10 of the Best Vietnamese-American Celebrities

10 Vietnamese-American Celebrities
Previously, it was uncommon to see celebrities with Asian ancestry in Hollywood. However, Asian Americans are nowadays one of the fastest-growing ethnic minorities in the United States.

Table of Contents

Celebrities of Vietnamese heritage are among the Asian ancestry that is in Hollywood these days. The list of the people below has made a name for themselves in the well-known industry:

Lana Condor

Lana Therese Condor is an American actress, producer, and singer of Vietnamese descent. She rose to fame on a global scale after playing Lara Jean Covey in the romantic comedy To All the Boys movie series. Probably no teens breathing who doesn’t know Lara Jean.

Lana Condor’s Early Life

Generation Z Lana Condor is pure Vietnamese and has the birth name of Tran Dong Lan. She was adopted by her American parents, Mary Carol (Haubold) and journalist Robert Condor when she was a young child. 

She was born on May 11, 1997, in Can Tho, Vietnam. Arthur Robert, her non-biological brother, was also adopted along with her. The early years of Condor were spent in Chicago, Illinois. At the age of seven, Condor’s family relocated to Whidbey Island, Washington, where she enrolled in her first dance lessons.

The Joffrey School of Classical Ballet, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater are just a few of the prestigious academies where Condor continued her classical ballet training. After that, she moved to New York City with her family when she was 11.
Condor and her family subsequently relocated to Los Angeles, California, for her senior year of high school. There, she gave an audition and was accepted into the Los Angeles Ballet, earning her a coveted position.
Furthermore, she graduated with the class of 2015 from the Notre Dame Academy in Los Angeles. She spent her first year at the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City.

Lana Condor’s Early Role

American actress Lana Therese Condor is of Vietnamese descent. In X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), she made her acting debut as Jubilation Lee/Jubilee. She also appeared in Peter Berg’s drama Patriots Day, which portrayed the Boston Marathon bombing’s events and aftermath.
Condor’s parents recognized their daughter’s natural talent while living in New York and pushed her to explore acting. She enrolled in her first acting class at the Professional Performing Arts School during her first year, and after that, she spent a summer studying at the New York Film Academy.
Condor co-starred in the 2017 Lifetime romantic-thriller movie High School Lover. She received recognition the following year for her leading performance as Lara Jean Covey in Susan Johnson’s romantic drama film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
The movie can be watched on Netflix and in Jenny Han’s young adult novel of the same name. She was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for the part.

Veronica Ngo

Veronica Ngo, also under the name of Ngô Thanh Vân, is a Norwegian-Vietnamese who is almost unknown in Norway; however, in Vietnam, she is a well-known model, singer, and actor. She is a 43-year-old Vietnamese actress who began her career in Hollywood in 2004.

Veronica Ngo’s Early Life

Vietnamese citizen Ngô Thanh Vân was born in Trà Vinh on February 26, 1979. In a family with two elder brothers, she is the youngest child.
Her parents split up when she was sixteen. She emigrated to Norway with her mother.
Trygve Andersen, a Norwegian, provided sponsorship for them; however, he passed away in 2017. Along with her adoptive and biological fathers, she also has a Norwegian stepfather.
When she was 20 years old, she returned to Vietnam and competed in a beauty pageant organized by Women’s World magazine. She came in second place.
After experiencing some initial success, she began modeling in Vietnam for fashion collections, calendars, and magazines. Soon after, she appeared in Hng D, a short TV series on the HTV Channel, in which she gained her first acting experience.

Veronica Ngo’s Early Role

Veronica Ngo is a Vietnamese actress who started her career in Hollywood in 2004 and is now 43 years old. Since her fearless appearance in director Le-Van Kiet’s blockbuster movie “The Princess,” in which she played the supporting role of Linh alongside Joey King, who played the lead role of Princess, she has attracted a great deal of attention.
She went back to Vietnam at the age of 20 to begin her career in the arts. She began her career as a singer and model before switching to acting full-time.

Her breakout performance was in the 2007 Vietnamese film “The Rebel,” in which she played Võ Thanh Thúy. She speaks Norwegian, English, and Vietnamese perfectly.

In addition to Vietnam, she also works as an actor in Hollywood. She received her first international role in the American-Chinese movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” in 2016.

She played Paige Tico in the 2017 film “Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.” The Old Guard and Da 5 Bloods are two more films.

In addition to being a well-known figure in Vietnam, Veronica Ngo also owns her own film production company, directs films, and has won numerous Asian film awards. She was also the first person to win the Vietnamese version of “Dancing with the Stars.”

Ke Huy Quan

Jonathan Ke Quan, also known as Ke Huy Quan, is a Vietnamese-American stuntman and actor. He is most renowned for his roles in the Steven Spielberg productions of The Goonies and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom from the 1980s.

Ke Huy Quan’s Early Life

Ke Huy Quan was born on August 20, 1971, to Vietnamese parents with Chinese ancestry in Saigon, South Vietnam (now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). His sibling count is eight.

His family left Vietnam in 1978. While his mother and three other siblings fled to Malaysia, he, his father, and five siblings arrived at a refugee camp in Hong Kong.
The Army of the Republic of Vietnam was defeated during the Fall of Saigon, forcing him to flee his native country. In 1979, upon being granted political asylum, his family left their home country and arrived in America.
Quan attended Alhambra High School in Alhambra, California, and Mount Gleason Junior High School in Tujunga, California.
Then in 1999, Quan received a degree from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. And he collaborated on many projects with Hong Kong fight choreographer Corey Yuen after graduating.

Ke Huy Quan’s Early Role

At the age of twelve, Quan began acting as a child actor, playing Harrison Ford’s sidekick Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. His younger brother was among the children the casting director interviewed at Castelar Elementary School.

In 1985, Richard “Data” Wang, a member of the titular group of kids, was portrayed by Quan as a co-star in The Goonies. In the 1986 Taiwanese film It Takes a Thief, he portrayed an orphan pickpocket.

He co-starred alongside Honda Minako, a Japanese idol singer, in the 1987 film Passengers (Passenj Sugisarishi Hibi). In the 1986–1987 television series Together We Stand, he portrayed Sam. From 1990–1991 he played Jasper Kwong in the sitcom Head of the Class.
He played the lead in the 1991 film Breathing Fire and a supporting role in Encino Man (1992). He portrayed the title character in the forty-episode 1993 tv show The Big Eunuch and the Little Carpenter, which was produced in Mandarin.
He also had a role in the 1996 joint Vietnam/Hong Kong production Red Pirate. Tao-Liang Tan learned Quan after first learning Taekwondo on the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom set under Philip Tan.

Christine Nguyen

Christine Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American actress and model who was born in Vietnam and rose to prominence for playing a role in various films, including Get Him to the Greek and Kaboom in 2010 and Hollywood Sex Wars in 2011.

Christine Nguyen’s Early Life

Christine Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American actress and model who was born on February 4, 1980, in Saigon, Vietnam. Nguyen, who caught the acting bug at the age of 11, now resides in Los Angeles, California, where she works as a model and actor.
In Houston, Texas, where she was born and raised, she played her first role in community theater productions. Later on, Christine continued her education at the Australian Institute of Dramatic Arts Los Angeles campus.
She received her schooling at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a degree in journalism and communications. In addition, despite dropping out, she was accepted to South Texas College of Law.
She hasn’t yet given the media any information about her parents or siblings. Nevertheless, when she was born, her family relocated to Houston, Texas. Nguyen is of mixed race and has American nationality.

Christine Nguyen’s Early Role

Nguyen began her professional life as a model and subsequently made appearances in magazines and television. She has featured as an actress in a number of movies and television shows.
She began modeling during her second year of college. Her earliest acting roles were in Houston, Texas, community theater productions, and local school plays.
In addition to acting, Christine has worked as a voiceover artist, host, spokesmodel, model, and master of improv.
Christine has been in several commercials, infomercials, shorts, webisodes, episodes, promotions, and films that have been seen in cinemas all over the world and on CBS, NBC, FOX, Comedy Central, SPIKE, HBO, G4, Discovery, and Showtime.

Karrueche Tran

Karrueche Tran is an American actress and model who is well-known all over the world for both her good looks and acting skills. After starring in the web series The Bay, she rose to prominence. However, she became well-known first because she is Chris Brown’s lover, an R&B artist.

Karrueche Tran’s Early Life

Karrueche Tran was born May 17, 1988, and was originally from Los Angeles, California. Tran has a mixed-race heritage due to her parents: her grandmother is from Jamaica, her father, DeVon Minters, is of African-American ancestry, and her mother, Cindy Adamson, is Vietnamese.
Tran claims to be Blasian. She has a younger half-brother from her mother.
She first attended Fairfax High School for her academics. Karrueche later had to enroll in Birmingham High School. Karrueche then decided to carry on with her education at Pierce College, where she eventually earned a degree in graphic design.
Ms. Tran learned that her father was gay when she was in middle school. She was, therefore, very moved by Caitlyn Jenner’s transsexual story, which she had previously heard.
However, she is very close to her father, and she spends a lot of time with him. Sometimes, the paparazzi manage to capture them enjoying a fancy dinner.

Karrueche Tran’s Early Role

Karrueche Tran is an American actress and model who was first known as R&B singer Chris Brown’s girlfriend. By first working in retail sales and as a freelance stylist in high society, Karrueche established herself in the fashion and celebrity industries.
She put up a lot of effort and quickly launched her own apparel business, The Kill. She eventually gave up modeling, but not before appearing in advertisements for prestigious companies like Crooks & Castles, where she later rose to the position of brand ambassador.
Later on, Karrueche Tran swiftly emerged as a favorite in Hollywood. The actress, socialite, and star of TNT’s critically acclaimed series Claws is most known for her role as Virginia. She currently has over 10 million social media followers globally.
In her acting career, she made her film debut in 3-Headed Shark Attack in 2015. Then she established herself as a star on the small screen by appearing in several TV shows.
Soon, Karrueche Tran was nominated for a 7th Annual Indie Series Awards in the Best Supporting Actress – Drama category in 2016. As a member of the cast of The Bay, she was also nominated in the Best Ensemble – Drama category.
Karrueche Tran again received nominations in the same two categories in 2017, thanks to a well-known story that included Vivian Johnson, the role she played.
She also took home the Best Online Soap award at the HollWeb Festival for the same series.

Cung Le

Cung Le is of Vietnamese ancestry, an actor, and a former mixed martial artist and kickboxer. After making his debut on the professional M.M.A. stage in 2006, Cung Le quickly went on to win the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship in 2008, setting new standards with his potent kicks, deft punches, and well-timed takedowns.

Cung Le’s Early Life

Cung Le is a Vietnamese-American actor, former mixed martial artist, Sanshou fighter, and kickboxer who was born on May 25, 1972. His Vietnamese name is Lê Cung.
Cung Lê was born in Saigon, South Vietnam, and is now called Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Cung Le and his mother Anne fled Vietnam by chopper under intense gunfire in 1975, three days before Saigon fell.
His father continued to reside in Vietnam and was taken as a prisoner. He eventually settled in San Jose, California, where racial bullying motivated him to take up martial arts at a young age.
When he was ten years old, his mother signed him up for Taekwondo lessons. Le was an unbeaten professional kickboxer with a record of 17 victories and 0 defeats, and he has training in a variety of martial arts.

Cung Le’s Early Role

Cung Le is an actor and a former mixed martial artist and kickboxer. He was a middleweight fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (U.F.C.), where he had a 2-2 record. He was also an International Kickboxing Federation Light Heavyweight World Champion in kickboxing and sanshou.
Before anything else, Cung Le started wrestling professionally at the age of 14. Le graduated from San Jose High School and won All-American honors in wrestling his junior year after being inspired to box by Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky.
Later, he competed for West Valley College in Saratoga, California, where he won the 158-pound weight class at the 1990 California Junior College State Championship and was named a junior college All-American. Le is also skilled in several martial arts, including Kuntao and Sambo.
Around the age of 21, he started learning Sanshou (Sanda), which went well with his wrestling and Tae Kwon Do training. Le is a three-time world champion in kickboxing and has a 17-0 professional record.

Chi Muoi Lo

Chi Muoi Lo is a writer and popular actor. His work as a co-star in the eight-hour made-for-television miniseries Vanishing Son and syndicated television series is what made him most famous as an actor. His 2000 debut Catfish in Black Bean Sauce, which he wrote, directed, and produced, garnered praise from critics and won accolades at film festivals.
Chi Muoi Lo at the Yellowjackets Premiere

Chi Muoi Lo’s Early Life

Chi Muoi Lo, born on October 31, 1976, a Vietnamese refugee who was born in Phan Rang, moved to the United States when he was just six years old. His mother is Vietnamese and while his father is Chinese.
Two-year-old Chi and his family managed to flee to America by boat in 1978, three years after the Fall of Saigon. Chi and his family were initially housed in the Indian Town Gap Refugee Camp.
After becoming sponsored by the Jewish League of America, Chi and his 12 siblings and sisters relocated to Philadelphia, where Chi started appearing in school plays. Then the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco offered him a scholarship while pursue his acting studies.
Chi enrolled at Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts as a theatre major because he wanted to pursue acting as a career. He also studied at Dr. Glory’s Children’s Theater in New York and the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts.
The admission of an 18-year-old to the Master’s program there was unprecedented. Chi studied acting with 64 different professors by the time she was 20.

Chi Muoi Lo’s Early Role

Chi Muoi Lo’s first film as an actor, writer, and director, Catfish In Black Bean Sauce, was quite well acclaimed and ranked in Variety’s “Top 50 of 2001 Limited-Release Winner At The Box Office.”

His next endeavor is a television series called Life in Threes, which will have 13 episodes per season, span 7 seasons, and be based on a true story. Additionally, he has written Catfish in Black Bean Sauce, a half-hour comedy TV pilot based on the same-titled feature film.

In the 1989 episode of Tour of Duty titled “Saigon Part 2,” Lo performed the part of Viet Tough in one of his earliest acting appearances. He made his screen debut the same year in the film Gleaming the Cube.

Later on, he made an appearance in the movie Vietnam War Story: The Last Days. Lo portrayed the role of Vinh in two episodes of the 1990 television series Quantum Leap.
Lo appeared in the television show Vanishing Son in 1995. He appeared in 13 episodes as Wago Chang.
In addition, Lo is well-known for his roles in Law & Order, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Catfish in Black Bean Sauce, The Relic, and NYPD Blue.

Maggie Q

Maggie Denise Quigley, better known as Maggie Q, is an actor, activist, and model from the United States. Maggie’s professional career started in Hong Kong, where she had a starring role in different action films.

Maggie Q’s Early Life

Margaret Denise Quigley, whose Vietnamese name is Lý Mỹ Kỳ, was born on May 22, 1979. She is professionally known as Maggie Q, an American actress, activist, and model.
Maggie was born and raised in the Hawaiian city of Honolulu. Her father is Irish and Polish, while her mother is a Vietnamese immigrant.
She also has two elder half-siblings and two older sisters from her mother’s previous marriage. Then eventually, their family relocated to Mililani, Hawaii.
Before she was born, her parents met during the Vietnam War while her father was stationed in Vietnam. She was raised Catholic and attended church with her four siblings.
Maggie Q went to Wheeler Intermediate School and Mililani Waena Elementary School. She apparently went on to Mililani High School, where she participated in cross country, track and field, and swimming.

She was named “Best Body” in her senior year and graduated in 1997. She received an athletics scholarship to a private institution and hoped to pursue veterinary medicine, but her family was unable to aid her financially.

Maggie Q’s Early Role

Maggie wanted to be a veterinarian, but she ended up modeling and bursting into the Hong Kong film scene, finally becoming a full-fledged Asian sensation. She shortened her name to the more readily spoken “Maggie Q” for her Chinese fans.

Maggie first starts in modeling at the age of 17 in Tokyo, Japan, before making an unsuccessful transfer to Taipei, Taiwan. She tried once more in Hong Kong, where she adopted the stage name Maggie Q since the locals couldn’t pronounce Quigley correctly.

In Hong Kong, though, she became a protégé of Jackie Chan, who viewed her as a potential action star. His rigorous training instilled in her the value of professionalism and the significance of always doing her stunts.
She began her acting career in the Asian television drama House of the Dragon in 1998. She made her cinematic debut as Anna in the horror picture Model from Hell, and the following year she starred as FBI agent Jane Quigley in the action thriller Gen-Y Cops.
Her performance in Gen-Y Cops pleased Chan that he cast her in Manhattan Midnight and Rush Hour 2.
She began her career in Hong Kong, starring in the action roles such as Gen-Y Cops and Naked Weapon, before moving to the United States to feature in Mission: Impossible III, Live Free or Die Hard, Priest, and The Protégé.

Kelly Marie Tran

Kelly Marie Tran is an actress from the United States. She began acting in 2011 and has mostly appeared in short films and television. She rose to fame as Rose Tico in the Star Wars sequel trilogy films The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
KellyMarieTran

Kelly Marie Tran’s Early Life

Kelly Marie Tran was born in San Diego, California, on January 17, 1989. Her parents were Vietnamese refugees who fled the nation after the Vietnam War.
Her father was homeless when he was young and grew up on the streets of Vietnam. Her father worked at Burger King to support the family after migrating to the United States, while her mother worked at a funeral home.
Tran attended Westview High School in San Diego and earned money for head shots by working at a yogurt business. Tran then earned a B.A. from UCLA. in terms of communication.

Kelly Marie Tran’s Early Role

Her early credits mostly comprised of CollegeHumor videos and minor TV roles.
In 2011, she landed a commercial agency, encouraging Tran to pursue improv courses at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Tran is a member of the all-female Asian-American improv troupe Number One Son at The Second City.
Tran appeared in the online series Ladies Like Us in 2013. Tran was working as an assistant at a creative recruiting agency in Century City in 2015.
Tran was cast as Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2015. Rose Tico is a rebel mechanic who joins forces with main character Finn following the death of her older sister, Paige Tico (Veronica Ngo), a Resistance gunner trained by Resistance leader Poe Dameron.
She had to keep her involvement a secret when she traveled to shoot her sequences in England in early 2016, so Tran told her family she was producing an indie film in Canada.

When she appeared in The Last Jedi, Tran became the first Asian-American woman to play a crucial role in a Star Wars film. 

In 2017, she became the first woman of Asian origin to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair, sharing the cover alongside actors John Boyega (who portrayed Finn) and Oscar Isaac (who played X-Wing fighter pilot Poe Dameron).
Tran portrays Kaitlin Le in Radiotopia’s mystery thriller podcast Passenger List. She appeared on the Facebook Watch series Sorry for Your Loss regularly.

Tila Tequila

Nguyn Th Thiên Thanh, also known as Tila Tequila, Tila Nguyen, Miss Tila, and Tornado Thien, is a television and social media figure from the United States. She initially became known for her avid presence on social networking platforms.

Tila Tequila’s Early Life

Tila Tequila was born on October 24, 1981, in Singapore to a family of Vietnamese boat people who fled Vietnam following the Vietnam War. Nguyen has an elder brother named Daniel and an older sister named Terri.
When she was a year old, her family moved to a Houston area and were finally welcomed to a gated community managed by a strict Buddhist monastery.

Friends dubbed Nguyen “Tila Tequila” because of her seeming allergic to drinking alcohol.

She would later explain in her memoir that she felt “confused” and “lost” due to many personal familial and environmental difficulties. She resorted to poetry to express her strong feelings.

She would later explain in her memoir that she felt “confused” and “lost” due to many personal familial and environmental difficulties. She resorted to poetry to express her strong feelings.

In the year 2000, Nguyen graduated from Alief Hastings High School. She has stated that her turbulent youth in Texas was the catalyst for her decision to become a model and go to California in 2001.

She confirmed in a March 2003 interview that she had attended some college classes but does not have a degree. 

She explained, “I didn’t want to go to college for an actual degree because there’s nothing out there I like besides doing something that involves the entertainment industry.”

Tila Tequila’s Early Role

Tequila chose to reinvent herself in 2010 and changed her stage name to Miss Tila. Her debut hit under the new alias was “I Fucked the DJ,” which was followed by an edited version titled “I Love My DJ.”

The single, released under her newly founded label Little Miss Trendsetter, garnered unfavorable reviews and did not perform well. In May, she debuted her celebrity gossip site, MissTilaOMG.com, and the EP, Welcome to the Darkside, a musical departure from her prior work.
Welcome to the Darkside, which was influenced by classical music and performers such as Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, earned more good reviews. However, it did not achieve commercial success.
Tequila launched a tour in promotion of the new EP, and she performed at the Gathering of the Juggalos, a music festival organized by hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse, in August 2010. She was frequently hit with rocks and bottles, among other things, and she pledged to sue the event’s organizers and sponsors.

During this time, a lesbian threesome sex tape in which she performed was released. Tequila attempted to purchase the tape before its release but could not reach an agreement with Vivid Entertainment. 

She later appeared in a sex tape that received the AVN Award for “Best Celebrity Sex Tape” in 2015.

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