James Hong, a legendary actor at 94, attended his first Oscars and expressed his joy

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!”

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.”

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.

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.