James "Stick To Your Ribs" Hong

It would be easy to say that James Hong is the most durable and dependable of all Oriental character actors working today.  It would also be true.  But to say that would be to sell him short.  He is, obviously, of Oriental extraction, but his talents extend far beyond that of being an ethnic staple.  He brings to all his roles a depth of feeling that stays with you like a giant combo burrito after several digestive cycles, that you continue to taste long after you have ceased to remember superficial details such as words and visuals; you remember the visceral realities of his roles, they get under your skin and make you deal with them as life continues to unfold!  With well over 100 movies under his belt (and another 100 or so TV guest shots), he has crept into our collective video consciousness with a thoroughness unparalleled by most other actors.

Unlike most Hollywood actors, he is trained as an engineer, a profession dear to my own heart.  Being born in Minneapolis, he brings a midwestern sensibility to all of his roles, which all heartland-bred audiences can feel deep down in their gullets.  From his eyeball-crafting Chew in "Blade Runner" to his dock-swabbing sailor in "The Sand Pebbles", from his humble gardener in both "Chinatown" flicks to his megalomaniac Lo Pan in "Big Trouble In Little China", he reminds us of the high and low contents of all of our lives.  Toss in his unforgettable guest shots on "Magnum P.I." and "Seinfeld" (as the Chinese restaurant host), and you have a career that can do no less than bring a tear to the eye of the toughest tough guy in the audience.  James Hong, we salute you!!!  May you never be of low flesh!!

"Shut up, Mr. Burton.  You are not brought upon this world to 'get it.' "