Chinese actor, born in 1952 in Hong Kong. Real name: Ng Kwok-leung. His parents separated even before he was born, and he was raised in an orphanage. He was soon adopted by a woman from Shanghai. He was sent at the age of seven to train at the Chin Chiu Academy in Hong Kong, where he learned singing, dance, and classical Chinese theater techniques.
While he was at the academy, he was given the name Johnny as a Westernized name. He chose the surname Lone partly because it was similar to Leung, part of his given name, and partly because he was an orphan and frequently felt alone. He gained the sponsorship of an American family and traveled to the United States. He took night classes in California to improve his English and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena in 1978.
There were not very many roles for East Asian people in Hollywood, so after playing a few small parts in TV shows, Lone made the shift to Broadway. He earned an Obie Award in 1981 for playing an Asian emigrant in David Henry Hwang's play "FOB."
One of Lone's earliest film roles was as the cook in the 1976 version of "King Kong," and his rise in Hollywood was painfully slow. His first major role on film came in 1984's "Iceman," where he played the title character, a revived caveman. After he was nominated for a Golden Globe for a role as a gang leader in 1985's "Year of the Dragon," director Michael Cimino recommended him to fellow director Bernardo Bertolucci, who was looking for someone to play the Emperor Pu Yi in "The Last Emperor." After another Golden Globe nomination, Lone soon appeared in "Echoes of Paradise," "The Moderns," "Shadow of China," "Once Upon a Time in Shanghai," "M. Butterfly," "The Shadow," "The Hunted," and "Rush Hour 2."
And at a certain point, John Lone stopped making movies. Maybe he was just too picky about the roles he played. Maybe he got tired of playing stereotypes in American movies. Maybe he got tired of acting. But as far as I can tell, the last movie he appeared in was a martial arts action movie called "War" from 2007.
I'd love it if he were in more high-quality movies. But if he's out of the biz, I hope he's doing well and staying happy.
Research from Wikipedia and the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)