One of the most prolific actors in the history of Hollywood is finally getting some recognition. Legendary character actor James Hong will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hong, who at 93 still continues to work, has racked up over 500 film and television credits. His first credit goes all the way back to 1957, and still manages to show up in the highly successful “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” It is simply mind boggling that he has gone this long without being congratulated for his work.
There was a very real chance that Hong could’ve gone without being acknowledged for his contributions. This is despite the fact that that is a 0% chance that you haven’t seen him on screen in something. Hong was just as comfortable playing roles in wildly influential films like “Blade Runner” to being in low budget junk like “Ninja III: The Domination.” He has also done an insane amount of television whenever people needed an Asian actor who was good at both comedy and drama. Being in one of the most famous episodes of shows like “Seinfeld” (“The Chinese Restaurant”) would’ve been enough to cement him as one of the greats.
As an Asian-American actor, his utility as being able to play a variety of roles, often in stuff that could easily fall into stereotype, also meant he was under appreciated. The main reason he was able to get a star was due to fan efforts that included the likes of other actors like Daniel Dae-Kim. Thanks to crowdfunding efforts, organizers were able to put up the money to get the star and the ceremony to make sure Hong would be alive to see his legacy secured. It is both a very touching moment, and something to reflect on when it comes to what actors get their rewards and which labor in obscurity. Still, that shouldn’t take away from Hong’s work, which is fully worth celebrating.
As a brief tribute to his work, we highly recommend going back to watch Hong as David Lo Pan in “Big Trouble in Little China.” Not only does he play the menace of being a nigh immortal sorcerer, but he also stands toe to toe with Kurt Russell in comic timing.
The star ceremony will take place in Hollywood on May 10th, 2022. You can watch the live stream ceremony here, which starts at 11:30am (PST). Congratulations, James!