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Korean Film News

Korean-born Hollywood Actor OH Soon-tek Dies at 85

Apr 16, 2018
  • Writerby Pierce Conran
  • View1049
Notable Asian-American Star Passes Away in Los Angeles



Korean actor OH Soon-tek passed away on April 4 in Los Angeles following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 85 years old. 

Born in Mokpo, Korea, the actor studied at Yonsei University in Seoul before emigrating to the United States, where he pursued further studies at UCLA. OH became a leading figure among Asian-American performers on the stage and on screen and was part of the original cast of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Pacific Overtures.

In the 1960s, OH founded the influential East West Players theater company, which over the year has produced acting talents such as BD Wong, John Cho, Daniel Dae Kim and Kal Penn. Following the LA Riots in the early 1990s, he also set up the Korean American theatre group the Society of Heritage Performers, which later evolved into the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble. 

Among the actor’s most famous credits are his voice work in the Mulan (1998) animated film, appearances in the TV shows Hawaii Five-O, M*A*S*H, and Charlie’s Angels, and his performance alongside Roger Moore in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1975).

In his later life, OH spent time as a chair professor at the Seoul Institute of the Arts before returning to Los Angeles.
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