Six decades into his cinematic career, beloved character actor, producer, and director James Hong has finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.
Hong, born in Minnesota, began his career in the early 1950s and has been described as “possibly the only living man who has worked with Groucho Marx.” Chinatown, Blade Runner, Seinfeld, Friends, and the Kung Fu Panda movies, and TV programs, were amongst his other significant credits.
On Tuesday, the Chinese-American superstar, who has credits for 469 TV series, 149 feature films, 32 short films, and, 22 video games in a career that has seen him play alongside artists ranging from Clark Gable to Seth Rogen, became the oldest person ever to earn a star on the Walk Of Fame (May 10).
Hong, who has 700 credits, including “Blade Runner” and the original “Mulan,” was recognized in a ceremony attended by numerous of his co-stars. The majority of the cast of his current sci-fi comedy “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” in which he portrays Gong Gong, Evelyn’s father, was also there. In addition to his speech, he organized a lion dance for the occasion.
“WHY DOES IT TAKE SIX DECADES TO GET THE ACTOR A STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME?
When the petition to acquire James Hong, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, launched, the reaction was swift and tremendous. Recognizing the 93-year-old actor’s revolutionary body of work, with over 650 credits, actor-producer Daniel Dae Kim launched a crowdfunding effort in 2020 to raise the $55,000 required for the star. The target was met within a period of four days.
Hong was the one who did not respond immediately enough. To be honest, I didn’t hear anything,” Hong laughs. “Either the internet wasn’t running properly or, I didn’t receive the email.” The next thing I knew, they had the money.”
It is hard to picture someone who has consumed entertainment over the last seven decades and doesn’t like the actor.
Most people mention Hong even today. Talk about his performances as the evil David Lo Pan in the 1986 cult classic “Big Trouble in Little China” and chew, the synthetic eyeball specialist in 1982’s “Blade Runner.”
Despite his remarkable filmography career, Hong admits it wasn’t simple to make it.” There were no changes in the beginning,” he recalls, “Opportunities were scarce, and Asians were still perceived as a quiet minority.” In some ways, I believe I was born too early since there were no opportunities.”
“I’ve been working for 70 years, and it’s only just getting started for me.” Maybe in another ten years, I’ll look down at the planet and think, ‘Yeah, progress.’”
Soon, he will be heard in the animated series “Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight” and “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.” He will reunite with his “Everything, Everything” co-star Michelle Yeoh in the Apple TV Plus series “American Born Chinese.”
It is truly an inspiration to see such a great actor get his due place on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in Los Angeles. Even better to witness his passion for his craft. We cannot wait to see all that the actor has in store for us in the upcoming months.