James Hong is an all-time great Hollywood “that guy.” You might not know him by name, but you’ve definitely seen his work: he’s been in more movies and TV shows than just about anyone, including classics like Chinatown, Blade Runner, Seinfeld, Airplane!, Big Trouble in Little China, and many more.
Fellow actor Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-0) thinks Hong deserves more recognition for his contributions to the world of entertainment, so he has raised over $50,000 to try to get Hong his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
JoBlo pointed us to a GoFundMe page that Kim set up, which raised more than $50,000 to cover the cost of securing a star on the Walk of Fame. In the event that you don’t know, the Walk of Fame is located on a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard (and some of the surrounding streets) and features the names of celebrities from the worlds of movies, television, music, radio, and theater. About 20 new stars are added each year, and famously, when a person gets a star devoted to them, they participate in an unveiling ceremony. Sometimes, they’ll imprint their hands and feet and sign their name in concrete outside of the historic TCL Chinese Theater (formerly Grauman’s Chinese Theater).
Often, studios will pony up the cash for these star ceremonies as a way to drum up some extra publicity for a specific project that the actor is participating in. But Kim’s method here represents the more old-school approach, in which he’s helped raise money independently and will need to submit an application in Hong’s name, which will hopefully be approved as early as April 2021. If it is not approved next year, the request is automatically rolled into consideration for 2022. In the event that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (the organization that oversees the Walk of Fame) does not value Hong’s contributions enough to warrant giving him a star, all of the money Kim helped raise through GoFundMe will be donated to a charity in Hong’s name.
Hong’s work has been vast and varied, and he’s certainly worthy of a permanent fixture on the sidewalks of Hollywood. It’s a testament to the staggering breadth of his career that you may know him best as the villain from Big Trouble in Little China, the Chinese restaurant waiter from Seinfeld, as the voice of Chi Fu from Mulan, Mr. Ping from Kung Fu Panda, or Dalong Wong from Jackie Chan Adventures. Here’s a cool little interview with him from last year:
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