Kelly Hu
Hu in 2016
Born
Kelly Ann Hu

(1968-02-13) February 13, 1968 (age 55)
Occupations
  • Actress
  • model
Years active1987–present
Websitekellyhu.com

Kelly Ann Hu (born February 13, 1968) is an American actress, former fashion model and beauty queen[1] who was Miss Teen USA 1985 and Miss Hawaii USA 1993. Hu starred as Dr. Rae Chang on the American television soap opera Sunset Beach and as Michelle Chan on the American television police drama series Nash Bridges. She has starred in numerous films including The Scorpion King (2002) as Cassandra, Cradle 2 the Grave (2003) as Sona, X2 as Yuriko Oyama / Lady Deathstrike (2003), The Tournament (2009) as Lai Lai Zhen, and White Frog (2012).

Hu has had recurring roles as Pearl on The CW series The Vampire Diaries, as China White on the CW series Arrow, Hamato Miwa / Karai on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Stacy Hirano on the Disney Channel animated series Phineas and Ferb, and as Adira in Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure.

Early life

Hu was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Juanita and Herbert Hu. Her parents divorced during Hu's childhood and her mother married Roy Takara.[2] Her brother, Glenn, is a lieutenant colonel and human resources officer in the United States Army.[3] She is of Chinese, English, and Hawaiian descent.[4] She attended Maʻemaʻe Elementary School and Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Hu has held a lifelong interest in singing and dancing and has also been interested in martial arts since her early childhood. Hu's cousin was a successful model in Japan, and Hu decided to follow her example. Kelly Hu won the title of Miss Hawaii Teen USA and competed in the Miss Teen USA 1985 pageant, becoming the Miss Teen USA pageant's third titleholder in history and its first Asian American winner. Hu has mentioned in interviews that her mother had told her America was not ready for an Asian as such a prominent role model. She discovered after winning that she was prohibited from appearing in non-contest related activities for the year of her reign, though this rule was changed in later years.

Career

Hu as Miss Hawaii Teen USA 1985

Hu modeled in Japan and Italy, and became well known in the latter as the star of a series of television advertisements for Philadelphia brand cream cheese, playing a young Japanese college student named Kaori.

Hu won the title of Miss Hawaii USA in 1993, becoming the first former Miss Teen USA to win a Miss USA state title. In the 1993 Miss USA pageant, held in Wichita, Kansas, Hu entered the top ten in second place, after winning the preliminary interview competition and placing second and third, respectively, in swimsuit and evening gown. She then made the top six, ranked second, winning the top ten evening gown competition and placing second in swimsuit. She was eliminated in fourth place after the judges' questions, just 2/100 of a point from the final three.

Hu moved to Los Angeles and began her acting career in 1987, with a guest starring role as Mike Seaver's Hawaiian love interest on the sitcom Growing Pains. Hu followed this with appearances on various television series, including Night Court, Tour of Duty, 21 Jump Street and Melrose Place. Her first film role was in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. In 1995, Hu starred as an undercover police officer in the film No Way Back. Hu was cast as Dr. Rae Chang on Sunset Beach for six months in 1997. Afterwards, she was cast as police officers Michelle Chan in the television series Nash Bridges, and Pei Pei "Grace" Chen on Martial Law. Her subsequent film appearances include The Scorpion King (2002) and Cradle 2 the Grave (2003). In X2 (2003), she appeared as Yuriko Oyama/Deathstrike, William Stryker's controlled partner.

She was Agent Mia Chen on the last three episodes of the television series Threat Matrix in 2004. She also starred in 2005's Underclassman alongside Nick Cannon and in 2006's Americanese, Undoing and Devil's Den. During the first quarter of 2007, she completed filming the film Stilletto, followed by Farmhouse.

In January 2007, Hu began appearing in a full-time role on the television series In Case of Emergency. She played Kelly Lee, a Korean American woman who accidentally reunites with her high school classmates and realizes none of them grew up according to their high school plans. The show did not have a successful run, being cancelled after airing 12 episodes and leaving its season finale un-aired. The same year she appeared in films, The Air I Breathe and Shanghai Kiss. By the same year, Hu recurringly voiced Stacy Hirano in the animated series Phineas and Ferb until 2015 when the show ended. In 2020, she would reprise her role in the animated film Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe.

In 2009, she appeared in the film The Tournament as Lai-Lai Zhen. In April 2009, Hu developed the character JIA for Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology. She was the first guest actor to cross over between the television series, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS, playing Lee Wuan Kai in a two-episode arc within both series. In 2010 and 2011, Hu guest-starred as a vampire named Pearl on the CW television series, The Vampire Diaries.[5]

In 2010, Hu began a recurring role on the CBS television series Hawaii Five-0. In 2012, Hu was cast in the role of Karai in the animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She commented: "It wouldn't quite be the first time I played a ninja, I think. Yeah, I don't know why people think I'm dangerous, but for some reason, I keep getting these roles for the ninja, assassin, bodyguard, bad-girl type."[6] In 2013, she joined the cast of the series Warehouse 13 as Abigail Cho, the new owner of the Warehouse-connected B&B.

She also provided voice talents in video games including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords as Visas Marr, the Sith woman who joins the Jedi Exile's party, and Batman: Arkham Origins as Lady Shiva, among the eight assassins hired by Black Mask to kill Batman[1] (a role she reprised in the 2021 animated film Batman: Soul of the Dragon). In a personal first, she lent both her face and voice to the in-game character Khai Minh Dao in Battlefield Hardline, who partnered alongside the protagonist in roughly half of the game levels.

Hu has been featured twice in Maxim magazine (May 2002 and May 2005). In 2015, she became the face of Viagra, appearing in the commercials.

Personal life

Hu is an avid poker fan and has frequently taken part in competitions such as the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour, including the WPT Celebrity Charity match on March 3, 2008.[7] She was part of HollywoodPoker.com's "Celebrity Poker Night" on May 30, 2006,[8] and in July 2006 placed in the top 200 in the World Series of Poker Ladies Tournament, besting nearly 1,000 other competitors.[9]

Activism

Hu in April 2013

Hu has supported the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment[10] and in 2004 starred in a public service announcement for them titled "The Least Likely"[11] to encourage young Asian Americans to register and vote.

In 2007, Hu was a driver in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, a national fund-raising program supporting children's hospitals throughout the United States.[12] In April 2011, Hu was a celebrity host for Save the Children's "Caring for Japan's Keiki," a benefit for Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims.[13][14] Also in 2011 she hosted a Celebrity Poker Tournament[15] in support for Best Buddies International, a charity to which she has given support for several years.[16][17]

In January 2008, Hu participated in a video for Barack Obama produced by will.i.am called "Yes We Can".[18] She campaigned for Obama in Hawaii in the run-up to the February 19, 2008, Democratic caucuses.[19] In February 2008, Hu also appeared in another viral video in support of Obama, "Sí Se Puede Cambiar", written and performed by Andrés Useche, directed by Eric Byler. She was the emcee of the Asian American Action Fund's annual fundraiser on June 10, 2008.[20][21][22] She was present at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[23]

Hu has been active to protect the Hawaiian ecology. She supported[24] Reef Check Hawaii[25] by running in and successfully completing the Honolulu Marathon to raise awareness for the organization. She also gave support to the Shark Fin Ban which took effect in Hawaii July 2010.[26] This made it illegal to possess, sell, or distribute shark fins in Hawaii.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan Eva Watanabe
1991 The Doors Dorothy
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man Suzie
1993 Surf Ninjas Ro-May
1995 No Way Back Seiko Kobayashi
Strange Days Anchor Woman
1996 Star Command Ens. Yukiko Fujisaki Television film
1997 Fakin' da Funk Kwee-Me
2002 The Scorpion King Cassandra
2003 Cradle 2 the Grave Sona
X2 Yuriko Oyama/Lady Deathstrike
2004 The Librarian: Quest for the Spear Lana Television film
2005 Underclassman Lisa Brooks
Mayday Sharon Crandall Television film
2006 Americanese Brenda Nishitani
Undoing Vera
Devil's Den Caitlin
2007 Shanghai Kiss Micki Yang
Succubus: Hell-Bent Detective Pei Direct-to-video
The Air I Breathe Jiyoung
2008 Stiletto Detective Hanover
Dead Space: Downfall Shen Voice, direct-to-video[27]
Farm House Lilith
Dim Sum Funeral Cindy
2009 Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword Miyumi/Miss Mirimoto Voice, direct-to-video[27]
The Tournament Lai Lai Zhen Direct-to-video
2010 Batman: Under the Red Hood Ms. Li Voice, direct-to-video[27]
2011 What Women Want Girl In Lotto Commercial
Almost Perfect Vanessa Lee
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights Laira Voice, direct-to-video[27]
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension Stacy Hirano Voice, television film[27]
2012 White Frog May Chung
2013 The Haumana Linda
They Die by Dawn Polly Bemis
2014 Age of Tomorrow Dr. Gordon Direct-to-video
High School Possession Denise Brady Television film
2015 Death Valley Greenstreet
2016 Beyond the Game Lee
Finding Kukan Young Li Ling-Ai
Kepler's Dream Irene
2017 Maximum Impact Kate
2018 F.R.E.D.I. Dr. Andi Palmer
Christmas Wonderland Julia Television film
Lucy in the Sky Dr. Susan Short
2019 Go Back to China May Li
2020 Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe Stacy Hirano Voice[27]
2021 Batman: Soul of the Dragon Lady Shiva Voice, direct-to-video[27]
Finding 'Ohana Leilani
Extinct News Reporter Voice[27]
List of a Lifetime Brenda Lee Television film
Painted Beauty Carla
2022 Catwoman: Hunted Cheshire Voice, direct-to-video[27]
Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For Joelle Wallace Television film
Fallen Angels Murder Club: Heroes and Felons Joelle Wallace Television film
2023 Mortal Kombat Legends: Cage Match[28] Ashrah Voice, direct-to-video

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1987–88 Growing Pains Melia Recurring Cast: Season 3
1988 Night Court Krista Episode: "Danny Got His Gun"
1989 Tour of Duty Vietnamese DJ Episode: "Saigon"
21 Jump Street Kim Van Luy Episode: "The Dragon and the Angel"
1990 CBS Schoolbreak Special Emily Episode: "American Eyes"
1992 The Bold and the Beautiful Trish Episode: "Episode #1.1272" & "#1.1275"
1993 Raven Pele Episode: "Heat"
1994 Burke's Law Dawn Episode: "Who Killed the Beauty Queen?"
Melrose Place Andrea Episode: "Parting Glances"
Renegade Kathy Maruyama Episode: "Black Wind"
1995 Maybe This Time Jennifer Episode: "Please Re-Lease Me"
1996 Murder One Natalie Cheng Episode: "Chapter Nineteen" & "Chapter Twenty"
The Sentinel Christine Hong Episode: "Cypher"
One West Waikiki Dr. Midori Episode: "Battle of the Titans"
Pacific Blue Wendy Trang Episode: "The Enemy Within"
Mr. & Mrs. Smith Ms. Jones Episode: "The Second Episode"
1997 Sunset Beach Rae Chang Regular Cast
1997–98 Nash Bridges Inspector Michelle Chan Main Cast: Season 3, Recurring Cast: Season 4
1998 Malcolm & Eddie Wendy Episode: "Car Trouble"
1998–2000 Martial Law Detective Grace "Pei Pei" Chen Main Cast
1999–2002 Hollywood Squares Herself/Panelist Recurring Guest
2001 The Test Herself/Panelist Episode: "The Superstitious Test"
2003 Mad TV Herself Episode: "Episode #8.15"
Players Herself Episode: "Football Player$"
Boomtown Rachel Durrel Recurring Cast: Season 2
2004 Biography Herself Episode: "The Rock"
Threat Matrix Agent Mia Chen Recurring Cast
2005 Love Lounge Herself Episode: "Love for Sale"
2005–06 CSI: NY Detective Kaile Maka Recurring Cast: Season 1-2
2005–08 Robot Chicken Various Voices Voice, recurring role
2006 Las Vegas Natalie Ko Episode: "Died in Plain Sight"
The Book of Daniel Kristine Ho Episode: "Revelations" & "Withdrawal"
2007 Afro Samurai Okiku Voice, episode: "The Dream Reader"[27]
In Case of Emergency Kelly Lee Main Cast
2007–14 Phineas and Ferb Stacy Hirano Voice, recurring role[27]
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kelly Sun Episode: "Smut"
2008–09 Army Wives Major Jordana Davis Recurring Cast: Season 2, Guest: Season 3
2009 Numbers Alice Chen Episode: "Trouble in Chinatown"
The Spectacular Spider-Man Sha Shan Nguyen Voice, recurring role (season 2)[27]
In Plain Sight Ahn Li Episode: "Let's Get It Ahn"
NCIS: Los Angeles Lee Wuan Kai Episode: "Killshot"
NCIS Lee Wuan Kai Episode: "Endgame"
2010 Iron Chef America Herself/ICA Judge Episode: "Morimoto vs. Cohen: Broccoli"
2010–11 Hawaii Five-0 Laura Hills Recurring Cast: Season 1
The Vampire Diaries Pearl Zhu Recurring Cast: Season 1, Guest: Season 3
2011 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Angie Salinger Episode: "Bittersweet"
2011–21 Young Justice Cheshire, Paula Crock / Huntress, Royal Guard #1 Voice, recurring role (seasons 1-4)
2012 Fairly Legal Lydia Episode: "Shine a Light"
Breakout Kings Kendra Park Episode: "SEALd Fate"
2012–19 Arrow China Na Wei/China White Recurring Cast: Season 1 & 3, Guest: Season 2 & 5 & 7-8
2013 EcoDivas TV Herself Episode: "Reviews and Testimonials"
Hell's Kitchen Herself Episode: "8 Chefs Compete"
Super Power Beat Down Herself Episode: "Wolverine vs. Predator"
Castle Scarlet Jones Episode: "Death Gone Crazy"
2013–14 Warehouse 13 Abigail Cho Recurring Cast: Season 4, Guest: Season 5
2013–17 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Karai Voice, recurring role[27]
2014 Model Turned Superstar Herself Episode: "Dubai"
The 100 Callie 'Cece' Cartwig Episode: "Pilot"
2015 Being Mary Jane Alana Recurring Cast: Season 3
2017 Battle of the Network Stars Herself/Contestant Episode: "Cops vs. TV Sitcoms"
Gap Year Vanessa Episode: "Nepal: The End"
NCIS: New Orleans Dr. Anna Yoon Episode: "The Accident"
2017–22 The Orville Union Admiral Ozawa Recurring Cast: Season 1-3
2017–2018 Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters Miya Kimanyan, various voices Voice, recurring role[27]
2018–20 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Adira Voice, recurring role (seasons 2-3)[27]
2020 L.A.'s Finest Angela Turner Recurring Cast: Season 2
Pete the Cat Bali Burrow Voice, episode: "Super Surfboard Smash & SpaceCat 3611: Save the Music"
2022 Solar Opposites Lervus' Wife Voice, episode: "99 Ships"
2022-present The Legend of Vox Machina Dr. Anna Ripley Voice, recurring role[27]
2023 BMF Detective Veronica Jin Main Cast: Season 2
East New York Allison Cha Recurring Cast
Abominable and the Invisible City Great Watcher Voice, episode: "Please Hold While We Connect You"

Music videos

Year Artist Song
2008 will.i.am "Yes We Can"
2012 Daughtry "Outta My Head"

Documentary

Year Title
2014 Extinction Soup
2016 Finding Kukan

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
1997 D.A. Pursuit of Justice Cindy Chen
2004 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords Visas Marr [27]
2006 X-Men: The Official Game Lady Deathstrike Likeness only
2008 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Suki Toyama
Fracture Mariko
2009 Afro Samurai Okiku, Osachi [27]
Ninja Blade Ryoko Kurokawa
Terminator Salvation Wells, Resistance Soldiers [27]
2012 Sleeping Dogs Inspector Jane Teng [27]
2013 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Karai [27]
Batman: Arkham Origins Lady Shiva
Young Justice: Legacy Cheshire [27]
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze Karai [27]
2015 Battlefield Hardline Khai Minh Dao Voice and motion capture[27]
Infinite Crisis Katana
Mortal Kombat X D'Vorah, Sindel, Frost [29]
2019 Mortal Kombat 11 D'Vorah
2022 Guild Wars 2 Captain Mai Trin, Soo-Won
2023 Mortal Kombat 1 Li Mei, Madam Bo

References

  1. ^ a b "Kelly Hu of TMNT: She Loves Playing Tough Chicks". wired.com. February 7, 2013. Archived from the original on May 8, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "Kelly Hu Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. February 13, 1967. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
  3. ^ "Glenn Hu". LinkedIn. Archived from the original on January 12, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  4. ^ "Kelly Hu Biography". Archived from the original on February 8, 2011.
  5. ^ ML House (November 30, 2009). "Kelly Hu to Guest Star on The Vampire Diaries". TV Fanatic. Archived from the original on April 30, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
  6. ^ "Exclusive: Interview with Kelly Hu on TMNT, Arrow, Surf Ninjas, Michael Bay and braces - Nerd Reactor". nerdreactor.com. February 1, 2013. Archived from the original on March 21, 2018. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  7. ^ World Poker Tour Celebrity Charity - Commerce Casino by Manoj Gera, March 2008 Archived April 24, 2023, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 14, 2008
  8. ^ Celebrity Poker Night with Kelly Hu, May 25th 2006 Archived June 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 14, 2008.
  9. ^ Sunday July 16, 2006 entry Archived February 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved March 14, 2008.
  10. ^ "New GOTV PSA From CAUSE Features Kelly Hu, George Takei". apaforprogress.org. August 20, 2008. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  11. ^ "The Least Likely". The Least Likely. Archived from the original on September 23, 2004. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  12. ^ "Toyota Motorsports > Toyota Pro/Celebrity > History". Toyotaracing.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  13. ^ "On the Scene - Hawaii News - Honolulu Star-Advertiser". Staradvertiser.com. May 8, 2011. Archived from the original on January 17, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  14. ^ "Blog Post". Trump Waikiki. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  15. ^ "Celebrity Poker Tournament at Bartels' Route 66 in Marina Del Rey, CA: The Kelly Hu/Best Buddies Second Annual Charity Poker Tournament Rocked the House". Prweb.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  16. ^ "Best Buddies International". Bestbuddies.org. August 16, 2011. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  17. ^ "Best Buddies International". Bestbuddies.org. September 1, 2010. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  18. ^ "Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video". YouTube. February 2, 2008. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
  19. ^ Chelsea Clinton, Kelly Hu campaign on Oahu Archived September 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, The Honolulu Advertiser
  20. ^ "AAA-Fund Makes Politico!". Washington, DC: Asian American Action Fund. June 10, 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2012. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  21. ^ Schroeder Mullins, Anne (June 11, 2008). "Random assortment of stuff". Washington, DC: Politico. Archived from the original on July 7, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  22. ^ "Kelly Hu for Asian American Action Fund 2008" (Video). Washington, DC: Asian American Action Fund. June 17, 2008. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  23. ^ Anis Ben Amor Mejri (September 10, 2008). "Daniel Dae Kim at the Democratic National Convention 2008". Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved March 20, 2018 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ "Kelly Hu Lends Star Power To Protect Hawaii's Reefs - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL". Hawaii News Now. December 12, 2006. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  25. ^ "Reef Check Hawaii - www.reefcheckhawaii.org -Home Page". www.reefcheckhawaii.org. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  26. ^ The Humane Society of the United States (July 1, 2010). "Aloha, Shark Fin : The Humane Society of the United States". Humanesociety.org. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Kelly Hu (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 22, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  28. ^ "Mortal Kombat Legends: Cage Match Exclusive: Full Voice Cast and Plot Revealed". June 14, 2023. Archived from the original on June 14, 2023. Retrieved June 14, 2023.
  29. ^ Brian Chard [@bcharred] (April 14, 2015). "Huge thanks to the stellar MKX voice actors: Troy @TroyBakerVA (Shinnok/EBlack/Fujin), Ronald M. Banks (Quan Chi); Ashly Burch (Cassie)..." (Tweet). Retrieved April 21, 2015 – via Twitter.
    Brian Chard [@bcharred] (April 14, 2015). "...Nathan Hosner (Narrator); Kelly Hu (D'Vorah/Sindel/Frost); Phil LaMarr (Kotal Kahn); Will Yun Lee (Kung Lao); Patrick Seitz (Scorpion)..." (Tweet). Retrieved April 21, 2015 – via Twitter.