Calvin Jung (born February 17, 1945) is an American actor.

Graduating from high school in New York, Jung attended Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia. He attended Hillsdale College in Michigan, and left his senior year to pursue acting back in New York. His first professional acting job was a commercial in Canada in 1970. His New York debut was off-Broadway at the American Place theater (The Chickencoop Chinaman) in 1971. In 1974 he appeared as Mr. Lee in the long-running "ancient Chinese secret" commercial for Calgon water softener, a role of which he says, "The fact that you had an Asian couple speak without accents was advanced for that time. Forget about stereotypes, just having Asians speak without accents was a major breakthrough."[1]

In 1976 his Broadway debut was with The Phoenix Repertory Theater in the dramas "Memory of Two Mondays" and "They Knew What They Wanted". He notes that he was the first "cross-casted" actor in the company.[2] Also on Broadway he worked with George C. Scott and Hector Elizondo in "Sly Fox". Among his many New York theater gigs were those at the Brooklyn Academy ("Dawn Song"), at the New York Public Theatre ("FOB"); he also helped found an Asian/Asian American repertory company and helped get it into the La Mama Experimental Theatre, where he was a resident member (1970–1972).[3]

In the 1980s, Jung started to assume supporting parts in major movie productions such as RoboCop in 1987, wherein he played Steve Minh, a member of a vicious gang of cocaine dealers and bank robbers that brutally slays a police man who afterwards is turned into the revengeful cyborg-protagonist of the movie. Other movies that Jung appeared in were The Formula (with Marlon Brando), The Challenge (with Toshirō Mifune), Lethal Weapon 4 (with Mel Gibson), and The Day After (with Jason Robards).

On television Jung frequently took over guest parts in TV series such as Murder, She Wrote, Cheers, Trapper John M.D., and Babylon 5.

Jung has stated that he is proud to have played many good Asian American roles, especially roles that don't require accents, as well as many roles that were not originally written for Asian Americans at all.[2]


  1. "Calvin Jung's Responses", interview at USAsians website, accessed 30 January 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Calvin Jung's Responses" page 2.
  3. "Calvin Jung's Responses" page 3.

External links

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