Best Asian Actors In Hollywood

Began With Oscar Winner/Nominated
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1.
Miyoshi Umeki
Although she projected the typical Japanese female stereotype of humbleness, delicacy and subservience in most of her prime film and stage roles, beguiling, tiny-framed Miyoshi Umeki was nevertheless an assertive scene-stealer. This docile and deceptive-looking talent with the cropped hair and heart-shaped face radiated charm and innocence so effortlessly...
“ Japan ” - muscle_tommy
 
2.
Haing S. Ngor
Dr. Ngor's best known role was that of Dith Pran, the Cambodian assistant to New York Times correspondent Sydney Schanberg in the 'Killing Fields'. A gynecologist and surgeon, Ngor was ordered out of Phnom Penh along with the rest of the city's 2 million inhabitants after the Khmer Rouge takeover in 1975...
“ Cambodia ” - muscle_tommy
 
3.
Pat Morita
Abundantly busy and much loved Asian-American actor who became an on-screen hero to millions of adults and kids alike as the wise and wonderful Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, the sparkling Noriyuki Morita was back again dishing out Eastern philosophy and martial arts lessons for The Karate Kid Part II and The Karate Kid Part III...
“ Japan ” - muscle_tommy
 
4.
Ken Watanabe
Actor, Inception
Ken Watanabe was born on October 21, 1959 in Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. Both of his parents were teachers: his mother taught general education and his dad taught calligraphy. He became interested in acting at the age of 24, when a director of England's National Theatre Company, where he was studying...
“ Japan ” - muscle_tommy
 
5.
Shohreh Aghdashloo
Actress, The Promise
Shohreh Aghdashloo was born Shohreh Vaziri-Tabar on May 11, 1952 in Tehran, Iran. In the 1970s at age 20, she achieved nationwide stardom in her homeland of Iran, starring in some prominent pictures such as The Report directed by the renowned Abbas Kiarostami, which won critics awards at the Moscow Film Festival...
“ Iran ” - muscle_tommy
 
6.
“ Japan ” - muscle_tommy
 
7.
Sandra Oh
Sandra Oh was born to Korean parents in the Ottawa suburb of Nepean, Ontario, Canada. Her father, Oh Junsu, a businessman, and her mother, Oh Young-nam, a biochemist, were married in Seoul, South Korea. They both attended graduate school at the University of Toronto. Sandra began her career as a ballet dancer and eventually studied drama at the National Theatre School in Montreal...
“ Korea
2006, Won Golden Globes Awards ” - muscle_tommy
 
8.
Archie Panjabi
Actress, The Good Wife
Archie made her film debut in the British hit East Is East. Since then, she has continued to work on international blockbuster films, from Bend It Like Beckham and The Constant Gardener to critically acclaimed films like A Mighty Heart (starring opposite Angelina Jolie) and Yasmin (written by Simon Beaufoy)...
“ India
2010, Won Primetime Emmy Awards ” - muscle_tommy
 
9.
Ziyi Zhang
Ziyi Zhang is a Chinese actress and model. She is best known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Rush Hour 2 (2001), Hero (2002), House of Flying Daggers (2004), and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). She made her feature film debut in The Road Home (1999). For her work in Memoirs of a Geisha she was nominated for an Golden Globe for Best Actress.
“ China
2006, Nominated Golden Globes Awards ” - muscle_tommy
 
10.
Masi Oka
Masayori "Masi" Oka is a Japanese American actor, producer and digital effects artist. He became widely known for his role on NBC's Heroes as Hiro Nakamura and in CBS' Hawaii Five-0 as Doctor Max Bergman. Oka was born in Tokyo, Japan, to Setsuko Oka. His parents divorced when he was one month old; he was raised in a single parent family and has never met his father...
“ Japan
2007, Nominated Golden Globes Awards ” - muscle_tommy
 
11.
Toshirô Mifune
Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of his century. He was born in Tsingtao, China, to Japanese parents and grew up in Dalian. He did not set foot in Japan until he was 21. His father was an importer and a commercial photographer, and young Toshiro worked in his father's studio for a time after graduating from Dalian Middle School...
“ Japan
1981, Nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards ” - muscle_tommy
 
12.
Lucy Liu
Born to immigrants in Queens, New York, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Lucy's mother, Cecilia, a biochemist, is from Beijing, and her father, Tom Liu, a civil engineer, is from Shanghai. Once relegated to "ethnic" parts...
“ China
1999, Nominated for Primetime Emmy Award ” - muscle_tommy
 
13.
Margaret Cho
Actress, 30 Rock
Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco. Her grandfather was a Methodist minister who ran an orphanage in Seoul during the Korean War. Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret's father who writes joke books - in Korean...
“ Korea
2012, Nominated for Primetime Emmy Award ” - muscle_tommy
 
14.
Michelle Yeoh
Born as Yang Zi Qiong in the mining town of Ipoh, in West Malaysia, in the lunar year of the Tiger, Michelle is the daughter of Janet Yeoh and Yeoh Kian Teik, a lawyer and politician. She is of Han Chinese (Hokkien) descent, and spoke English and Malay before Chinese. A ballet dancer since age 4, she moved to London...
“ Malaysia
2001, Nominated for BAFTA Film Award ” - muscle_tommy
 
15.
Freida Pinto
Freida Selena Pinto was born in Bombai (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India, to Sylvia, a school principal, and Frederick Pinto, a senior bank branch manager. She is from a Mangalorean family. Pinto traversed the modeling circuit in Mumbai (represented by Elite Model Management India) for two years before...
“ India
2009, Nominated for BAFTA Film Award ” - muscle_tommy
 
16.
Dev Patel
Dev Patel was born in Harrow, London, to Anita, a caregiver, and Raj Patel, who works in IT. His parents, originally from Nairobi, Kenya, are both of Gujarati Indian descent. His first role was in the UK TV series Skins. His breakout role was in the Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire. In May 2012...
“ India
2009, Nominated for BAFTA Film Award ” - muscle_tommy
 
17.
BD Wong
BD Wong was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He made his Broadway debut in "M. Butterfly." He is the only actor to be honored with the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Theater World Award for the same performance. He starred in the television series All-American Girl...
 
18.
Steven Yeun
Son of Je Yeun (Father) and June Yeun (Mother). Has a brother named Brian Yeun. His parents own two beauty supply stores in Detroit, MI, USA. Went to Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI, USA, where he studied Psychology as a major subject(BS in Psychology, 2005). Was a member of Stir Friday Night, a sketch-comedy group made up of Asian-American performers...
“ Korea ” - muscle_tommy
 
19.
Yun-Fat Chow
Chow Yun Fat is a charismatic, athletically built and energetic Asian-born film star who first came to the attention of western audiences via his roles in the high-octane/blazing guns action films of maverick HK director John Woo. Chow was born in 1955 on the quiet island of Lamma, part of the then-British colony of Hong Kong...
“ Hong Kong ” - muscle_tommy
 
20.
“ India ” - muscle_tommy
 
21.
Yunjin Kim
Actress, Lost
“ Korea ” - muscle_tommy
 
22.
Ming-Na Wen
Ming-Na ("enlightenment") was born on the island of Macau, forty miles from Hong Kong. Her mother, Lin Chan Wen, divorced her father when Ming-Na was only a toddler. She has an older brother named Jonathan. After the divorce, they moved to Hong Kong where her mother became a nurse. There her mother met Soo Lim Yee...
“ Macau ” - muscle_tommy
 
24.
 
25.
Reggie Lee
Actor, Grimm
“ Philippines ” - muscle_tommy
 
26.
Ken Leung
Ken Leung was raised in the Two Bridges section of the Lower East Side in New York City. His family moved to Midwood, Brooklyn where he grew up before finishing high school in Old Bridge, New Jersey. He attended NYU as a University Scholar and studied acting with Catherine Russell and Nan Smithner, then briefly with Anne Jackson at HB Studio...
 
27.
John Cho
John Yohan Cho was born in Seoul, South Korea, but moved to Los Angeles, California as a child, where his father was a Christian minister. Cho was educated at Herbert Hoover High School at Glendale before moving on to the University of California at Berkeley where he studied English Literature. Upon graduation...
“ Korea ” - muscle_tommy
 
28.
Daniel Dae Kim
Through the diversity of his roles on stage and screen, Daniel Dae Kim continues to expand our perceptions of the Asian-American man. In characters ranging from the King of Siam, a Shakespearean hero, a social worker for the Chicago needy, to a counter-terrorist agent, his work has consistently proven to transcend the historical barriers of race and stereotype...
“ Korea ” - muscle_tommy
 
29.
“ Korea ” - muscle_tommy
 
30.
Aaron Yoo
Actor, 21
 
31.
Donnie Yen
Actor, Yip Man
Biography Early Life Donnie Yen was born in Guangzhou, China. His mother, Bow-sim Mark, was a kung fu master and his father, Kylster Yen, a newspaper editor and amateur musician. When Donnie was just two years old, the family moved to Hong Kong and then, when he was 11, to Boston, Massachusetts. There...
“ China ” - muscle_tommy
 
32.
Jet Li
Actor, Ying xiong
Jet Li born Li Lian Jie in Beijing, China. He started training at the Beijing wushu academy (wushu is China's national sport, largely a performance version of various martial art styles) at age eight. He won five gold medals in the Chinese championships, his first when he was only 11. In his teens, he was already a national coach...
“ China ” - muscle_tommy
 
33.
Jackie Chan
Actor, Rush Hour
Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry. Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7...
“ Hong Kong ” - muscle_tommy
 
34.
Aziz Ansari
Aziz Ansari was born in Columbia, South Carolina, to Fatima, a medical office worker, and Shoukath, a gastroenterologist. His family is from Tamil Nadu, India. He graduated from NYU as a business major in 2004. He graduated from the South Carolina Governor's School for Math and Science in Hartsville...
 
35.
“ China ” - muscle_tommy
 
36.
Li Gong
Actress, 2046
Born in Shenyang, grew up in Jinan, the daughter of an economics professor. Loved music from childhood, and dreamed of a singing career. After failing to gain entrance to China's top music school in 1985, applied for and was admitted to the Central Drama Academy in Beijing, from which she graduated in 1989...
“ China ” - muscle_tommy
 
37.
Leonardo Nam
Actor, Westworld
Leonardo Nam plays Felix Lutz on the critically acclaimed, award winning HBO series "Westworld". Nam is a scene-stealer as Felix, sharing nearly all his scenes with Golden Globe nominated actress Thandie Newton. "Westworld" premiered season one in October 2016 and has been nominated & won a handful of accolades including: 2017 Golden Globe Awards: Best Television Series - Drama (nominated)...
“ Korea ” - muscle_tommy
 
38.
James Kyson
Actor, Preacher
One of today's most exciting & versatile actors, voted by Buzzfeed as a Top 10 Asian-American Leading Man, and by TV Guide as "Hollywood's 25 Hottest Body", James recently guest starred in AMC's Preacher, CBS' Elementary and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, and FOX's Sleepy Hollow. He also recently starred in NCIS:LA...
“ Korea ” - muscle_tommy
 
39.
Bobby Lee
Actor, MADtv
 
40.
Adhir Kalyan
Born in 1983 and raised in Durban, South Africa, Adhir Kalyan moved to London to pursue an acting career. He appeared as a guest star on the BBC series Holby City and MI-5. Kalyan's first leading role was in the CW's comedy series Aliens in America, in which he played Raja, a devout Pakistani Muslim exchange student in Medora...
 
41.
“ Pakistan ” - muscle_tommy
 
42.
“ Philippines ” - muscle_tommy
 
43.
Tania Gunadi
Tania Gunadi was born in Bandung, Java, Indonesia. She won a green card lottery when she was a teenager and moved to Los Angeles. Tania started her career on the Disney Channel in TV series and movies, including Pixel Perfect, Go Figure, Imagination Movers and Aaron Stone (her first series regular role)...
“ Indonesia ” - muscle_tommy
 
44.
Lily Mariye
Actress, ER
Lily Mariye is best known for her role as Lily Jarvik on ER (1994) for its entire 15 season run. An award-winning theatre actress/dancer/singer, she was discovered by agent Joan Scott in the LA stage production of Elizabeth Swados musical, Runaways. She is now a TV and film director, directing "Nashville," "The Fosters" and "Just Add Magic," after her feature film debut...
 
45.
Bai Ling
Actress, The Crow
Born in the city of Cheng Du in southern China, Bai Ling began her career at age of 14. She enlisted In the Chinese People's Liberation Army, where she spent three years in a performance troupe entertaining soldiers stationed in Tibet. She first gained the attention of audiences and critics alike when she won the coveted lead role opposite Richard Gere in Jon Avnet's Red Corner...
“ China ” - muscle_tommy
 
46.
Devon Aoki
Actress, Sin City
Born in New York but raised in California, Devon Aoki is no stranger to the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Her father is former Olympic wrestler and Benihana restaurant magnate Rocky Aoki and her mother is Pamela Hilburger, a jewelry designer. Devon is of Japanese (from her father) and German and English (from her mother) ancestry...
“ Japan ” - muscle_tommy
 
47.
Ken Jeong
Ken Jeong is a Korean-American actor, comedian, and physician. He is best known for his roles as Ben Chang on the critically acclaimed NBC/Yahoo! sitcom Community and gangster Leslie Chow in The Hangover Trilogy. He appeared in Michael Bay's Pain & Gain, as Johnny Wu, a motivational speaker...
“ Korea ” - muscle_tommy
 
48.
Ye Liu
Liu Ye's acting talents were apparent right from his first movie, Postman in the Mountains, for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at China's 1999 Golden Rooster Awards. Shortly after his graduation from Central Academy of Drama, Liu Ye won Best Actor at Taiwan's 38th Golden Horse Awards for his bold and splendid performance as a gentle...
“ China ” - muscle_tommy
 
49.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Actress, Jodhaa Akbar
Aishwarya was an architecture student before she entered modeling as her part-time job. She was best known for her Pepsi commercial with Mahima Chaudhry. With her green-gray eyes, she was already approached by big names in India's film industry, where they offered her starring roles. She rejected the film offers since she aimed to be an architect...
“ India ” - muscle_tommy
 
50.
“ China ” - muscle_tommy
 
51.
Leila Hatami
Actress, A Separation
After finishing high school, she moved to Lausanne, Switzerland and started her studies in Electrical Engineering Dee Lausanne (EPFL). After two years she changed her major to French Literature. She completed her study of French in a couple of years, before moving back to Iran. After a pause of a few...
“ Iran ” - muscle_tommy
 
52.
“ Indonesia ” - muscle_tommy
 
53.
Lea Salonga
Actress, Mulan
Lea Salonga began her singing career at the age of ten, when she recorded her first album, Small Voice. She also hosted her own musical TV show, "Love, Lea". She starred in "Miss Saigon" and was then offered the role of the singing voice of Jasmine in the Disney film Aladdin. She has continued to record albums. Lea has performed for Queen Elizabeth II, George Bush, and Bill Clinton.
“ Philippines ” - muscle_tommy