Diversity in Hollywood has always been a controversial topic, but things are slowly getting better. As we see more Asian stars starting to appear on-screen, we have to pay homage to those who blazed the trail for better Asian representation, as well as up-and-coming actors paving the way for the future generation of aspiring actors.

Bruce Lee


Name: Lee Jun-fan, 1940-1973


  • A Hong Kong-American martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor, philosopher and pop culture icon of the 20th century, who bridged the gap between East and West
  • Before he was known for his martial arts skills, Bruce Lee was actually a cha-cha dancer
  • He charged US$275 an hour for private lessons in the ’60s, among his students were Hollywood stars Steve McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner, Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate
  • Starred in box office movies “The Big Boss”, “Fist of Fury”, “Way of the Dragon” and “Game of Death”
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The iconic Hollywood film, “Enter the Dragon” was his last film
Married Linda Cadwell and they had two children, Brandon and Shannon
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Bruce Lee played Kato in the Batman 1960s TV series “The Green Hornet”

Jackie Chan


Name: Chan Kong-sang, 67 years old


  • Jackie’s father was secretly a spy for the Chinese Nationalist Revolutionary Army and his mother was arrested for smuggling opium into China
  • He earned two Guinness World Records for “Most Credits in One Movie” (15) and Most Stunts Performed by a Living Actor” in “Chinese Zodiac”
  • Jackie walked down the 89th Oscar’s red carpet with two stuffed pandas, Chan La and Chan Zy, which represents the two pandas that he raised in China
  • Starred in Hollywood blockbuster films such as the “Rush Hour” franchise, DreamWorks Animation’s “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Karate Kid” remake
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Iconic duo! Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are reported to reprise their role in “Rush Hour 4”
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His inclusion in “The Karate Kid” prompted the Chinese government to allow filming at some of China’s strictly forbidden areas, including the Great Wall!
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Jackie Chan began his film career as a stuntman in his idol Bruce Lee films “Fist of Fury” and “Enter the Dragon”

Henry Golding


Name: Henry Ewan Golding, 34 years old


  • Born in Malaysia, Henry’s father is from England and his mother is from the Iban tribe in Sarawak
  • Before he became a movie star, Henry got his start as a hairstylist in London
  • Rose to fame from his roles in Hollywood hit films “Crazy Rich Asians”, “A Simple Favor”, “Monsoon”, “Last Christmas” and “The Gentlemen”
  • Henry admitted that he feels like an outsider in Hollywood when people said he wasn’t Asian enough for “Crazy Rich Asians” and not white enough for “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins”
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Married Taiwanese TV presenter and yoga instructor, Liv Lo in 2011 and blessed with a daughter
People loved his chemistry with “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke in “Last Christmas”
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From rom-com heart-throb to “Snake Eyes” action hero

Simu Liu

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Name: Simu Liu, 32 years old


  • Simu was born in Harbin, China and when he was 5, he and his parents immigrated to Canada
  • He once worked as an accountant for less than a year and did photoshoots for stock photos
  • Auditioned for “Crazy Rich Asians” 4 times for the lead role Nick Young, which eventually went to Henry Golding
  • Besides acting, Simu is also good at singing, playing basketball, works behind camera as a writer and filmmaker, not to mention a stuntman
He appeared in the landmark 100th episode of “Fresh Off the Boat”
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Simu played a main role in all five seasons of Canadian TV sitcom “Kim’s Convenience”
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Debut as Marvel’s first Asian superhero in the upcoming “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Irrfan Khan

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Name: Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan, 1967-2020


  • Irrfan initially wanted to become a cricketer, however, his parents were not too keen about it
  • After having successfully taken over the Bollywood industry, he had supporting roles in Hollywood films “The Amazing Spider-Man”, “Life of Pi”, “Jurassic World” and “Inferno”
  • Irrfan had to turn down a crucial role in Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar”, “The Martian” and “Body of Lies” due to prior commitments to other projects
  • He also starred in Academy award-winning British film “Slumdog Millionaire”
From wishing to watch the first “Jurassic Park” film during his struggling days in the 90’s, to finally starring in “Jurassic World” in the role of Simon Masrani
Irrfan played villain Dr. Rajith Ratha in “The Amazing Spider-Man” alongside Andrew Garfield
He considers his “Inferno” co-star, Tom Hanks, a dear friend