Actor John Cho was born on June 16, 1972 in Seoul, South Korea. His family migrated to Los Angeles, California when he was six years old. He eventually took an English degree at the University of California–Berkley, where he graduated in 1996. He taught English at a private school in Los Angeles before pursuing an acting career.
Cho began his career as a print model for Korean magazines. He began taking small roles in films and television programs in the early 1990s, eventually making his breakthrough in another small role in the 1999 comedy American Pie, where he popularized the slang term “MILF.” From there, he took roles in other films, such as American Beauty, Bowfinger, Solaris, American Pie 2 and American Wedding. He also took his first regular television role, appearing as Vietnamese resturateur Chau Presley in the comedy series Off Centre. Created by the same people behind American Pie, the series suffered from low ratings and was cancelled in the middle of the second season.
Cho became more popular with his role in the 2004 comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. He played one of the title character: Harold Lee, an emotionally suppressed Asian-American worker who only lets go of his inhibitions in moments of extreme duress. The success of his team-up with Kal Penn, who played his on-screen partner Kumar Patel, led to the release of a second film, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, in 2008. He also took on roles in the short-lived series Kitchen Confidential and the more successful Ugly Betty, where he played street-talking accountant Kenny.
Cho was most recently drafted in to play the role of Hikaru Sulu in the upcoming film Star Trek. Initially, the film’s director, J.J. Abrams, was hesitant to hire a Korean-American like Cho as a Japanese-Filipino character, but actor George Takei, who originated the role in the 1970s series, explained that the character was meant to represent the entire continent on the Enterprise, so the decision pushed through. He also became known for his portrayal on the short-lived series Flashforward, which he followed up by lending his voice to the animated series American Dad! He later reprised his role as Harold Lee on the 2011 film A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas.
In 2012, Cho joined the cast of the NBC series Go On, which stars Matthew Perry.
- He married Kerri Higuchi in 2006. They have a son together.
- He became the lead singer of the Los Angeles-based band Left of Zed, which has since been renamed Viva La Union.
- He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in English-language literature.
- He and his family immigrated to Los Angeles in 1978, when he was just six years old.
- His father is a reverend.
2012: Go On
2011: A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas - Harold Lee
2006-2011: American Dad! (TV series) - Vince Chung
2011: 30 Rock (TV series) - Lorne
2010: Childrens' Hospital (TV series) - Park
2009-2010: FlashForward (TV series) - Demetri Noh
2010: Caller ID - Kama
2010: Backwash (TV series) - Narrator
2009: Saint John of Las Vegas - Smitty
2009: Star Trek - Hikaru Sulu
2008: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - Hype Man
2008: Harold & Kumar Go to Amsterdam (video short) - Harold
2008: Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay - Harold
2007: Ugly Betty (TV series) - Kenny
2007: How I Met Your Mother (TV series) - Jeff Coatsworth
2007: 'Til Death (TV series) - Lucas Bender
2007: West 32nd - John Kim
2007: The Air I Breathe - Banker #3
2007: Smiley Face - Mikey
2007: Up All Night (TV movie)
2007: The Singles Table (TV series) - Ivan Throckmorton
2005-2006: Kitchen Confidential (TV series) - Teddy Wong
2006: Grey's Anatomy (TV series) - Marshall Stone
2006: Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas - Bob
2006: American Dreamz - Ittles
2005: Bam Bam and Celeste - Stephan
2005: House M.D. (TV series) - Harvey Park
2005: Untitled David Diamond/David Weissman Project (TV movie)
2004: In Good Company - Petey
2004: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle - Harold Lee
2004: See This Movie - Larry Finkelstein
2004: The Men's Room (TV series) - Bob
2003: Kim Possible (TV series) - Hirotaka
2003: Western Avenue (short) - Thanh
2003: American Wedding - John
2003: The Division (TV series) - Raymond
2002: Solaris - DBA Emissary #1
2001-2002: Off Centre (TV series) - Chau Presley
2002: Big Fat Liar - Dustin 'Dusty' Wong
2002: Better Luck Tomorrow - Steve Choe
2001: Earth vs. the Spider (TV movie) - Han
2001: American Pie 2 - John
2001: Evolution - Student
2001: Static Shock (TV series) - Navigator/Tantrum/Thomas Kim (voice)
2001: Pavilion of Women - Fengmo Wu
2001: Down to Earth - Phil Quon
2001: Delivering Milo - Mr. Hugo
2000: Among Others (short) - Trung
2000: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas - Parking Valet
2000: Daddio (TV series)
1999: American Beauty - Sale House Man #1
1999: Bowfinger - Nightclub Cleaner
1999: The Magnificent Seven (TV series) - Wo Chin
1999: American Pie - John, 'MILF' Guy #2
1998: Charmed (TV series) - Mark Chao
1998: V.I.P. (TV series) - Flower Delivery Guy
1998: Felicity (TV series) - Larry
1998: Yellow - Joey
1998: The Tiger Woods Story (TV movie) - Jerry Chang
1998: Exchange Value (short)
1997: Wag the Dog - Aide #3
1997: Shopping for Fangs - Clarance
1997: The Jeff Foxworthy Show (TV series) - Pizza Delivery Man
1997: Boston Common (TV series) - Larry