Everything Everywhere Star James Hong Attends His First Oscars Ceremony at 94: 'After 70 Years, I'm Here'

95th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
95th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Arturo Holmes/Getty James Hong

A moment nearly a century in the making: Everything Everywhere All At Once's James Hong attended the Oscars for the very first time at age 94.

"It's a great pleasure to be here, the first time to be at the Academy Awards," Hong said on ABC's On the Red Carpet at the Oscars preshow Sunday. "Here I am, after 70 years, I'm here. Actually, I'm 94!"

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Everything Everywhere All At Once has the most nominations of any movie at the 95th Academy Awards, receiving 11 total nods, include one for the Best Picture category.

Hong, who plays Gong Gong in the sci-fi adventure film, started his acting career in the 1950s.

"It shows if you wait long enough, you'll make it," Hong said on Sunday. "I'm very happy my mother fed me those bitter herbs. It carried me to 94 and 1 month — I've got to count it by month now. This movie, Everything Everywhere All At Once, gave me the chance to be here today."

James hong
James hong

CAROLINE BREHMAN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock James and April Hong

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The Chinese American actor is also hopeful that his first Oscars appearance won't be his last.

"It takes perseverance though all these years to make it," he said. "And through my 500 movies and TV, I'm here. I hope to be here next year and the year after."

"When I'm 100, I'll come back and say hello to everybody," he added.

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It's been an eventful awards season for Hong, who received a standing ovation at the 2023 SAG Awards last month after telling the audience about the first movie he acted in 70 years ago alongside Clark Gable.

"Back in those days, I have to tell you that the leading role was played by these guys with eyes taped up like this and they talk like this, because the producer said the Asians were not good enough and they are not box office," Hong said while accepting the outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture award with his Everything Everywhere castmates.

Then he added, "But look at us now, huh?"

James Hong attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.
James Hong attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California.

Kevin Mazur/Getty James Hong

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Hong's résumé includes nearly 500 TV roles, more than 150 feature films, 30-plus short films and 20-plus video games.

He's appeared in Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, Chinatown and Big Trouble in Little China. Hong has also starred in several animated films, notably voicing Mr. Ping in the Kung Fu Panda series and villain Chi-Fu in Disney's Mulan.

Hong has been married twice: first to Pearl Huang, whom he divorced in 1973 after nearly six years of marriage, and then to current wife Susan Hong, with whom he tied the knot in 1977. He and Susan, 70, share daughter April Hong, 44, who he brought as his date to the 2023 Oscars.

For Sunday's ceremony, Hong complemented his suit with a blue bowtie featuring googly eyes, a nod to Everything Everywhere All At Once.

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The Oscars air live on ABC on Sunday, March 12, at 8 p.m. ET.