 59)
Los Angeles, California, US
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.

Early life[edit]

Chao was born in Los Angeles, California as a second-generation Chinese American.[4][5] Her parents ran a successful Chinese American pancake restaurant, Chao's, across the street from Disneyland, and employed her there from an early age.[5] 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.[6] She graduated from Pomona College in 1978.[7]

Personal life[edit]

For some time, Chao worked at Disneyland as an international tour guide.[8] It was there she met Simon Templeman; the couple would eventually wed and have their reception at the Disneyland Hotel.[2][8] They have two children.[9]


Chao's parents were instrumental in her decision to pursue acting;[4] 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.[6] 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,[6] she soon returned to acting.[2][4]


Remembering Chao from Anna and the King,[4] 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 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]



Year Series Role Notes
1972 Here's Lucy
Anna and the King
1977 The Hardy Boys Lily Episode "the Mystery of the Jade Kwan Yin"
Kojak Grace Chen Episode - "The Summer of '69"
1978 The Incredible Hulk Receptionist Episode - "Married"
1979 The Amazing Spider Man Episode "The Chinese Web"
Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women Flower
1981 Diff'rent Strokes Ming Li Episode "Almost American"
1982 Diff'rent Strokes Miss Chung Recurring role[2]
1983 M*A*S*H Soon Lee recurring character
1983-1985 AfterMASH Soon-Lee Klinger
1986 The A-Team episode - Point of No Return
Paper Angles First lead role on Television[2]
1988 Miami Vice Mai Ying Episode - "Heart of Night"[13]
1991-1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation Keiko O'Brien recurring role (8 appearances)[4]
1993-1999 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Keiko O'Brien recurring role (19 episodes)
1995 Murder, She Wrote Phoebe Episode - "Nailed"
1999 ER Dr. Chao Episode - "Humpty Dumpty"[13]
2001 Citizen Baines Judith Lin[14]
The West Wing Jane Gentry Episode-"The Fall's Gonna Kill You"
2003 The O.C. Dr Kim Guest star recurring role[2]
Monk Arleen Cassidy Episode - "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School"[14]
2007 Tell Me You Love Me Recurring Role[2]
2010 CSI Michelle Huntley Episode - "Long Ball"
2011 Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Pastor Jin Recurring Role
Law and Order Criminal Intent Mrs. Zhuang Episode: "Cadaver"
2012 Bones Mandy Oh Season 7 Episode 12
2014 Intelligence Sheng-Li wang Episode - "Pilot"
Forever Frenchman Episode 6
2015 Castle Mimi Tan Episode - "Hong Kong Hustle"
2016 Hawaii Five-0 governor Keiko Mahoe Episode - "Makaukau 'oe e Pa'ani?"
2016 The OA Patricia Knowler


Year Film Role
1979 The Ultimate Imposter
1980 The Big Brawl Mae
1981 An Eye For an Eye Linda Chen
The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island
Twirl Kim King
1983 The Terry Fox Story Rika
1987 Slam Dance Mrs. Bell
1988 White Ghost Thi Hau
1991 Denial
Thousand Pieces of Gold Lalu Nathoy/Polly Bemis
1992 Intruders
Memoirs of an Invisible Man Cathy DiTolla
1993 The Joy Luck Club Rose
1994 Web of Deception
Love Affair Lee
North Chinese Mom
1996 To Love, Honor and Deceive
1997 The End of Violence Claire
1998 What Dreams May Come Leona
2000 Enemies of Laughter Carla
2001 Three Blind Mice
I Am Sam Lily
2003 Freaky Friday Pei-Pei
2005 Life of the Party Mei Lin
2006 Just like Heaven Fran
2007 Nanking Chang Yu Zheng
2009 The Rising Tide Narrator


Year Play Character Role
2008 Some Girl(s) Lindsay


  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 "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. ^ a b c d e "Rosalind Chao Biography". Fandango. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  5. ^ 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 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Pomona College Alumni Directory 2000, p. 40.[verification needed]
  8. ^ a b "From Outer Space to Disney Parks … Meet the Dads from ABC-TV's 'The Neighbors'". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  9. ^ "What Ever Happened To... the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation?". Show Biz Geek. 2014-01-17. Retrieved 2016-02-05. 
  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 "Rosalind Chao - Ovreview - MSN Movies". MSN Movies. MSN. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  14. ^ a b "Rosalind Chao Filmography". Retrieved 2008-04-09.

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