John Cho

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John Cho
John Cho 2008.jpg
Cho in 2008
BornJohn Yohan Cho
(1972-06-16) June 16, 1972 (age 42)
Seoul, South Korea
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1997–present
Spouse(s)Kerri Higuchi (m. 2006)
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John Cho
John Cho 2008.jpg
Cho in 2008
BornJohn Yohan Cho
(1972-06-16) June 16, 1972 (age 42)
Seoul, South Korea
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1997–present
Spouse(s)Kerri Higuchi (m. 2006)

John Yohan Cho (born June 16, 1972) is an American actor and musician. He starred as Harold Lee in the Harold & Kumar films and played the character John, MILF Guy No. 2 who popularized the term "MILF" in the American Pie films. He has also starred in the critically acclaimed Asian American films Better Luck Tomorrow and Yellow.

Cho has portrayed the Star Trek character Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek reboot and has starred in the Total Recall remake.[1] On television, he played FBI agent Demetri Noh in the sci-fi television drama FlashForward and as Chau Presley on the sitcom Off Centre. He stars in a recurring role on the television series Sleepy Hollow and plays Henry Higgs on the sitcom Selfie, co-starring Karen Gillan.

Early life[edit]

Cho was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the United States in 1978. He was raised in Los Angeles, where his family settled after living in Houston, Seattle, Daly City, California, and the Monterey Park section of Los Angeles.[2][3] His father was a minister in the Church of Christ, and was originally from North Korea.[2][3][4] Cho graduated from Herbert Hoover High School,[3] in Glendale, California, in 1990. He then attended the University of California, Berkeley,[3] graduating in 1996 with a BA degree in English,[5] and taught English at Pacific Hills School in West Hollywood, California while working at East West Players's theater in downtown Los Angeles.[2]

Acting career[edit]

Cho began his career after graduating from Berkeley, when he moved to Los Angeles and worked with the Asian American theatre company East West Players.[3] There, he appeared in Edward Sakamoto's The Taste of Kona Coffee in 1996, and in Euijoon Kim's movie My Tired Broke Ass Pontificating Slapstick Funk in 2000.[6] He gained attention with a small role as "MILF Guy #2" in the 1999 comedy American Pie, in which he popularized the slang term "MILF".[3] Cho reprised the role in three sequels: American Pie 2, American Wedding, and in the latest installment American Reunion in which he has a much larger role. The character initially had no name but he was given the name "John" in the third film, named after Cho himself.

He had a successful starring role as Harold Lee in 2008's Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, which raked in $38 million at the theaters.[7] (2011's A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas comes in a close second with $35 million.[8]) Cho's role in the popular franchise was written specifically for him by Hayden Schlossberg, and Cho has recounted that when Schlossberg first approached him with the role, he was initially suspicious.[2]

Cho guest-starred on Charmed as a ghost in 1998 and was one of the stars of the short-lived situation comedy Off Centre in 2001–2002. He was a costar of the now-defunct Fox sitcom Kitchen Confidential based on Anthony Bourdain's best-selling book.[5] He had supporting roles in Evolution, a sci-fi comedy directed by Ivan Reitman, and Down to Earth, starring Chris Rock and a minor role in Bowfinger.

In 2002, he had a starring role in the ensemble cast of Justin Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow, a drama focusing on the travails of a group of Asian Americans living in Southern California who are academically successful but socially discontented, and as a result engage in wantonly violent, criminal behavior. It was well received by critics, with the New York Times's Elvis Mitchell describing Cho's character's "lazy magnetism of which he is charmingly aware."[9]

Cho appeared on July 2004 issue of KoreAm Journal and in September 2006 was cast in NBC's new comedy The Singles Table, but the series never aired due to changes in scheduling and production. In 2006 and again in 2009,[10] Cho was selected as one of the sexiest men alive in People Magazine.

In 2007, Cho was added to the cast of Ugly Betty as a recurring character. Cho plays Kenny, a best friend of accountant Henry Grubstick (played by Christopher Gorham). Cho played helmsman Hikaru Sulu in J. J. Abrams's feature film Star Trek.[11][12] Manohla Dargis of The New York Times praised him, along with Anton Yelchin, Chris Pine, and Zachary Quinto, for making their roles "ultimately and rather wonderfully their own".[13]

Cho appeared in Nas' "Be a Nigger Too" music video along with various celebrities, and had a guest appearance on the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, in the episode "I'm Not That Guy" where he played a partner in an evil law firm. Of the latter, Staci Krause of IGN, wrote that Cho was "the scene stealer in this episode" and that she would "definitely like to see more of him" in the series.[14]

In 2009–10, Cho starred in the television series FlashForward as FBI Special Agent Demetri Noh.[15] His character was originally slated to be killed off during what turned out to be the show's only season, but after his turn as Sulu in Star Trek boosted his popularity, the producers revised the show's storyline so that he survived, in an attempt to boost declining ratings.[16]

Musical career[edit]

He is the lead singer for Viva La Union (formerly known as Left of Zed),[5][17] a Los Angeles garage rock band composed of former UCB and USC students. They have one album, self-titled, while their song "Chinese Baby" is featured on the Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay soundtrack.

Personal life[edit]

Cho married actress Kerri Higuchi in 2006. Cho and Higuchi have a son, born in 2008,[18] and a daughter, born in 2013.[19] He supported the 2012 re-election campaign of Democratic U.S President Barack Obama.[20]



1997Wag the DogAide #3
1997Shopping for FangsClarence
1999American BeautySale House Man #1
1999BowfingerNightclub Cleaner
1999American PieMILF Guy #2
2000The Flintstones in Viva Rock VegasParking valet
2001Delivering MiloMr. Hugo
2001American Pie 2John (MILF Guy #2)
2001Down to EarthPhil Quon
2001Pavilion of WomenFengmo Wu
2002Better Luck TomorrowSteve Choe
2002SolarisDBA Emissary #1
2002Big Fat LiarDustin Wong
2003American WeddingJohn
2004In Good CompanyPetey
2004Harold & Kumar Go to White CastleHarold Lee
2004See This MovieLarry Finkelstein
2006American DreamzFrank Ittles
2006Bickford Shmeckler's Cool IdeasTom
2007West 32ndJohn Kim
2007Smiley FaceMike
2008Nick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistHype Man
2008Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo BayHarold LeeNominated-MTV Movie Award for Best Musical Performance (with Kal Penn)
Nominated-MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team (with Kal Penn)
Nominated-Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Rockstar Moment
2009Star TrekHikaru SuluBoston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Nominated-Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2009Saint John of Las VegasCarnival Human Torch
2011A Very Harold & Kumar 3D ChristmasHarold Lee
2012American ReunionJohn
2012Total RecallBob McClane
2013Identity ThiefDaniel Casey
2013Star Trek Into DarknessHikaru Sulu


1997The Jeff Foxworthy ShowPizza Delivery ManEpisode: "Twister of Fate"
1998FelicityLarryEpisode: "The Last Stand"
1998CharmedMark ChaoEpisode: "Dead Man Dating"
2001–2002Off CentreChau Presley28 episodes
2002The Jamie Kennedy ExperimentHimself1 episode
2003Kim PossibleHirotakaEpisode: "Exchange"
2005The Men's RoomBob4 episodes
2005House M.D.Harvey ParkEpisode: "Love Hurts"
2005–2006Kitchen ConfidentialTeddy Wong10 episodes
2006Grey's AnatomyMarshall StoneEpisode: "Damage Case"
2006–2013American Dad!Vince Chung4 episodes
2007How I Met Your MotherJefferson CoatsworthEpisode: "I'm Not That Guy"
2007Ugly BettyKenny3 episodes
2007'Til DeathLucas BenderEpisode: "Come Out and Play"
2008Hollywood ResidentialHimselfEpisode: "It Happens"
2009–2010FlashForwardDemetri Noh22 episodes
2010Childrens HospitalParkEpisode: "Frankfurters. Allman Brothers. Death. Frankfurters"
201130 RockLorneEpisode: "Double-Edged Sword"
2011NTSF:SD:SUV::ChipEpisode: "The Birthday Part That Was Neither"
2012–2013Go OnSteven22 episodes
2013–2014Sleepy HollowAndy Brooks7 episodes
2014–SelfieHenry Higgs4 episodes

Video games[edit]

Video Games
2013Star Trek (2013 video game)Hikaru SuluVoice and likeness

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Total Recall Trailer: Colin Farrell Wants You to Forget". New York magazine. 2012-04-12. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, and Ustream, episode 96
  3. ^ a b c d e f The Game-Changer: An Interview with John Cho
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c "John Cho". 
  6. ^ EWP 34th Season on East West Players site
  7. ^ "Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay". 
  8. ^ "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas". 
  9. ^ Mitchell, Elvis. "Film Review; Teenages Determined to Damage Their Resumes". Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  10. ^ People Magazine Sexiest Men Alive 2009
  11. ^ Borys Kit (2007-10-12). "Final frontier for Cho, Pegg". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  12. ^ Associated Press (2008-03-12). "John Cho: 'Trek' role is 'daunting'". CNN. 
  13. ^ Manohla Dargis (7 May 2009). "Movie Review: 'Star Trek'". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 Aug 2012. 
  14. ^ "How I Met Your Mother: 'I'm Not That Guy' Review". IGN. 2007-10-30. 
  15. ^ Joyce Eng (2009-05-19). "Fall TV: ABC's Official Schedule Revisits V, Moves Betty and Says Adieu to Who?". TV Guide. 
  16. ^ Keck, William (June 18, 2010). "Keck's Exclusives: Gabrielle Union FlashForwards to New Series". TV Guide. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  17. ^ Jason Buchanan (2005-03-12). "John Cho". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ "John Cho and wife Kerri expecting first child". People. April 13, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2012. 
  19. ^ "John Cho and wife Kerri have second child". People. February 11, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  20. ^ (2011-07-16) "Hollywood stars open wallets for Obama". Retrieved 2011-07-16. 

External links[edit]