You figure anyone with over 600 credits and over 6 decades on screen would be a shoo-in for at least a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, right? Not if you're Asian-American actor James Hong. After reading a piece on CNN, actor Daniel Dae Kim, best known for his television roles on Lost and the Hawaii Five-O remake, successfully crowdfunded the $55,000 needed to ensure the 91-year old Minnesota native got his due via GoFundMe. "James Hong just might be the most prolific actor in Hollywood history," Kim wrote. "As of July 2020, he has a total of 672 credits, which include 469 TV shows, 149 feature films, 32 short films, and 22 video games… This man epitomizes the term 'working actor,' and that's not even taking into account all he's done to help further representation for actors of color." The actor set the goal at $55,000 to cover the star's creation, upkeep, and accommodate the $5,000 in service fees from the website.
Within four days, the goal was quickly reached totaling $55,307. The fundraising site sets up a tiered reward system for donors who surpass thresholds. The highest perks (h/t Indiewire) reserved for those who donated $5,000 or more included Zoom calls from other Asian-American actors, including Ken Jeong, Ming Na Wen, and Randall Park. "It's time James Hong was honored in the way he deserves," Kim wrote. "And it's time to show him how much he — and all the actors of color of earlier generations — have done to pave the way for us today." For those playing at home and like to play "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," it would be much easier to put in Hong, and you'd get far fewer steps for the most part. The actor is the very definition of "no small parts."
If you are a fan of pop culture, it's almost impossible to miss a work of his given how spread out his body of work is. Whether if it's playing Asian soldiers in war films, creating eyes for replicants as Dr. Hannibal Chew in Blade Runner (1980), demonstrating his warlock powers as David Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China (1986), or showing love as a goose father to his panda son while running a noodle stand in the Kung Fu Panda franchise, chances are Hong has some tie to your childhood. Kim plans to submit Hong's name for eligibility for April 2021. He asks fans and donors to hold on to the funds at least through 2022 in case the initial submission falls through. Kim wrote, "if for some unimaginable reason his nomination is not accepted in either year, we will donate all proceeds to a charity in James' honor." Check out his profile on CNN for a more thorough look into Hong's life.