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James Hong is an American actor, voice actor and director and former president of the Association of Asian/Pacific American Artists (AAPAA). A prolific acting veteran, Hong’s career spans more than 50 years and includes more than 350 roles in film, television, and video games.
James Hong has played in over 500 television and film roles. His career in show business began in the 1950s when he redubbed soundtracks of several Asian films. He dubbed the voices of characters Ogata (Akira Takarada) and Dr. Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata) in the 1956 Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. In 1959, he appeared as a prince on an episode of Walt Disney’s ABC series, Zorro.He also starred as a uniformed man in the 1980 comedy cult film Airplane!.
Hong is perhaps most widely known as the immortal ghost sorcerer Lo Pan in John Carpenter’s cult classic Big Trouble in Little China (1986), as the eye manufacturer Chew in Blade Runner, as Evelyn Mulwray’s loyal and vigilant butler in Chinatown and The Two Jakes, and as the low-rent private eye in Black Widow. He would then appear in the 1989 film The Vineyard.
Hong appeared as a host in a Chinese restaurant on All In the Family‘s 1975 episode “Edith Breaks Out” as well as on the well-known Seinfeld episode “The Chinese Restaurant”. Hong also played a similar role in several episodes of The Big Bang Theory during its first season, as well as in the “Color Blind” episode during the first season of Alias. Hong has also appeared in Tales from the Darkside, The X-Files, The King of Queens, The West Wing, and Friends.
Hong played Jeff Wong, Cassandra Wong’s father (who happens to be a martial arts expert), in the 1993 comedy sequel Wayne’s World 2. Most recently, he played the role of Mr. Takato in the movie Chasing Zoey, and in the television series Zoey 101, his character taught Michael Barret how to operate a manual transmission. Hong also voiced the character Daolon Wong, an evil wizard in the Jackie Chan Adventures television series, and was the voice of Chi Fu in Disney’s Mulan, A.N.T. Farm, Mandarin in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, and Professor Chang in Teen Titans. In 2006, Hong voiced the characters Mayor Tong and Monk Tashi in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Hong’s voice also appeared as Colonel Zhou Peng in the video game Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction, Dr. Chang in 2007’s Def Jam Icon, Ancient Wu in True Crime: Streets of LA, and reprising his role as Chew in the Blade Runner video game. He appeared in the films Balls of Fury and The Day the Earth Stood Still. In 2008, he voiced Mr. Ping in Kung Fu Panda, the adopted father of Po, and was nominated for an Annie Award for his performance, he later reprised this role on Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special and won an Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Television Production. Furthermore, he and Lucy Liu have collaborated in the feature film series and in the television series adaptation, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.
He also provides the voices for the jeweler NPC Covetous Shen in Diablo III, Master Bruise Paw in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, Bucky (for two episodes) from the TV series Archer, and Uncle Po in Sleeping Dogs. He also appeared in the 2013 film R.I.P.D.