John Lone (Chinese: 尊龙; simplified Chinese: 尊龙; traditional Chinese: 尊龍; pinyin: Zūn Lóng; jyutping: zyun1 lung4; born October 13, 1952) is a Hong Kong-born American performance artist, singer, and former actor. He is best known for his role as the eponymous Pu Yi in the Academy Award-winning film The Last Emperor (1987), a performance for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. A veteran of the East West Players, he appeared in numerous high-profile screen and stage roles throughout the 1980s and 90s, in films like Iceman, Year of the Dragon, M. Butterfly, The Shadow, and Rush Hour 2.
John Lone in 1984 promoting his film Iceman
Ng Kwok-leung (吳國良)
October 13, 1952
|Occupation||Actor, performance artist, singer|
|Years active||1976–present (on hiatus since 2007)|
|Spouse(s)||Nina Savino (1972–1979)|
Lone was born in October 1952 as Ng Kwok-leung (Chinese: 吳國良; pinyin: Wú Guóliáng) in Hong Kong. He was raised in an orphanage and later adopted by a Shanghainese woman. He began training in Beijing opera at Hong Kong's Chiu Chiu Academy. It was here, at the age of ten, where he was given the name "Johnny". He later chose the name Lone to reflect the fact that he was an orphan and for its similarity to Leung, part of his given name.
Sponsored by an American family, he left the Beijing opera troupe and emigrated to Los Angeles, California. In the United States, he married fellow Santa Ana Community College student Nina Savino in 1972, and gained American citizenship. The couple divorced in 1979. Lone also continued his performing arts studies at American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, California. Eventually, he would move to New York City, in order to pursue a career on stage.
Lone struggled for a time until the actor Mako recognized his talent and suggested him for a role in David Henry Hwang's first play F.O.B.. From his performance in this play, Lone received an Obie Award. While in New York City he was discovered by the talent agent Jadin Wong, who helped him to launch his career. Wong subsequently discovered Joan Chen, Bai Ling and Lucy Liu.
His first major role in films was as the title character in Iceman. He is probably best known for his portrayal of Puyi in The Last Emperor and crime boss Joey Tai in Year of the Dragon in the mid-1980s, as well as an opera performer playing female roles in M. Butterfly (with Jeremy Irons). In the 1995 film The Hunted he played dangerous assassin Kinjo alongside Christopher Lambert. Further international film appearances included the role of corrupt Hong Kong cop Ricky Tan in Rush Hour 2.
Despite his Hollywood fame, he chose to further his career in the Asian market. He played the Qianlong Emperor, another Chinese emperor, in the 30-episode television drama series Qianlong and the Fragrant Concubine (乾隆与香妃) in 2004. Lone appeared in the fifth season, in the title role of Emperor Kangxi, in Records of Kangxi's Travel Incognito, a Chinese television series (1998-2007) about the Manchu-ruling Qing Empire monarch Kangxi Emperor. His last film appearance was War (2007) and, as of 2019, he has not been involved in any projects since.
|King Kong||1976||Andy the Cook||John Guillermin|
|Americathon||1979||Chinese Man||Neal Israel|
|Year of the Dragon||1985||Joey Tai||Michael Cimino||Nominated- Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|Echoes of Paradise||1987||Raka||Philip Noyce|
|The Last Emperor||1987||Emperor Puyi (adult)||Bernardo Bertolucci||Nominated- Golden Globe Award for Best Actor|
|The Moderns||1988||Bertram Stone||Alan Rudolph||Nominated- Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Performance|
|Shadow of China||1989||Henry Wong||Mitsuo Yanagimachi|
|M. Butterfly||1993||Song Liling||David Cronenberg|
|The Shadow||1994||Shiwan Khan||Russell Mulcahy|
|The Hunted||1995||Kinjo||J.F. Lawton|
|Task Force||1997||Thug||Patrick Leung||Cameo appearance|
|Rush Hour 2||2001||Ricky Tan||Brett Ratner|
|War||2007||Li Chang||Philip G. Atwell|
|Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid||1978||Houseman||Television film|
|Shanghai 1920||1991||Billy Fong||Television film|
|Qianlong and the Fragrant Imperial Concubine||2004||Qianlong Emperor|
|Paper Moon Affair||2005||Keiko's Husband||Television film|
|Records of Kangxi's Travel Incognito||2007||Kangxi Emperor|