Image of James Lew

James Lew

Raised in South Central Los Angeles, James Lew's destiny was to answer a cattle call in Hollywood for the hugely popular Kung Fu (1972) television series. He went on to star in the now collectible Hong Kong film, Young Dragon (1976). He made the move to big budget studio films in 1984. John Carpenter handpicked him as the Martial Arts Choreographer for 20th Century Fox's now cult film, Big Trouble in Little China (1986). Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mel Gibson, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Dwayne Johnson, David Carradine, Chuck Norris, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, Madonna, Charlie Sheen, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kathleen Turner, Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Lee, Snoop Dogg and the list goes on and on. James was voted "Favorite Action Star" by fans of Inside Martial Arts magazine. Internet fans voted him into the Hall of Fame in the Martial Arts History Museum. Inside Kung Fu Magazine inducted him as one of the "Martial Arts Greats" alongside legends as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and his longtime friend Jackie Chan. Hit Parader Magazine dubbed him "the king of big-screen martial arts villains." From the deadly killer in Red Sun Rising (1994) to the deadly fighter in the comedy spoof Hot Shots 2 (1993), Lew has proven his chops in both drama and comedy. As a stunt/fight coordinator his creative talents shone in the television series The Crow to recent work on the hit video game, The Matrix: Path of Neo (2005). He handpicked elite members for his company, "Hong Kong Wire Action Team," to bring state of the art action to movies. His formula for longevity in the film industry is diversity, hard work and having a whole lot of fun. Most recently, James Lew wrote, directed and starred in a movie inspired by his personal experiences in the business titled 18 Fingers of Death! (2006). The story follows Buford Lee (James Lew), the most famous unknown "B"-minus, low-budget, martial-arts movie star and Ronald Mack (Maurice Patton), a young black kid from the hood. Together they laugh and bond together on their quest to finally make Buford's break out movie, 18 Fingers of Death! (2006).

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Sep 6, 1952 In Escalon, California, U.S.
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Killing of a Chinese Bookie 1976-02-15
Latest Project:
Movie Made in Chinatown 2021-05-10
Known For
Poster of Lethal Weapon 4
Poster of Hot Shots! Part Deux
Poster of Big Trouble in Little China
Poster of Young Dragon
Movie Made in Chinatown Lew 2021-05-10
Movie Cucuy: The Boogeyman Beat Cop 2018-10-13
Movie Henchman: The Al Leong Story Himself 2018-12-15
Movie Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine Sinjin 2017-05-08
Movie Frankenstein Hotel Manager 2015-08-29
Movie Black Salt Abbot Xiao 2015-12-31
Movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation Chinese Leader 2013-03-27
Movie Safe Underground Casino Guard (uncredited) 2012-04-16
Movie The Girl from the Naked Eye Eddie 2012-06-15
Series Death Valley Man on street (uncredited) 2011-08-29
Movie Star Trek Romulan (uncredited) 2009-05-06
Movie Angel of Death Tommy 2009-07-07
Movie Ballistica Chinese Guard #1 2009-12-18
Movie Superhero Movie Shaolin Monk (uncredited) 2008-03-27
Movie Tropic Thunder Flaming Dragon Compound Person (uncredited) 2008-08-09
Series Chuck Anad Chenerad 2007-09-24
Movie 18 Fingers of Death! Buford Lee 2006-04-11
Movie The Circuit III: Final Flight Spider Webb 2006-10-31
Movie Shira: The Vampire Samurai Xu 2005-01-01
Series Entourage Unknown 2004-07-18
Movie Sin Leo Thamaree 2003-01-01
Movie Ultimate Fights from the Movies Knife #1 (Timecop) (archive footage) 2002-04-16
Movie Outside the Law Cho Sung 2002-06-25
Series She Spies Asian Thug / Bodyguard (uncredited) 2002-07-20
Series CSI: Miami Unknown 2002-09-23
Series Alias Unknown 2001-09-30
Movie Traffic DEA Agent - CalTrans 2000-03-23
Movie Fatal Blade James 2000-04-04
Movie Deep Core Lou Chang 2000-10-21
Movie The Replacement Killers Bodyguard 1998-02-06
Movie Boogie Boy Jason 1998-02-12
Movie Rush Hour Juntao's Man in Los Angeles (uncredited) 1998-09-18
Movie Lethal Weapon 4 Freighter's Captain 1998-07-10
Movie High Voltage Harry 1997-01-01
Movie Raven: Return of the Black Dragons Unknown 1997-04-23
Movie Robo Warriors Darius 1996-01-01
Movie Assault on Dome 4 Quaid, Windham Henchman 1996-01-01
Movie For Life or Death Kaan Woo 1996-01-23
Movie Balance of Power Shinji Takamura 1996-06-25
Movie Night Hunter Tom Cutter 1996-04-01
Movie Escape from L.A. Hershe Gang Member 1996-08-09
Movie Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Mercenary (uncredited) 1995-07-13
Movie Midnight Man Prince Samarki 1995-05-09
Movie Excessive Force II: Force on Force Lee 1995-08-29
Series Babylon 5 Bloodhound Teep #1 1994-01-26
Movie Deadly Target Guard #2 (uncredited) 1994-01-01
Series Weird Science Unknown 1994-03-05
Movie On Deadly Ground Mercenary at Aegis 1 (uncredited) 1994-02-18
Movie Cage II: The Arena of Death Chin 1994-12-14
Movie The Shadow Mongol 1994-07-01
Movie Timecop Knife #1 1994-09-15
Movie Red Sun Rising Jaho 1994-09-01
Series Walker, Texas Ranger Unknown 1993-04-21
Movie Ulterior Motives Yakuza #5 1993-01-06
Movie Hot Shots! Part Deux Kick Boxer Opponent 1993-05-21
Movie American Ninja 5 Viper 1993-01-01
Series Frasier Security Guard 1993-09-16
Movie Undercover Blues Novacek's Man 1993-09-10
Movie Private Wars Obata 1993-10-10
Movie Showdown Hit Man 1993-09-16
Movie Rapid Fire Tau's Men at Laundry (uncredited) 1992-08-21
Movie Mission of Justice Akiro 1992-12-02
Movie Night of the Warrior Hector Sabatei 1991-06-01
Movie The Perfect Weapon Crewcut 1991-03-15
Movie Do or Die Lew 1991-06-28
Movie Showdown in Little Tokyo Yoshida's Men (uncredited) 1991-08-23
Movie Martial Law II: Undercover Spencer Hamilton Man (uncredited) 1991-10-01
Movie Martial Law Tong Member 1990-10-01
Movie Aftershock Mr. James 1990-10-05
Movie Guns Ninja #1 1990-11-09
Movie Ninja Academy Ninja Trainer 1989-08-17
Series Nasty Boys Fighter / Karate class fighter (uncredited) 1989-09-21
Movie Best of the Best Sae Jin Kwon 1989-11-10
Series Family Matters Man in Bar 1989-09-22
Movie Savage Beach Agent #1 1989-10-01
Movie Zodiac America 2: Evil Destroyer Unknown 1988-01-01
Series Roseanne Unknown 1988-10-18
Series Beauty and the Beast Unknown 1987-09-25
Movie Big Trouble in Little China Chang Sing #1 1986-05-30
Movie Los Angeles Streetfighter Chan 1985-03-23
Series Growing Pains Unknown 1985-09-24
Movie Killpoint Nighthawk's Gunman #1 1984-12-03
Series T. J. Hooker Unknown 1982-03-13
Movie Young Dragon Shao Lung 1979-08-01
Movie Big Time Karate Instructor 1977-07-31
Movie The Killing of a Chinese Bookie Asian Guard (uncredited) 1976-02-15
Movie Enforcer from Death Row Karate Fighter 1976-07-09