Actor, model, director, writer and producer Quincy Wong, 48, the top Asian Pacific American male model in the Midwest, died suddenly of a heart attack, Monday, July 8, in Evanston.
The 6'1 charismatic Wong, who belies the Asian Pacific American anti-athletic stereotype, has appeared in hundreds of print ads in nearly every magazine, on stage, television, film and in nearly 40 commercials. A member of SAG and AFTRA, Wong was co-founder with Keith Uchima of the Chicago Asian American comedy troupe, "Stir-Friday Night!" He was also co-founder (in 1989) and long-time artistic director of Chicago's Angel Island Theatre Company since his first role playing a Sam Spade-like detective in "Yellow Fever" at the Organic Theater in the early 1980's, Wong acted in professional productions at many off-Loop theaters. He most recently appeared on stage in Steppenwolf Theatre's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," which starred Gary Sinise.
Wong appeared as a principal in the CBS-TV shows, "Walker, Texas Ranger;" and "Early Edition;" in the NBC-TV show "Unsolved Mysteries;" and in the Columbia Pictures' film, "Mo' Money;" among many others. Excerpts from Wong's, "Sayonara, Ms. Saigon," a musical production for which he created concept and was lead writer, were run in a recent production at the Chicago Cultural Center in May.
In a recent TV interview taped with CLTV's Michelle Alegria in May in Chicago, Wong indicated that ultimately, he would like to head for Hollywood, and make a bigger name for himself, and on the way, increase the type of roles played by Asians. We still have a long way to go. There are still just very minor parts; there's still a lot of stereotypes of Asian men in particular, and Asian women - in Hollywood, in theatre, in the media," he said.
Active in community affairs, in addition to his work for Stir-Friday!, Angel Island, and the Asian American Coalition of Chicago, Wong served for a time on the board of the Chinese American Service League and frequently volunteered his performances for charity. A big fan of children, he played "Barney" to those attending the popular Japanese American Service
Committee's annual Kodomo Matsuri holiday celebration. At the time of his death, Wong was in the process of writing two new plays. A new commercial of his for Jewel-Osco, was released in the Chicago market within the last several weeks.
He loved music, travel, and biking. His special joy was spending time with his extended family, especially his nieces Alexa and Amanda. He is survived by his mother Kar Sun Wong, his sister Irene, and his brothers Allen, Philip (wife Mary), and Eddie. (Irene Cualopi)