One of Hollywood’s most prolific stars finally received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
James Hong, 93, the barrier-breaking Asian actor, became the oldest person ever to receive a star on Tuesday, KABC-TV reported. The actor accepted his fan-funded star as drums beat, cymbals clanged and Chinese lion dancers celebrated in the street, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“I’m here! I’m alive!” Hong said after receiving the 2,723rd star on the Walk of Fame, according to the newspaper.
Hong has more than 650 film credits, Variety reported. In 2020, actor-producer Daniel Dae Kim started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the $55,000 needed for the star, and the goal was reached within four days, the entertainment website reported.
Hong is the only living actor to have worked with Clark Gable and Groucho Marx, according to The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. He’s also one of just 19 people of Asian descent to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Variety reported. That list includes Anna May Wong, Mako, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu, according to the Times.
Hong is 31 years older than the Walk of Fame, KABC reported.
“I want to feel the moment,” Hong said at the star-unveiling ceremony as he stood next to Jamie Lee Curtis and Kim.
Hong is one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood since leaving Minnesota for the West Coast nearly 70 years ago, KARE-TV reported. He has appeared in “Blade Runner” and “Chinatown” and lent his voice on animated features such as “Kung Fu Panda” and “Mulan.”
Hong had roles in “Turning Red” and “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” his most recent film, where he starred alongside Curtis.
Hong, who is Chinese American, was born in Minnesota and served stateside in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, the Times reported.
An appearance on Marx’s game show, “You Bet Your Life,” in which he did an imitation of the host, created a buzz and landed him his first agent and scores of offers from nightclubs, Variety reported.
Despite his impressive list of credits, Hong said his road was not easy.
“In the early days, there were no opportunities whatsoever,” Hong told Variety. “Opportunities were very few and Asians were still looked down upon as this silent minority. In a sense, I feel I was born too early because there were no chances.”
“Thank you, James, for your body of work, your quality of work and your strength of character,” Kim said during Tuesday’s ceremony.
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