Ke Huy Quan (Chinese: 關繼威; Vietnamese: Quan Kế Huy; born August 20, 1971), formerly known by his stage name Jonathan Ke Quan, is a Vietnam-born Chinese-American actor and stunt choreographer. He is best known for his film appearances in the 1980s, portraying Data in The Goonies and Indiana Jones’ sidekick Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. He also co-starred as Jasper Kwong in the sitcom Head of the Class over two seasons from 1990 to 1991.
Early Life and Career
Quan was born on August 20, 1971, in Saigon, South Vietnam (present-day Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) to Vietnamese parents of Chinese descent. He was forced to leave his country when the Army of the Republic of Vietnam was defeated during the Fall of Saigon. His family fled Vietnam in 1978 where he, his father and 5 siblings arrived in a refugee camp in Hong Kong, separating from his mother and 3 other siblings who fled to Malaysia. His family was selected for political asylum and emigrated to the United States as refugees in 1979.
Quan attended Mount Gleason Jr. High in Tujunga, California, and Alhambra High School in Alhambra, California. After high school, he graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. He later attended the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom.
Quan became a child actor at age 12, starring as Harrison Ford’s sidekick Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The casting director auditioned children at his elementary school, which also included his brother.
In 1985, Quan co-starred in The Goonies as a member of the eponymous group of children, the inventor Richard “Data” Wang. He played a pickpocket orphan in the 1986 Taiwanese movie It Takes a Thief. In 1987, he appeared in the Japanese movie Passengers (Passenjā Sugisarishi Hibi) with the Japanese idol singer Honda Minako. He played Sam on the short-lived TV series Together We Stand (1986–1987) and played Jasper Kwong in the sitcom Head of the Class from 1990 to 1991. He also starred in the movie Breathing Fire (1991) and had a small role in Encino Man (1992). He played the starring role in the 1993 Mandarin language TV show The Big Eunuch and the Little Carpenter which ran for forty episodes. He also starred in the 1996 Hong Kong/Vietnam co-production Red Pirate. His last screen appearance until 2021 was in the 2002 Hong Kong movie Second Time Around alongside Ekin Cheng and Cecilia Cheung.
Having studied Taekwondo under Philip Tan on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Quan later trained under Tao-liang Tan. He worked as a stunt choreographer for X-Men and The One as the assistant of renowned Hong Kong fight choreographer Corey Yuen.
Dismayed by the lack of acting opportunities for Asian Americans, Quan retired from acting in 2002; however the success of Crazy Rich Asians (2018) inspired him to return to acting. In September 2019, Quan joined the cast for the Netflix film Finding ʻOhana from filmmaker Jude Weng. The film marks Quan’s returning to acting since the release of Second Time Around in 2002. In January 2020, Quan was announced as a cast member of the science fiction film Everything Everywhere All at Once, which he considers his acting comeback as he shot this before Finding ‘Ohana.
In February 2022, it was announced he had joined the cast of the TV adaptation of American Born Chinese for Disney+.
Wife and Personal Life
Ke Huy Quan is currently married. Much is not known about his wife and children.
Quan is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. He is Chinese American of Han Chinese (specifically from the Chinese Hoa minority from Vietnam) descent, and has eight siblings.
Ke Huy Quan’s net worth as of 2022 is estimated at around $1.3 million – $15 million.
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