Ric Young

Ric Young (born 1944) is a British character actor. He is best known for his role as Dr. Zhang Lee in the TV series Alias, and as the henchman Kao Kan in the Steven Spielberg film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.[1]

Early life

Young was born in Kuala Lumpur in 1944 as Wing-Wah Yung.[2] He trained as an actor first at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art,[3] and then moved to Los Angeles to study method acting under Shelley Winters and Lee Strasberg.[4]



Originally, Young at 12 year old was taking part in radio sketches in Kuala Lumpur. He came to Britain in 1958 and got a break in London. An introduction to Mike Todd led to a small part in film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958). After he went to Italy and stayed on in Rome for five months to appear in Italian movie and television. Back to Britain he performed under name Eric Young appearing in TV shows in the 1960s and '70s such as The Saint, The Avengers, Blake's 7, The Tomorrow People, Somerset Maugham Hour, The Champions, Danger Man, The Chinese Puzzle, Are You Being Served? and Room Service.[5][6]

Young has since appeared in many memorable roles, often as a villain. Some of the best-known are as Kao Kan in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, as Bruce Lee's father in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993), as Mao Tse-Tung in Nixon (1995), as General Chang Jing Wu in Seven Years in Tibet (1997), as Mr. Kwai in The Transporter (2002) and as Henry Lee in The Corruptor (1999).[7][8]

Young's prominent television roles include a recurring role as Dr. Zhang Lee on the TV series Alias (2001–04).[7] [9]He is among the performers who can lay claim performing in both the original versions of the TV series The Saint (in 1964) and Hawaii Five-O (in 1976) and their updated versions Return of the Saint (in 1978) and Hawaii Five-O (in 2010).[7]


Young has produced two projects, Paranormal Whactivity,[4] and the short, Oy Vey!.

Personal life

Young currently teaches acting alongside his other projects.[10]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1958 The Inn of the Sixth Happiness Uncredited
Rascel marine Soldato Giapponese as Eric Yong
1961 The Terror of the Tongs Confucius
The Sinister Man John Choto
1962 Satan Never Sleeps Junior Officer Uncredited
1965 Lord Jim Malay
The Face of Fu Manchu Grand Lama
1966 Invasion The Lystrian
The Brides of Fu Manchu Control Assistant
1967 You Only Live Twice Chinese Agent Uncredited
Pretty Polly Lim Kee
1969 The Chairman Yin
1974 Sex Play Wang Lo
1983 High Road to China Kim Su Lee
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Kao Kan[11]
Success Is the Best Revenge Chinese Waiter
1987 Ping Pong Alan Wong
Drachenfutter Xiao
The Last Emperor Interrogator
1988 Keys to Freedom Lieutenant Kwong
1993 Cyborg 2 Bobby Lin
1993 Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story Lee Hoi-chuen (Bruce's Father)
1995 Nixon Mao Tse-Tung
1997 Booty Call Mr. Chiu
Seven Years in Tibet General Chang Jing Wu
1999 The Corruptor[12] Henry Lee
2000 Chain of Command Ken Fung
2001 Kiss of the Dragon Mr Big
2002 Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity Bing Lai
The Transporter Mr. Kwai
2004 Mickey ESPN Reporter
2007 American Gangster[13] Khun Sa
2010 The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It North Korean Dictator Direct-to-DVD
2013 Betrayal Joey
Getting Back to Zero Big Boss Man
Year Title Role Episode
1959 The Voodoo Factor The Malayan The Malayan
1960 Somerset Maugham Hour Kong Flotsam and Jetsam
The Odd Man Chinese waiter Episode 3
Danger Man Ming The Journey Ends Halfway
Danger Man Police Lieutenant The Honeymooners
1961 Danger Man Mr. Toy The Actor
The Avengers Suchong Kill the King
Ghost Squad Robert E Lee Hong Kong Story
1962 The River Flows East Chinaman 2 episodes
Man of the World Chou The Frontier
1963 Zero One Jerry Deadly Angels
Ghost Squad Barman East of Mandalay
Espionage Captain Li The Dragon Slayer
1964 The Saint Lo Yung Jeannine
1966 Out of the Unknown Munder The Eye
1968 The Champions Ho Ling The Beginning
The Champions Burmese Police Captain The Gun-Runners
1969 Strange Report Sung-Lee Report 2641: Hostage – If You Won't Learn, Die!
Doctor in the House Chinese student Getting the Bird
W. Somerset Maugham Ong Chi Seng The Letter
1970 W. Somerset Maugham Oakley The Door of Opportunity
The Troubleshooters Nivilak Who Did You Say Inherits the Earth?
1972 Jason King Airport Barman Every Picture Tells a Story
Doctor in Charge First Interpreter Yellow Fever
The Onedin Line Johnny Heave-Ho Fetch and Carry
The Onedin Line Liu Chan Race for Power
1974 Bless This House Si Ann The Bells Are Ringing
The Tomorrow People Lee Wan The Doomsday Men
ITV Playhouse Mr. Yamada Love Affair
Microbes and Men Shiga The Search for the Magic Bullet
The Chinese Puzzle China 6 episodes
1975 Are You Being Served? Mr. Kato The Hands of Fate
1976 The XYY Man Li Tshien The Resolution & The Execution (2 episodes)
Hawaii Five-O Chinese travel agent Nine Dragons
1977 Crown Court Sherpa Solo Khombu An Upward Fall
1978 Gangsters Double Petal Double Peril & Enter the White Devil (2 episodes)
The Doombolt Chase Statesman Death Beacon
Return of the Saint Surinit Assault Force
The Upchat Connection Tourist Mystery Tour
1979 Room Service Tin Tin 6 episodes
1980 Blake's 7 Ginka Children of Auron
Spearhead Sergeant Weng The Macau Connection
1981 Tenko Father Lim 2 episodes
1983 Reilly: Ace of Spies Sergeant Prelude to War
1984 The Brief Mr. Sun No Questions
1988 Noble House Tsu-Yan 4 episodes
1989 Booker Japanese Boss High Rise
1995 Signs and Wonders Father Mercy 4 episodes
1997–1998 NightMan Mr. Chang 3 episodes
2001–2004 Alias Dr. Zhang Lee Recurring role
2005 Commander in Chief Reporter No. 4 Pilot
2010 Hawaii Five-0 General Pak Po'ipu


  1. Rawson-Jones, Ben (18 November 2007). "Cult Spy's Phobia Corner: Dentistry". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  2. Eric the actor is an Angry Young Man
  3. Fabrique. "Eric Young — RADA". www.rada.ac.uk.
  4. Moy, Ed (11 November 2010). "Actor Ric Young on 'Hawaii Five-O'". ExaminerCom. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  5. "Eric Young - Movies and Filmography". AllMovie.
  6. "Ric Young". www.aveleyman.com.
  7. Ric Young on IMDb
  8. "Ric Young". BFI.
  9. "Alias: A Higher Echelon (2003) - Guy Bee - Cast and Crew". AllMovie.
  10. "Actor Ric Young on 'Hawaii Five-O'". Axs.com. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  11. Kolker, Robert (8 June 2011). A Cinema of Loneliness. Oxford University Press. pp. 486–. ISBN 9780199910533. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  12. "Critics Choice". Daily Mail. 20 September 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2014 via Questia Online Library.
  13. Hunter, Stephen (2 November 2007). "'American Gangster': A Direct Hit". Washington Post   via HighBeam Research (subscription required) . Archived from the original on 28 March 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
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