Kelly Hu: From Miss Teen USA to Hollywood Star

November 2, 2006
Editor: wocm

Kelly Hu: From Miss Teen USA to Hollywood Star
Kelly Hu[reefcheckhawaii.org]
Kelly Hu was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her ethnic background is a mixture of Chinese, Hawaiian, and English.

She is a former model and Miss Teen USA who starred as the sorceress Cassandra in the action movie The Scorpion King (2002). Hu, of Chinese-American descent, kicked around TV during the late '80s and '90s, guest-starring in shows such as Growing Pains and Melrose Place. In the mid 1990s she was a regular on the series Nash Bridges and then had a leading role in the short-lived 1998 series Martial Law. Her film roles include the nasty kidnapper Sona in Cradle 2 the Grave (2003, with rapper DMX) and the evil henchwoman Lady Deathstrike in the X-Men sequel X2 (2003, with Hugh Jackman).

Hu was named Miss Teen USA of 1985, becoming the first person of Asian descent to hold the title. She also was Miss Hawaii USA of 1993. Wu played the "Philadelphia Cream Cheese Girl" in a series of popular TV ads in Italy.

Hu has had a lifelong interest in singing and dancing. She 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. To gain publicity, she entered the Miss Teen USA contest in 1985. Hu has mentioned in interviews that her mother had told her America was not ready for an Asian as such a prominent role model. [citation needed] However, Hu became the first Asian American to win the title. Ironically enough, she found out after winning that she was prohibited from appearing in non-contest related activities for the year of her reign.

Hu worked in Japan and Italy, the later in which she became well-known as the star of a series of ads for Philadelphia brand cream cheese. Hu moved to Los Angeles and began her acting career in 1987 with a guest starring role on the sitcom Growing Pains. Hu followed this with appearances on 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. Hu also won the title of Miss Hawaii USA in 1993 and was a finalist at the 1993 Miss USA pageant held in Wichita, Kansas.

In 1995, Hu played an undercover police officer in the movie No Way Back. While the movie was not a major success it opened a new career direction for Hu in action adventure roles. [citation needed] 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

Kelly Hu: From Miss Teen USA to Hollywood Star
Kelly Hu in 2002 The Scorpion King [the-scorpion-king.com]
Nash Bridges (1997-1998) and Pei Pei "Grace" Chen on Martial Law (1998-2000). 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 Exile's party.

Hu has been twice featured in Maxim magazine, once in May 2002 and again in May 2005.

Miss Hu, a member of CAUSE USA, an organization which encourages Asian-Americans to participate in the democratic process, was instrumental in creating the innovative PSA The Least Likely. This clip purports to be a promo for a typical fantasy-adventure movie, only to reveal its message at the end. It aired on MTV and other networks with appeal to young people and Asian-Americans.

Hu has never been married. She is currently dating Sr-71 frontman Mitch Allan.

File:
Born: Feb 13, 1968 in Honolulu, Hawaii
Occupation: Actor
Active: '90s-2000s
Major Genres: Action, Adventure
Career Highlights: Cradle 2 the Grave, The Scorpion King, Martial Law, X2 
First Major Screen Credit: No Way Back (1996)

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