James Hong, the Chinese American actor renowned for his roles in films such as “Big Trouble in Little China” and “Chinatown,” made history at the age of 94 by attending the Oscars for the first time. Hong, who stars in the sci-fi adventure film “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” expressed his joy at finally attending the prestigious event, which has seen the movie receive an impressive 11 nominations, including one for Best Picture. Speaking to ABC 13 at the Oscars preshow, Hong said, “It’s a great pleasure to be here, the first time to be at the Academy Awards. Here I am, after 70 years, I’m here. Actually, I’m 94!”
Minnesota native James Hong gets a heck of a shout out from Jimmy Kimmel at the #Oscars pic.twitter.com/TD92x2NZ4i— David Schuman (@david_schuman) March 13, 2023
Hong has an illustrious acting career spanning over 70 years, with almost 500 TV roles, more than 150 feature films, over 30 short films, and 20-plus video games to his name. He has also lent his voice to animated films, voicing Mr. Ping in the “Kung Fu Panda” series and the villain Chi-Fu in Disney’s “Mulan.”
The actor expressed his hope that his first Oscars appearance would not be his last, saying, “It takes perseverance through all these years to make it. And through my 500 movies and TV, I’m here. I hope to be here next year and the year after.” He even joked that he plans to attend the Oscars when he turns 100, adding, “When I’m 100, I’ll come back and say hello to everybody.”
The legendary James Hong makes his grand #Oscars entrance on the red carpet. https://t.co/1YjeRcBYd2 pic.twitter.com/55L1uMc8Cr— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 12, 2023
Hong’s first movie role was 70 years ago alongside Clark Gable, where he played a role initially intended for actors with fake accents and taped-up eyes. During his acceptance speech for the outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture award at the 2023 SAG Awards, Hong shared this story and highlighted his success as proof that the producer’s assumptions were wrong.
Michelle Yeoh and the EEAAO cast honoring the great James Hong during their SAG speech has me EMOTIONAL: “He just turned 94 years young, and it’s been 69 years in the making to get him to the stage. Our patriarch, our friend, our gung-gung: James Hong!” pic.twitter.com/PByqsvA5WM— Spencer Althouse (@SpencerAlthouse) February 27, 2023
For the Oscars ceremony, Hong wore a suit with a blue bowtie featuring googly eyes, a reference to the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Hong has been married twice and has a daughter named April Hong, who accompanied him to the Oscars.