Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Who's that again? Al Leong

Thank god for IMDB, or else Al Leong would forever be known as The Asian Guy With The Fu Manchu Who Was In All Those '80s Action Flicks.

Leong never was a star or even a supporting player. To my knowledge, he has never had a line of dialogue. He tends to show up for a scene or two, usually in the background, before getting shot by Bruce Willis or Mel Gibson. And yet, according to his IMDB bio, Leong has a cult following. Why? "His lean muscled physique, incredible agility, amazing martial arts skill's wispy black hair and (here's the big one) Fu-Manchu style mustache." Leong's most prominent role was Endo in "Lethal Weapon." Endo, also known as The Asian Guy With The Fu Manchu Who Tortures Mel Gibson For A Few Minutes, fits the profile of the typical Leong role: he's Asian, he has a Fu Manchu mustache, he's a tough mamajama, he dies soon after appearing on screen. Other big Leong roles include Uli, a chocolate bar-eating terrorist in "Die Hard," an unnamed Wing Kong member in "Big Trouble in Little China," and, in a non-action movie stretch, Ghengis Khan in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."

Evil henchmen have a way of blending together in action movies from the Reagan era, but Leong stood out from the Russian and East European hordes because of his ethnicity and stylish facial hair. You knew he was bad, and yet, you wanted him to live longer than the rest because he always seemed on the verge of doing something incredibly badass. Leong still is in the biz as an action extra, appearing in "24"and "The Scorpion King" (as "Asian Training Master") and doing stunt work in films like "Hostage" and "Daredevil." Leong also made his directorial debut in 2000 with the low-budget film, "Daddy Tell Me a Story."

Well done, Al. Take a bow!


Blogger paul said...

Also here as a "It's that guy!".

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Al shows up on screen, you know someone is about to take an ass whupping.

8:10 AM  

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