Eccentric looking Chinese-American actor with a slightly drooping face (the result of a bout of Bell’s palsy) who studied political science, art & journalism before becoming a news reporter for a San Francisco public TV station in the late 1960s.
Apart from a brief stint in the mid-1970s on the TV soap opera Search for Tomorrow (1951), Wong didn’t break into movies until he was in his late fifties in the minor telemovie American Playhouse: Nightsongs (1984). He then appeared in the explosive Mickey Rourke gang movie Year of the Dragon (1985), followed by the heart warming Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (1985), before scoring the role he is probably best remembered for, as the Chinese wizard “Egg Shen” helping truck driver Kurt Russell defeat the evil “Lo-Pan” in Big Trouble in Little China (1986).
His offbeat style remained in demand with more work in Prince of Darkness (1987) and then as an opportunistic store owner, who gets more than he bargained for, in the tongue in cheek horror film Tremors (1990). Wong then appeared as the wise grandfather / retired ninja in the kids martial arts adventure 3 Ninjas (1992), plus he repeated his popular role for the sequels 3 Ninjas Kick Back (1994), 3 Ninjas: Knuckle Up (1995) and for his final film appearance 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain (1998).
Wong retired from acting in 1998 due to ill health, and passed away in September 2001 from heart failure.
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