Image of Jack Soo

Jack Soo

A genial, laid back, slumber-eyed character player especially adept at the relaxed wisecrack or dry comment, Japanese-American actor Jack Soo was born in Oakland, California, in 1917, his real name being Goro Suzuki. In the post-WWII years, he entertained as a stand-up performer in nightclubs and had made a reasonable dent on the Midwest circuit by the time he earned his big break playing the club MC/comedian in the Rodgers and Hammerstein hit Broadway musical "Flower Drum Song" in 1958. Three years later, Soo was upgraded to the Sammy Wong character in the film version and decided to settle in Hollywood. Over the next decade, despite a typical lack of roles for Asian-Americans, he managed to find a niche for his hip, deadpan demeanor on TV and a few other films including Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1963), the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), and John Wayne's controversial pro-Vietnam War film The Green Berets (1968). Soo is probably best remembered for his smart-aleck Detective Sgt. Nick Yemana on Barney Miller (1974), one of the more popular sitcoms of the 1970s alongside Hal Linden and Abe Vigoda. Sadly, he died of cancer during the show's fifth season in 1979 at the height of his popularity.

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Oct 28, 1917 In Oakland, California, U.S.
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Flower Drum Song 1961-11-09
Latest Project:
Movie Return from Witch Mountain 1978-03-10
Known For
Poster of M*A*S*H
Poster of The Odd Couple
Poster of Ironside
Poster of The Oscar
Movie Return from Witch Mountain Mr. Yokomoto 1978-03-10
Series Busting Loose Unknown 1977-01-17
Series Barney Miller Nick Yemana 1975-01-23
Series Police Woman Unknown 1974-09-13
Series Amy Prentiss Unknown 1974-12-01
Series Police Story Unknown 1973-03-20
Series M*A*S*H Unknown 1972-09-17
Series The Odd Couple Chuk Mai Chin 1970-09-24
Movie The Monk Hip Guy 1969-10-22
Series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Unknown 1968-01-22
Movie The Green Berets Colonel Cai 1968-07-04
Series Hawaii Five-O Unknown 1968-09-20
Series Julia Unknown 1968-09-17
Movie Thoroughly Modern Millie Oriental #1 1967-03-22
Series Ironside Unknown 1967-03-28
Movie The Oscar Sam 1966-03-04
Series Summer Fun Unknown 1966-07-22
Series Valentine's Day Unknown 1964-09-18
Movie Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? Yoshimi Hiroti 1963-12-25
Movie Flower Drum Song 'Sammy' Fong 1961-11-09