Russell Wong has earned a reputation as a sexy, charismatic leading man whose good looks are matched by his skills as an actor. The sixth of seven children, Russell Wong was born in Troy, New York; the son of restaurateur William Wong and Dutch-American artist Connie Van Yserloo. When Russell was seven years of age, his parents divorced, and he moved with his mother to California, settling near Yosemite. Russell attended Santa Monica College. As a trained dancer and a martial artist, Russell is able to perform many of his own stunts.
Russell made his big screen debut in James Clavell’s “Tai Pan”. He made a memorable guest appearance on the drama series “21 Jump Street” and won a leading role in Wayne Wang’s acclaimed independent romantic comedy “Eat a Bowl of Tea”. Supporting roles in “China Cry” and “New Jack City” soon followed. In 1993, Russell gained critical acclaim for his outstanding performance in “The Joy Luck Club”.
Russell scored a high-profile role in 1994, when he was cast in the leading role in the made-for-TV movie “Vanishing Son” produced by Rob Cohen, in which he played a Chinese political activist exiled in America. The show was popular enough to spawn three sequels, and was later spun off into a syndicated TV series. People magazine named him one of the “Fifty Most Beautiful People” in 1995.
After “Vanishing Son” ran its course, Russell moved on to more big-screen work, including major roles in “Takedown”, co-starring Skeet Ulrich, and “Twisted” with Sam Jackson and Ashley Judd. His breakthrough performance opposite Jet Li in “Romeo Must Die” firmly established Russell’s star power.
Russell is next seen in this summer’s blockbuster “Mummy 3” directed by Rob Cohen, as well as “Dim Sum Funeral” a black comedy co-starring Bai Ling and Kelly Hu. He will star alongside Ving Rhames in the martial arts thriller “Unshakable” this Fall.
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