Kelly Hu

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Kelly Hu
Kelly Hu on April 10, 2013 (by May S.Young).jpg
Hu at From Scotland with Love Fashion Show in New York City, April 2013
BornKelly Ann Hu
(1968-02-13) February 13, 1968 (age 46)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
OccupationActress, model
Years active1987–present
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Kelly Hu
Kelly Hu on April 10, 2013 (by May S.Young).jpg
Hu at From Scotland with Love Fashion Show in New York City, April 2013
BornKelly Ann Hu
(1968-02-13) February 13, 1968 (age 46)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
OccupationActress, model
Years active1987–present

Kelly Ann Hu (simplified Chinese: 胡凯丽; traditional Chinese: 胡凱麗; pinyin: Hú Kǎilì; born February 13, 1968) is an American actress and former fashion model. She was Miss Teen USA 1985 and Miss Hawaii USA 1993. Hu starred as Dr. Rae Chang on the American television soap opera Sunset Beach and as Michelle Chan on the American television police drama series Nash Bridges. She has also starred in numerous films including The Scorpion King (2002), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), X2 as Yuriko Oyama/Lady Deathstrike (2003), Underclassman (2005), The Tournament (2009), and White Frog (2012).

Hu has had guest-starring roles as Pearl on the CW series The Vampire Diaries, as China White on the CW series Arrow, and as Abigail Cho on the Syfy series Warehouse 13.

Early life[edit]

Hu was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Juanita, an engineering drafter for Honolulu, and Herbert Hu, a salesman and exotic bird breeder. Her parents divorced during Hu's childhood.[1] Her brother, Glenn, is a Resource Manager in the United States Army.[2] She is of Native Hawaiian, English American and Chinese American descent.[3] She attended Maʻemaʻe Elementary School and Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Hawaii. She graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.[4]

Hu has held a lifelong interest in singing and dancing and has also been interested in martial arts since her early childhood. Hu's cousin was a successful model in Japan, and Hu decided to follow her example. Kelly Hu won the title of Miss Hawaii Teen USA and competed in the Miss Teen USA 1985 pageant, becoming the Miss Teen USA pageant's third titleholder in history and its first Asian American winner. Hu has mentioned in interviews that her mother had told her America was not ready for an Asian as such a prominent role model. Ironically enough, she discovered after winning that she was prohibited from appearing in non-contest related activities for the year of her reign, though this rule soon changed in later years.


Kelly Hu as Miss Hawaii Teen USA 1985

Hu modeled in Japan and Italy, and became well known in the latter as the star of a series of television advertisements for Philadelphia brand cream cheese, playing a young Japanese college student named Kaori.

Hu won the title of Miss Hawaii USA in 1993, becoming the first former Miss Teen USA to win a Miss USA state title. In the 1993 Miss USA pageant, held in Wichita, Kansas, Hu entered the top 10 in second place, after winning the preliminary interview competition and placing second and third, respectively, in swimsuit and evening gown. She then made the top 6 ranked second, winning the top 10 evening gown competition and placing second in swimsuit. She was eliminated in 4th place after the judges' questions, just 2/100 of a point from the final three.

Hu moved to Los Angeles and began her acting career in 1987, with a guest starring role as Mike Seaver's Hawaiian love interest on the sitcom Growing Pains. Hu followed this with appearances on various television series, including Night Court," Tour of Duty, 21 Jump Street and Melrose Place. Her first movie role was in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. In 1995, Hu starred as an undercover police officer in the film No Way Back. Hu was cast as Dr. Rae Chang on Sunset Beach for six months in 1997. Afterwards, she was cast as police officers Michelle Chan in the television series Nash Bridges, and Pei Pei "Grace" Chen on Martial Law. Her subsequent film appearances include The Scorpion King (2002), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), and X2 (2003) as Yuriko Oyama/Deathstrike.

She was Agent Mia Chen on the last three episodes of the television series Threat Matrix in 2004. She also starred in 2005's Underclassman alongside Nick Cannon and in 2006's Americanese, Undoing and Devil's Den. During the first quarter of 2007, she completed filming the film Stilletto, followed by Farmhouse.

In January 2007, Hu began appearing in a full-time role on the television series In Case of Emergency. She played Kelly Lee, a Korean American woman who accidentally reunites with her high school classmates and realizes none of them grew up according to their high school plans. The show did not have a successful run, being cancelled after airing 12 episodes and leaving its season finale un-aired. the same years she appeared in films The Air I Breathe and Shanghai Kiss.

In 2009, she appeared in the film The Tournament as Lai-Lai Zhen. In April 2009, Hu developed the character JIA for Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology. She was the first guest actor to cross over between the television series NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS, playing Lee Wuan Kai in a two-episode arc within both series. In 2010 and 2011, Hu guest-starred as a vampire named Pearl on the CW television series The Vampire Diaries.[5]

In 2010, Hu began a recurring role on the CBS television series Hawaii Five-0. In 2012, Hu was cast in the role of Karai in the animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She commented: "It wouldn't quite be the first time I played a ninja, I think. Yeah, I don't know why people think I'm dangerous, but for some reason, I keep getting these roles for the ninja, assassin, bodyguard, bad-girl type."[6] In 2013, she joined the cast of the series Warehouse 13 as Abigail Cho, the new owner of the Warehouse-connected B&B.

She provided voice talents for the popular video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords as Visas Marr, the Sith woman who joins the Jedi Exile's party. Hu has been featured twice in Maxim magazine (May 2002 and May 2005).

Personal life[edit]

She is an avid poker fan and has frequently taken part in competitions such as the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour, including the WPT Celebrity Charity match on March 3, 2008.[7] She was part of's "Celebrity Poker Night" on May 30, 2006,[8] and in July 2006 placed in the top 200 in the World Series of Poker Ladies Tournament, besting nearly 1,000 other competitors.[9]


Kelly Hu in September 2010

Hu has supported the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment[10] and in 2004 starred in a public service announcement for them entitled "The Least Likely"[11] to encourage young Asian Americans to register and vote.

In 2007, Hu was a driver in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race a national fund-raising program supporting children’s hospitals throughout the United States.[12] In April 2011, Hu was a celebrity host for Save the Children's "Caring for Japan's Keiki" a benefit for Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims.[13][14] Also in 2011 she hosted a Celebrity Poker Tournament[15] in support for Best Buddies International, a charity to which she has given support for several years.[16][17]

In January 2008, Hu participated in a video for Barack Obama produced by called "Yes We Can".[18] She campaigned for Obama in Hawaii in the run-up to the February 19, 2008 Democratic caucuses.[19] In February 2008, Hu also appeared in another viral video in support of Obama, "Sí Se Puede Cambiar", written and performed by Andrés Useche, directed by Eric Byler. She was the emcee of the Asian American Action Fund's annual fundraiser on June 10, 2008.[20][21][22]

Hu has been active to protect the Hawaiian ecology. She supported[23] Reef Check Hawaii[24] by running in and successfully completing the Honolulu Marathon to raise awareness for the organization. She also gave support to the Shark Fin Ban which took effect in Hawaii July 2010.[25] This made it illegal to possess, sell, or distribute shark fins in Hawaii.


1989Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes ManhattanEva Watanabe
1991Doors, TheThe DoorsDorothy
1991Harley Davidson and the Marlboro ManSuzie
1993Surf NinjasRo-May
1995No Way BackSeiko Kobayashi
1995Strange DaysAnchor woman
1996Star CommandEns. Yukiko FujisakiTelevision film
1997Fakin' da FunkKwee-Me
2002Scorpion King, TheThe Scorpion KingCassandra
2003Cradle 2 the GraveSona
2003X2Yuriko Oyama/Lady Deathstrike
2004Librarian: Quest for the Spear, TheThe Librarian: Quest for the SpearLanaTelevision film
2005UnderclassmanLisa Brooks
2005MaydaySharon CrandallTelevision film
2006AmericaneseBrenda Nishitani
2006Devil's DenCaitlin
2007Shanghai KissMicki Yang
2007Succubus: Hell-BentDetective PeiDirect-to-video
2007Air I Breathe, TheThe Air I BreatheJiyoung
2008StilettoDetective Hanover
2008Dead Space: DownfallShenVoice; direct-to-video
2008Farm HouseLilith
2008Dim Sum FuneralCindy
2009Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai SwordMiyumi/Miss MirimotoVoice; direct-to-video
2009Tournament, TheThe TournamentLai Lai Zhen
2010Batman: Under the Red HoodMs. LiVoice; direct-to-video
2011What Women WantGirl in lotto commercial
2011Almost PerfectVanessa Lee
2011Green Lantern: Emerald KnightsLairaVoice; direct-to-video
2011Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd DimensionStacy HiranoVoice; television film
2012White FrogMay Chung
2013Haumana, TheThe HaumanaLinda
2013They Die by DawnN/AShort film
2014Age of TomorrowDr. Gordon
2014High School ExorcismDenise BradyTelevision film
2014Death ValleyGreenstreet
2014Beyond the GameIn post-production
2014Kepler's DreamIreneIn post-production
1987–88Growing PainsMelia3 episodes
1988Night CourtKrista2 episodes
1989Tour of DutyVietnamese DJEpisode: "Saigon: Part 2"
198921 Jump StreetKim Van LuyEpisode: "The Dragon and the Angel"
1990CBS Schoolbreak SpecialEmilyEpisode: "American Eyes"
1993RavenPeleEpisode: "Heat"
1994Burke's LawDawnEpisode: "Who Killed the Beauty Queen?"
1994Melrose PlaceAndreaEpisode: "Parting Glances"
1994RenegadeKathy MaruyamaEpisode: "Black Wind"
1995Maybe This TimeJenniferEpisode: "Please Re-Lease Me"
1996Murder OneNatalie Cheng2 episodes
1996Sentinel, TheThe SentinelChristineEpisode: "Cypher"
1996One West WaikikiDr. MidoriEpisode: "Battle of the Titans"
1996Pacific BlueWendy TrangEpisode: "The Enemy Within"
1996Mr. & Mrs. SmithMs. JonesEpisode: "The Second Episode"
1997Sunset BeachRae ChangRole held: January 7 – June 5, 1997
1997–98Nash BridgesInsp. Michelle ChanMain cast (seasons 3–4); 14 episodes
1998Malcolm & EddieWendyEpisode: "Car Trouble"
1998–2000Martial LawGrace "Pei Pei" ChenMain cast; 44 episodes
2003BoomtownRachel Durrel2 episodes
2004Threat MatrixAgent Mia Chen3 episodes
2005–06CSI: NYDetective Kaile Maka4 episodes
2005–08Robot ChickenVarious voices5 episodes
2006Las VegasNatalie KoEpisode: "Died in Plain Sight"
2007In Case of EmergencyKelly LeeMain cast; 13 episodes
2007Afro SamuraiOkikuVoice (English dub); episode: "The Dream Reader"
2007–presentPhineas and FerbStacy HiranoVoice
2008–09Army WivesJordana Davis4 episodes
2008Law & Order: Special Victims UnitKelly SunEpisode: "Smut"
2009NumbersAlice ChenEpisode: "Trouble in Chinatown"
2009Spectacular Spider-Man, TheThe Spectacular Spider-ManSha Shan Nguyen5 episodes
2009In Plain SightJane Kwan/Ahn LiEpisode: "Let's Get It Ahn"
2009NCIS: Los AngelesLee Wuan KaiEpisode: "Killshot"
2009NCISLee Wuan KaiEpisode: "Endgame"
2010–11Vampire Diaries, TheThe Vampire DiariesPearl8 episodes
2010–11Hawaii Five-0Laura Hills3 episodes
2011–13Young JusticeCheshire, Paula Crock, Lian Nguyen-HarperVoice; 10 episodes
2011CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationAngie SalingerEpisode: "Bittersweet"
2012Fairly LegalLydiaEpisode: "Shine a Light"
2012Breakout KingsKendra ParkEpisode: "SEALd Fate"
2012–13CastleScarlet Jones2 episodes
2012–13ArrowChina White/Chien Na Wei6 episodes
2013–presentTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesOroku Karai/Hamato MiwaVoice; 14 episodes
2013–14Warehouse 13Abigail Cho6 episodes
2014100, TheThe 100Callie "Cece" CartwigEpisode: "Pilot"
Music videos
2012"Outta My Head"DaughtryLeading woman
Video games
2004Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith LordsVisas MarrVoice
2008Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3Suki ToyamaVoice
2009Afro SamuraiOkiku, OsachiVoice
2009Ninja BladeRyoko KurokawaVoice
2009Terminator SalvationWellsVoice
2012Sleeping DogsInspector Jane TengVoice
2013Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesKaraiVoice
2013Batman: Arkham OriginsLady ShivaVoice
2013Young Justice: LegacyCheshireVoice


  1. ^ "Kelly Hu Biography - Yahoo! Movies". 1967-02-13. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  2. ^ "Glenn Hu". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  3. ^ Official website biography
  4. ^
  5. ^ ML House (November 30, 2009). "Kelly Hu to Guest Star on The Vampire Diaries". TV Fanatic. 
  6. ^ Exclusive: Interview with Kelly Hu on TMNT, Arrow, Surf Ninjas, Michael Bay and braces - Nerd Reactor
  7. ^ World Poker Tour Celebrity Charity - Commerce Casino by Manoj Gera, March 2008. Retrieved March 14, 2008
  8. ^ Celebrity Poker Night with Kelly Hu, May 25th 2006. Retrieved March 14, 2008.
  9. ^ Sunday July 16, 2006 entry. Retrieved March 14, 2008.
  10. ^ "New GOTV PSA From CAUSE Features Kelly Hu, George Takei". 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  11. ^ "The Least Likely". The Least Likely. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  12. ^ "Toyota Motorsports > Toyota Pro/Celebrity > History". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  13. ^ "On the Scene - Hawaii News - Honolulu Star-Advertiser". 2011-05-08. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  14. ^ "Blog Post". Trump Waikiki. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  15. ^ "Celebrity Poker Tournament at Bartels' Route 66 in Marina Del Rey, CA: The Kelly Hu/Best Buddies Second Annual Charity Poker Tournament Rocked the House". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  16. ^ "Best Buddies International". 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  17. ^ "Best Buddies International". 2010-09-01. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  18. ^ February 02, 2008 (2008-02-02). "Yes We Can - Barack Obama Music Video". YouTube. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 
  19. ^ Chelsea Clinton, Kelly Hu campaign on Oahu, The Honolulu Advertiser
  20. ^ "AAA-Fund Makes Politico!". Washington, DC: Asian American Action Fund. 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  21. ^ Schroeder Mullins, Anne (2008-06-11). "Random assortment of stuff". Washington, DC: Politico. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  22. ^ "Kelly Hu for Asian American Action Fund 2008" (Video). Washington, DC: Asian American Action Fund. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  23. ^ "Kelly Hu Lends Star Power To Protect Hawaii's Reefs - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  24. ^ "Reef Check Hawaii - -Home Page". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  25. ^ The Humane Society of the United States (2010-07-01). "Aloha, Shark Fin : The Humane Society of the United States". Retrieved 2012-07-24. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Heather Hays
Miss Hawaii USA
Succeeded by
Nadine Tanega
Preceded by
Malia Yamamura
Miss Hawaii Teen USA
Succeeded by
Michelle Hardin
Media offices
Preceded by
Marcia Strassman and Angela Visser
Miss Teen USA color commentator
(with Leeza Gibbons)

Succeeded by
Leeza Gibbons and Bridgette Wilson
Preceded by
Leeza Gibbons and Bridgette Wilson
Miss Teen USA color commentator
(with Arthel Neville)

Succeeded by
Daisy Fuentes and Jamie Solinger