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|Born|| (1962-06-10) June 10, 1962
( m. 1994)
Tzi Ma (Chinese: 馬泰; born June 10, 1962) is a Hong Kong-American actor. He is well known for his roles in television shows, such as The Man in the High Castle and 24, and films, such as Dante's Peak, Rush Hour, Rush Hour 3, Arrival, The Farewell, and Tigertail. In 2021, he stars in the American martial arts television series Kung Fu on The CW.
Early life and education
Ma was born in Hong Kong, the youngest of seven children. In 1949, Ma's father moved to Hong Kong following the Chinese Communist Revolution and then to the United States when Ma was five years old following political turmoil in Hong Kong. Ma grew up in New York, where his parents ran the American Chinese restaurant, Ho Wah, in Staten Island. According to Ma, immigration activist Lau Sing Kee had previously operated the restaurant. He found his love for acting when he played Buffalo Bill in an elementary school production of Annie Get Your Gun.
Although often referred to as the familiar Asian face in film and television, Ma has deep ties to theatre. He cites Mako's performance in Pacific Overtures in 1976 as a major influence on his acting career. And he is close friends with playwright David Henry Hwang, having collaborated with him on several plays, such as FOB, Yellow Face, Flower Drum Song, and The Dance and the Railroad, throughout the years and starring in the film, Golden Gate (1993), which was written by Hwang. Ma started professionally acting in 1973 through experimental theater. At that time, he was in a residency at Nassau Community College studying acting and teaching movement. His first theatre performance was in 1975 at an outdoor theater in Roosevelt State Park as the Monkey King in a stage adaptation of a Beijing opera titled, Monkey King in the Yellow Stone King. He estimated that there were about 5 to 10 thousand audience members in attendance.
During the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike, Ma found work at South Coast Repertory in Orange County playing various characters in the play, In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe. The play closed the weekend the strike ended, and by next week, he landed a role in the L.A. Law television series. In 1994, he was the assistant director on a stage production of Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
His major film roles include credits in The Quiet American, the remake of The Ladykillers, and Dante's Peak. Additionally, he has appeared as Consul Han in the Rush Hour series and General Shang, the commander of the Chinese military in Denis Villeneuve's Arrival (2016).
He is also known for his recurring role as Cheng Zhi, the head of security for the Chinese Consulate (Los Angeles), on the television series 24, first appearing in the series's fourth season and reprising the role in 24: Live Another Day. He also voiced Bàba Ling, Francine's adoptive father, in the animated TV series American Dad!
Ma's other TV credits include guest appearances on MacGyver, Walker, Texas Ranger, Law & Order, ER, Boomtown, Commander in Chief, Chicago Hope, The Unit, Star Trek: The Next Generation, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, Millennium, Fringe, Cold Case, NCIS: Los Angeles, Hawaii Five-0, Lie to Me, The Cosby Show, Grey's Anatomy, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Hell on Wheels. Ma also had a voice role in the video game Sleeping Dogs. He also appeared on the ABC series Once Upon a Time as "The Dragon". He also appeared as a zen master on the USA series Satisfaction.
He appeared as General Onoda in the Amazon show The Man In The High Castle and as Tao on AMC’s Hell On Wheels. In July 2018, it was announced that Ma was cast in the recurring role of Mr. Young on the Netflix series Wu Assassins.
In May 2020, as racism against Asian Americans was on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ma joined Representative Ted Lieu and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, at the "Stand Against Racism in the Time of COVID" forum held by Asia Society.[non-primary source needed]
|1979||Cocaine Cowboys||Jimmy Lee|
|1981||They All Laughed||Extra||Uncredited|
|1986||The Money Pit||Hwang|
|1990||RoboCop 2||Tak Akita|
|1992||Rapid Fire||Kinman Tau|
|1993||Golden Gate||Chen Jung Song|
|1995||Make a Wish, Molly||David Wong||Short film|
|1996||Chain Reaction||Lu Chen|
|Red Corner||Li Cheng|
|1998||Rush Hour||Solon Han|
|1999||Catfish in Black Bean Sauce||Vinh|
|2002||The Quiet American||Hinh|
|2004||The Ladykillers||The General|
|2005||Red Doors||Ed Wong|
|2006||Akeelah and the Bee||Mr. Chiu|
|Rush Hour 3||Solon Han|
|Battle in Seattle||The Governor|
|2008||The Sensei||Buddhist Monk|
|All God's Children Can Dance||Glen|
|2012||The Campaign||Mr. Zheng|
|2013||Mad in Chinatown||Hangman||Short film|
|2014||A Good Man||Mr. Chen|
|Million Dollar Arm||Chang|
|Baby Steps||Mr. Lin|
|Pali Road||Arnold Zhang|
|The Jade Pendant||Yu Hing|
|2018||Skyscraper||Fire Chief Zheng|
|2019||The Farewell||Haiyan Wang|
|The Kid Detective||Mr. Chang|
|1984||The Cosby Show||Mr. Lee||1 episode|
|1985||The Equalizer||Lin||1 episode|
|1989||L.A. Law||Ed Chang||1 episode|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation||Physiologist||1 episode|
|MacGyver||Wing Lee||1 episode|
|1990||Yellowthread Street||Detective Eddie Pak||6 episodes|
|Forbidden Nights||Li Dao||Television film|
|Midnight Caller||Arthur Chang||1 episode|
|Head of the Class||Kwong||1 episode|
|1993||Street Justice||Bryn To Chi|
|1994||The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.||Chan|
|1996||JAG||Inspector Chang||1 episode|
|1994–2001||NYPD Blue||Detective Harold Ng||3 episodes|
|1996–2000||Nash Bridges||Jimmy Zee||3 episodes|
|1998–99||Martial Law||Lee Hei||5 episodes|
Capt. Youfook Law
|2000||Chicago Hope||Mr. Wang||1 episode|
|The Pretender||Ki Mok/Chen Thon||1 episode|
|City of Angels||Dr. Henry Lu||4 episodes|
|Walker, Texas Ranger||General Nimh||1 episode|
|2001||Gideon's Crossing||Dr. To||1 episode|
|2002||The Bernie Mac Show||Ed||1 episode|
|ER||Liam Young||1 episode|
|Boomtown||Roger Lam||1 episode|
|Law & Order||Li Chen||1 episode|
|2003||The Practice||Tang Jingyu||1 episode|
|2004||Jake 2.0||Nanda Sang||1 episode|
|Hawaii||Joseph Dao||1 episode|
|2005||JAG||Admiral Lutarno||1 episode|
|2005–07||24||Cheng Zhi||13 episodes|
|2006||Commander in Chief||Chinese Ambassador||2 episodes|
|The Unit||Rudolph Hatano||1 episode|
|Deadwood||Mahjong Player||1 episode|
|2007||Dragon Boys||Henry Wah||2 episodes|
|2007–13||American Dad!||Bah Bah Ling||11 episode
|2008||Grey's Anatomy||Patterson||1 episode|
|2009||The Beast||Kim Nam||1 episode|
|Dirty Sexy Money||Tsung Shien Chun||1 episode|
|Cold Case||Bo-Lin Chen||1 episode|
|Fringe||Ming Che||1 episode|
|2010||NCIS: Los Angeles||Jun Lee||1 episode|
|Lie to Me||Mr. Chen||1 episode|
|The Whole Truth||Judge Garrett||1 episode|
|2011||Hawaii Five-O||Chi||1 episode|
|2012||Perception||Professor Arthur Wei||1 episode|
|2013||Saving Hope||Dr. Lin||1 episode|
|Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||Agent Quan||1 episode|
|2013–16||Once Upon a Time||The Dragon||3 episodes|
|2014||24: Live Another Day||Cheng Zhi||3 episodes|
|2014||State of Affairs||Premier Chu Jian||1 episode|
|2015||Hell on Wheels||Tao||6 episodes|
|2016||Elementary||Xi Hai Ching||1 episode|
|Man Seeking Woman||Master Sheng||1 episode|
|Stitchers||De Deshei||1 episode|
|Angie Tribeca||Joseph Takagi||1 episode|
|The Man in the High Castle||General Onoda||6 episodes|
|2016–17||Veep||Lu Chi-Jung||3 episodes|
|2017||Ransom||Senator Vang||1 episode|
|The Catch||Kenji Yoshida||1 episode|
|Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders||Inspector Cheong||1 episode|
|2018||Silicon Valley||Factory Manager Yao||2 episodes|
|The Resident||Ted Zhou||1 episode|
|2018–19||Star Wars Resistance||Senator Hamato Xiono||2 episodes
|2019||Wu Assassins||Mr. Young||Recurring role|
|2020||Bosch||Brent Charles||2 episodes|
|2021||Kung Fu||Jin Chen||Main role|
Ma has received awards for his acting roles including the Cine Golden Eagle Award for Best Actor for The Dance and The Railroad and the Garland Award for his acting in Flower Drum Song.
- "Tzi Ma biography and filmography | Tzi Ma movies". Tribute. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
- Yap, Audrey Cleo (2020-09-04). "How 'Mulan's' Tzi Ma Became Hollywood's Go-To Asian Dad (Watch)". Variety. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
- #IAm Tzi Ma Story, archived from the original on 2020-03-06, retrieved 2019-12-22
- "From '24' To 'Mulan:' Character Actor Tzi Ma". NPR.org. Archived from the original on 2019-12-22. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
- momo (2014-09-17). "Actor Tzi Ma in "Satisfaction" and "24"". CAAM Home. Archived from the original on 2019-12-22. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
- "Actor Tzi Ma Rides 'Hell On Wheels' to New Heights". AsAm News. 2015-09-01. Archived from the original on 2019-12-22. Retrieved 2019-12-22.
- Tzi Ma on The Farewell, Rush Hour, and working with the amazing Veep cast, archived from the original on 2020-01-02, retrieved 2019-12-22
- Harmetz, Aljean (1994-06-05). "THEATER; It's Tough to Get Ghosts to Be Human on Stage". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2020-03-17. Retrieved 2020-03-17.
- Derdeyn, Stuart (November 11, 2016). "Tzi Ma's big-screen Arrival comes on back of many varied roles". Vancouver Sun. Archived from the original on January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- "'Once Upon a Time': The Dragon Returns in Season 6!". ew.com. Archived from the original on 26 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
- Elavsky, Cindy (August 24, 2014). "Celebrity Extra". King Features. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
- Petski, Denise (20 July 2018). "'Wu Assassins': Katheryn Winnick, Lewis Tan, Tommy Flanagan & Tzi Ma Join Netflix Martial Arts Drama". Deadline. Archived from the original on 28 July 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "'Tigertail's Tzi Ma Transcends Role As Hollywood's Go-To Asian Father To Become Trailblazing Icon". Deadline.
- Otterson, Joe (May 3, 2021). "'Kung Fu' Renewed for Season 2, 'Stargirl' Gets Season 3 at CW". Variety. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
- "Racism targets Asian food, business during COVID-19 pandemic". AP NEWS. 2020-12-20. Retrieved 2021-01-23.
- "Standing Against Racism in the Time of COVID". Asia Society. Retrieved 2021-01-23.
- "Mulan's Tzi Ma: After 120-Plus Roles, a Beloved Actor's Career Surges". Vanity Fair.
- "'Mulan' Star Tzi Ma Recalls Racist Attack, Advocates for Others to #WashTheHate". Variety.
- "Tzi Ma is already everyone's go-to Asian dad. Netflix's 'Tigertail' makes him the star". Los Angeles Times.
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