Rosalind Chao

Rosalind Chao is an American actress. Chao's best-known roles have been in the mid-1980s CBS show AfterMASH portraying Klinger's South Korean wife Soon-Lee, Rose Hsu Jordan in the 1993 movie The Joy Luck Club, and the recurring character Keiko O'Brien on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the 1990s.

Rosalind Chao
Chao at the Just Like Heaven premiere in Los Angeles (September 8, 2005)
Born (1957-09-23) September 23, 1957
Years active1970–present
Spouse(s)Simon Templeman

Early life

Rosalind Chao was born on September 23, 1957.[1] Her parents ran a successful pancake restaurant, Chao's, across the street from Disneyland, and employed her there from an early age.[2] After moving from Garden Grove to Villa Park, California, Chao was enrolled at an all-girl school, where she was the only non-white student.


For some time, Chao worked at Disneyland as an international tour guide.[3]

Chao's parents were instrumental in her decision to pursue acting;[4] she began at the age of five in a California-based Peking opera traveling company at the instigation of her parents who were already heavily involved, and during the summers they sent her to Taiwan to further develop her acting skills.[5]

Deciding not to pursue acting, Chao enrolled in the communications department at the University of Southern California where she earned her degree in journalism. However, after spending a year as a radio newswriting intern at the CBS-owned Hollywood radio station KNX,[5] she soon returned to acting.[6][4]

Her big break was with the role of Soon-Lee, a South Korean refugee, in the final episodes of the TV series M*A*S*H.[6] Soon-Lee married longtime starring character Maxwell Klinger (Jamie Farr) in the series finale "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen",[7] the most-watched sitcom television episode of all time (As of 2017). Chao continued playing the character in the M*A*S*H sequel: 1983's AfterMASH, her first role billed at co-starring status.[8]

Chao regularly portrayed the Japanese exo-botanist Keiko O'Brien (née Ishikawa) on both Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine with eight appearances in the former and nineteen in the latter before DS9's end in 1999. In 2010, a preliminary casting memo for The Next Generation from 1987 was published, revealing that Chao was originally considered for the part of Enterprise security chief Tasha Yar.[9]

In August 2018, Chao joined the upcoming live-action retelling of Mulan.[10][11] In 2019, Chao was invited to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences citing her contributions to critically acclaimed films The Joy Luck Club and I Am Sam. [12][13][14]

Personal life

While doing theatre at the Mark Taper Forum, Chao met Simon Templeman; the couple would eventually wed.[15] They have two children, a son, Roland William, and a daughter, Isabelle Rose Yi-Mei.[15][16] Chao's daughter changed her first name to Yi-Mei in 2019.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
1979 The Amazing Spider-Man Emily Chan Episode – "The Chinese Web" (Part 1 & 2)
Mysterious Island of Beautiful Women Flower Television film
Emergency! The Convention Kathy Television film
1981 Diff'rent Strokes Ming Li Episode – "Almost American"
One Day at a Time Gloria Episode – "Julie Shows Up: Part 2"
1982–83 Diff'rent Strokes Miss Chung Recurring role (7 episodes)[6]
1982 Moonlight Daphne Wu Television film
1983 M*A*S*H Soon-Lee Recurring role (2 episodes)
1983–85 AfterMASH Soon-Lee Klinger Main cast (30 episodes)
1986 Riptide Lucy season 3 episode 15
Falcon Crest Li Ying Recurring role (4 episodes)
The A-Team Alice Heath Episode – "Point of No Return"
American Playhouse Ku Ling Episode – "Paper Angels"[6]
1988 Miami Vice Mai Ying Episode – "Heart of Night"[18]
1991–92 Star Trek: The Next Generation Keiko O'Brien Recurring role (8 episodes)[4]
1993–99 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Keiko O'Brien Recurring role (19 episodes)
1995 Murder, She Wrote Phoebe Campbell Episode – "Nailed"
1999 ER Dr. Chao Episode – "Humpty Dumpty"[18]
2001 Citizen Baines Dr. Judith Lin[19] Recurring role (3 episodes)
The West Wing Jane Gentry Episode – "The Fall's Gonna Kill You"
2003–06 The O.C. Dr Kim Recurring role (6 episodes)[6]
2003 Monk Arleen Cassidy Episode – "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School"[19]
2006 Ben 10 (2005 TV series) Councilwoman Liang Episode – "Side Effects" (Voice)
2007 Tell Me You Love Me Cynthia Recurring role (2 episodes)[6]
2008 Grey's Anatomy Kathleen Patterson Episode – "All By Myself"
2009 Private Practice Lillie Jordan Episode – "Slip Slidin' Away"
2010 CSI Michelle Huntley Episode – "Long Ball"
2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Mrs. Zhuang Episode – "Cadaver"
2012 Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 Pastor Jin Recurring role (4 episodes)
Bones Mandy Oh Episode – "The Suit on the Set"
2014 The Neighbors Barb Hartley Episode- "Close Encounters of the Bird Kind"
Forever Frenchman Episode – "The Frustrating Thing About Psychopaths"
2014 Intelligence Sheng-Li wang Episode – "Pilot"
2015 Castle Mimi Tan Episode – "Hong Kong Hustle"
2016 Hawaii Five-0 Governor Keiko Mahoe Episode – "Makaukau 'oe e Pa'ani?"
2016 The OA Patricia Knowler Episode – "Champion"
2017 Black-ish Dr. Stone Episode – "Manternity"
2017 The Catch Kohana Takashi (Japanese Consul) Episode – "The Dining Hall"


Year Film Role
1979 The Ultimate Imposter
1980 The Big Brawl Mae
1981 An Eye for an Eye Linda Chen
The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island Hotel Clerk
Twirl Kim King
1983 The Terry Fox Story Rika
1987 Slam Dance Mrs. Bell
The Tribulations of a Chinese Gentleman Lianhua
1988 White Ghost Thi Hau
1990 Denial Terry
1991 Thousand Pieces of Gold Lalu Nathoy/Polly Bemis
1992 Intruders
Memoirs of an Invisible Man Cathy DiTolla
1993 The Joy Luck Club Rose
1994 Web of Deception
Love Affair Lee
North Chinese Mom
1996 To Love, Honor and Deceive
1997 The End of Violence Claire
1998 What Dreams May Come Leona
2000 Enemies of Laughter Carla
2001 Three Blind Mice
I Am Sam Lily
2003 Freaky Friday Pei-Pei
2005 Life of the Party Mei Lin
Just like Heaven Fran
2007 Nanking Chang Yu Zheng
2009 The Rising Tide Narrator
2015 Stockholm, Pennsylvania Dr. Andrews
2017 Tragedy Girls Mayor Campbell
2019 Plus One Angela
2019 The Laundromat Gu Kailai
2020 Mulan Hua Li
TBA The Starling Fawn


Year Play Character Role
2008 Some Girl(s) Lindsay


  1. "Sept. 23 celebrity birthdays". Herald & Review. September 23, 2018. OCLC 1002002031. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  2. Rosalind Chao (February 4, 2007). Sundance Film Festival '07 – Nanking Party (YouTube). Gilbert, Arizona, U.S.: Greening Productions. Event occurs at 00:00:50. Retrieved June 2, 2008. I grew up with Chinese parents, and I learned nothing about it
  3. "From Outer Space to Disney Parks … Meet the Dads from ABC-TV's 'The Neighbors'". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
  4. "Rosalind Chao Biography". Fandango. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  5. Hodgins, Paul (February 1, 2008). "A career made from scratch". The Orange County Register. Santa Ana, California, united states: Terry Horne. Retrieved February 2, 2008. Former Star Trek actress Rosalind Chao talks about her latest work with playwright Neil LaBute.
  6. "Rosalind Chao Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Inc. Archived from the original on February 26, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  7. "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen". M*A*S*H. Season 11. Episode 16. February 28, 1983. CBS.
  8. RJ. "AfterMASH: Main Article" (embedded video). Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  9. T'Bonz (August 26, 2010). "Star Trek: The Next Generation Casting Memo Unearthed". Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  10. Hipes, Patrick (August 13, 2018). "'Mulan' Rounds Out Cast, Reveals First-Look Photo As Filming Underway On Live-Action Movie".
  11. N'Duka, Amanda (August 14, 2018). "Disney's 'Mulan' Casts Jimmy Wong & Doua Moua".
  12. Paul Sheehan (July 2, 2019). "Oscars invite 842 new members in 2019: Complete list by branch (and 2014-2018 totals too)". Gold Derby. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  13. Pete Hammond (July 2019). "Motion Picture Academy Adds 842 New Members, Half Of Whom Are Women". Deadline. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  14. MATT DONNELLY and MARC MALKIN (July 2019). "Academy Reaches Gender Parity in 2019 New Member Invitations". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  15. John, Rory (January 17, 2014). "What Ever Happened To… the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation?". Showbiz Geek. Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  16. "Rosalind Chao on Instagram: "Halloween pumpkins ❤️#tbt"". Instagram. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  17. "ISABELLE ROSE YI-MEI TEMPLEMAN". UniCourt. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  18. "Rosalind Chao – Ovreview – MSN Movies". MSN Movies. MSN. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  19. "Rosalind Chao Filmography". Retrieved 2008-04-09.
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