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Victor Wong 1927.jpg


(July 30, 1927 – September 12, 2001) (Chinese: 黃自強; pinyin: Huáng Zìqiáng) was a Chinese American character actor who appeared in supporting roles throughout the 1980s and 1990s.


Victor Wong studied political science and journalism at the University of California, Berkeley and Theology at the University of Chicago under Paul Tillich, Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Buber. When he returned to San Francisco, Wong resumed his studies at the San Francisco Art Institute under Mark Rothko.

Acting Career[]

After his news career ended, Wong turned to acting, starting in the local Asian American theatre and later landing larger roles on the stages New York City. In October 1980, Wong made his Asian American Theater Company (AATC) debut in San Francisco by appearing in their production of Paper Angels by Genny Lim. He was on Social Security Disability Insurance at the time.

His stage work led to television work and eventually, into movies. In between film roles, Wong lived in Sacramento, California, where he supported the local performing arts. In 1992, he acted in the Hong Kong film, Cageman (笼民). He later starred as the grandfather in the popular 3 Ninjas franchise, and the cult-classics, Big Trouble in Little China and Tremors. Film director Wayne Wang called Victor Wong his role model for living life. Director Bernardo Bertolucci had trouble with Victor on the set of The Last Emperor amid arguments over historical authenticity and cut most of Wong's scenes in the film, which won the Best Picture Oscar for 1987.

He retired from acting in 1998 after suffering two strokes, which also contributed to his death on September 12, 2001 from heart failure. Wong was 74 years old.

Personal Life[]

  • He lived in Sacramento, California.[4]
  • Two daughters: Emily and Heather.
  • Three sons: Anton, Lyon, and Duncan
  • Married to Olive Thurman Wong (daughter of civil rights activist Howard Thurman), Carol Freeland, Robin Goodfellow and Dawn Rose.
  • His son, Lyon Wong, died in 1986 after being attacked by a young man while walking home in Sacramento.

Brother of Sara Wong Lum, Zeppelin Wong, Shirley Wong Frentzel, Betty Wong.