Tuesday, March 22, 2011
On February 13th, 1968, a girl of Chinese, English, and Hawaiian ancestry was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to Herbert and Juanita Hu. Sixteen years later this girl was standing before a live international television audience of more than 50 million people in Miami, Florida. Her mother had warned her before the pageant, "Now don't get too hurt when you don't win because America's not ready for an Asian Miss Teen USA." Mother's aren't always right, America was ready for Kelly Hu.
Hu was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Juanita, an engineering drafter for Honolulu, and Herbert Hu, a salesman and exotic bird breeder; the two divorced during Hu's childhood. Her brother, Glenn, is a Resource Manager at the United States Army. She is of Hawaiian, Chinese and English descent. She attended Maʻemaʻe Elementary School and Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Hawaii. She graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
Hu has held a lifelong interest in singing and dancing and has also been interested in martial arts since her early childhood, when her older brother would arrange for her to fight neighborhood boys. 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 1985 Miss Teen USA 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, this rule soon changed later on the coming years.
Hu worked in Japan and Italy, the latter in which she became well-known as the star of a series of ads for Philadelphia brand cream cheese, playing a young Japanese college student named Kaori. 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 TV series such as Night Court, Tour of Duty, 21 Jump Street, and Melrose Place and her first movie role in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan as one of Jason Voorhees' victims. Hu also won the title of Miss Hawaii USA in 1993, became the first former Miss Teen USA to win a Miss USA state title, and went on to compete in the 1993 Miss USA pageant held in Wichita, Kansas. She entered the top 10 in second place, after winning the preliminary interview competition and placing second and third in swimsuit and evening gown. Then she 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 two hundredths of a point from the Final 3.
In 1995, Hu played an undercover police officer in the movie No Way Back. She was then cast as Dr. Rae Chang on Sunset Beach for six months in 1997. Afterwards, Hu was cast as police officers Michelle Chan in the television series Nash Bridges (1997–1998), as Pei Pei "Grace" Chen on Martial Law (1998–2000), and as Agent Mia Chen on the last three episodes of the television series Threat Matrix (2004). Her subsequent movie appearances include The Scorpion King (2002), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003) and X2 (2003). 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).
In January 2007, Hu began appearing in a full time role on the TV series In Case of Emergency. She plays Kelly Lee, a Korean American woman who accidentally reunites with her high school classmates, yet realizes none of them grew up according to their high school plans.
During the first quarter of 2007, she completed filming the film Stilletto, and after that, Farmhouse.
In April 2009, Hu developed the character JIA for Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology. In July, she appeared at Comic-Con International in San Diego to sign copies of Secret Identities alongside her collaborator, DC Comics artist Cliff Chiang. In the fall of 2009, she appeared in the film The Tournament as Lai-Lai Zhen. 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 spring of 2010, Kelly Hu played Pearl, a vampire, on the CW television show Vampire Diaries. Pearl was killed in the episode "Blood Brothers".
In fall of 2010, Kelly Hu began a recurring role on the CBS television show Hawaii Five-0.
Personel Life Kelly Hu :
Hu resides in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. She has never been married.
She is an avid fan of poker. She has frequently taken part in competitions such as the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour, for example in the WPT Celebrity Charity on March 3, 2008. She was part of HollywoodPoker.com's "Celebrity Poker Night" (May 30, 2006), and in July 2006 she placed in the top 200 in the World Series of Poker Ladies Tournament, besting nearly 1,000 other competitors.
In January 2008, Hu participated in a video for Barack Obama produced by will.i.am called "Yes We Can". She campaigned for Obama in Hawaii in the run-up to the February 19, 2008 Democratic caucuses. 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.