Beloved character actor, producer and director James Hong has finally received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in Los Angeles, six decades into his film career.
The Chinese-American icon, who boasts credits on 469 TV shows, 149 feature films, 32 short films and 22 video games – across a career that has seen him act alongside stars from Clark Gable to Seth Rogen – became the oldest person ever to receive a star on the Walk Of Fame on Tuesday (May 10).
“I’m here! I’m alive!,” the 93-year-old told the crowd on Tuesday, adding that he had no speech planned because he’s “not that kind of person” (per the LA Times).
The long-awaited recognition was preceded by introductions from a number of Hollywood actors, including Lost actor Daniel Dae Kim, who raised the impressive sum to pay for Hong’s star via a GoFundMe page in four days in 2020, and Everything Everywhere All At Once co-star Jamie Lee Curtis.
On the crowdfunding page, the Hawaii Five-0 actor wrote that Hong “epitomizes the term ‘working actor,’ and that’s not even taking into account all he’s done to help further representation for actors of color.”
Kim pointed out that AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) performers make up less than 1% of the names on the Walk Of Fame, with Hong’s name joining Anna May Wong, Mako, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu.
“Though that number is entirely too low,” Kim said, “it does underscore the fact that we need to celebrate every single one of us who has been fortunate enough to be recognised, and that includes the other three AAPI [performers] who are being inducted this year. So let’s give it up for Ming-Na Wen, Jason Momoa and [Black Eyed Peas founding member] apl.de.ap.”
Curtis also praised Hong as a “passionate performer” and “a hilarious presence on set,” adding: “It’s about fucking time that we are here honoring James Hong with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
Born in Minnesota, Hong’s career started in the early 1950s, and he has referred to himself as “probably the only living guy that has worked with Groucho Marx.” His other notable credits include Chinatown, Blade Runner, Seinfeld, Friends, and the Kung Fu Panda movies and TV shows.