Date of Birth
Born Leung Kwok Ng in Hong Kong on October 13, 1952, John Lone was spartanly raised by a single mother until the age of 7 when he was sent off to be schooled with the Peking Opera. He never again saw his mother.
The Peking Opera could be a brutal and grueling life for a child but he was a diligent and tireless student and he later received sponsorship to continue his education in the United States as a teenager.
He attended Santa Ana Community College, where he met Nina Savino, an Asian American studying drama and art, and they married in 1972. Lone continued his education at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena and New York. They divorced in 1979.
John once said that Ng, Lung, and Lone were variants of "dragon" in different dialects of Chinese and that he intended to harness the power of the dragon for his life, which was why he adopted the stage name he would become known by.
A theatrical workaholic, John became part of the East/West Players along with other notable Asian actors such as Mako, Sab Shimono, and Soon Tek Oh. He performed in "Pacific Overtures" as the Lion Dancer and his discipline and talent blossomed.
He danced, sang, wrote, and directed. John signed with the then-famous Bessie Loo Agency (most of the Asian talent of the day was represented by them). The early years of his career, consisted of small television roles, local theater, and lots of study.
His first real break came with the Di Laurentis remake of "King Kong" as the ship cook. It was followed by perhaps the most brilliant performance of his career - "Iceman" which was poignant and powerfully played without dialogue by Lone.
The film opened the doors of his career to Michael Cimino (Year of the Dragon) and Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor) who made him a household name in the United States.
Lone directed an acclaimed documentary on the Chinese Railroad workers in America which aired on PBS. He was voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People of the Year by People Magazine in 1990.
The past decade he has spent his time between NY, China, and Canada where he continues to act, direct, and produce and he has even found time to nurture a singing career.
An intensely private man, it is no wonder so many differing stories about his personal life abound unanswered. Perhaps the mystery of his persona is a large part of his attraction.
Fluent in several Chinese dialects, although he speaks mainly Cantonese.
In 1990 was chosen by "People" magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.
He was the first choice for the lead role in Farewell My Concubine (1993), but didn't reach a deal with the producers.
While attending the Peking Opera he grew up with martial arts legends Lam Ching-Ying, Tai Po, Chiang Wing-Fat (aka Mars), Chung Fat, and Chan Lung, among others.
From 2004-06 he was mostly based in China, producing period TV series or costume dramas co-starring with Chinese actresses from Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Mainland China.
In approximately October 2000 he was considered for the lead role in "The Hero Zheng Cheng Gong", a film project that Wang Tong was set to direct from a script co-written by the latter and You-Ning Lee.
Japanese, Taiwanese, and U.S. production companies were working together on the big-budget project, and it is estimated that $10 million was spent in pre-production. Shooting was scheduled to begin the following summer.
The project, Yingxiong Zheng Chengong (2001), materialized two years later with a different cast and crew.
In early 1997 he revealed that there was a large French financial group interested in investing in a top-rank Chinese production with the Ming Dynasty as the backdrop, which would have begun shooting the following July or August.
Ang Lee was at that point in discussion as a possible director. The party was interested in investing HK $100 million to assist China in the excavation of several unopened ancient tombs and in the process make a documentary with him as the host. Both projects failed to materialize.
Studied Peking Opera under Sifu Fan Fok-Fa.
A performance artist, touring mainly in the Orient.
In mid-April 1997 he signed with the Chinese production company Golden Harvest to make "Duk Bo Tin Ha" (lit: "Alone Walking Heaven Earth"), which was set to begin shooting in China the following October with a budget of over HK $20 million.
The film was adapted from the true story of a famous Chinese racewalking athlete, and HE would have played a coach. If this had happened, it would have been Lone's first Mandarin dialogue film.
Alumnus of the AADA (American Academy of Dramatic Arts), Class of 1978.
Rush Hour 2 as Ricky Tan