Tan Kheng Hua scores new Hollywood role - 7 other Singapore actors with overseas breakthroughs

Actress Tan Kheng Hua has landed a role in the pilot of the reboot of 1970s martial arts drama serial Kung Fu from American TV network The CW. PHOTO: TAN KHENG HUA/INSTAGRAM

SINGAPORE - It is always a moment of pride when you see a familiar face from Singaporean television making an appearance in Hollywood shows.

Actress Tan Kheng Hua, 57, who acted in blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians (2018), has gone on to score appearances in Netflix show Medical Police, crime series Magnum P.I. and medical drama Grey's Anatomy.

Last week, she announced that she has landed a role in the pilot of the reboot of 1970s martial arts drama serial Kung Fu from American TV network The CW.

The Straits Times look at Singapore actors whose work have made our little red dot more visible to the world.

1. Ng Chin Han


Ng first caught the eye of Singapore viewers when he starred in Masters Of The Sea (1994-1995), the first full-length English-language drama series filmed in Singapore.

The series met with mixed reviews but Ng has since gone on to carve out a career in Hollywood.

The 50-year-old Los Angeles-based actor has some impressive A-list films under his belt.

He has done noteworthy performances in The Dark Knight (2008), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Independence Day: Resurgence (2016). The Dark Knight, particularly, was a box-office success.

In his most recent role, Ng starred alongside Dwayne Johnson in Skyscraper (2018), in which he played the part of a wealthy Chinese entrepreneur and financier.

Ng has also ventured into American television, playing small roles in shows such as Marco Polo (2014-2016) and The Spoils Before Dying (2015).

2. Pierre Png


You might recognise him from the 2018 blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, which caused quite a stir as Hollywood's first movie with an all-Asian cast.

Png, 46, played the meaty role of Michael Teo, the ego-bruised husband of Astrid Leong played by Gemma Chan.

Prior to his hollywood breakthrough, though, the 46-year-old had acted in many Singaporean films and television shows. He is perhaps best known for playing Phua Chua Kang's brother, Anthony, in Channel 5 sitcom Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd (1997 to 2007).

His other work includes The Little Nonya (2008) and being the lead in 2018 Singaporean-Thai action series Missing.

3. Julia Nickson


The 61-year-old Singaporean-American actress is perhaps best known for her role as Agent Co Phuong Bao in Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), an American action film.

She has also delved into genres like horror (Amityville: A New Generation, 1993), action (K2, 1991) and even comedy (Dim Sum Funeral, 2008).

4. Pan Ling Ling


Pan, 49, was the first Singaporean actress to act in a Jackie Chan film (1993 Hong Kong action movie Crime Story), in which she played the role of a psychiatrist.

Her recent roles include playing Zhong Ling in the Channel 8 romance-drama Reach For The Sky (2018).

5. Fann Wong


Pan Ling Ling is not the only Singaporean who has acted in Jackie Chan's movies.

Wong , 49, followed in her footsteps and played Chon Li, Jackie Chan's sister in action movie Shanghai Knights (2003).

Even before her Hollywood venture, though, her work had traversed Singaporean boundaries - for example, she was the lead in The Truth about Jane and Sam (1999), a romance film produced in Hong Kong.

6. Michelle Saram


Saram, 45, one of the main actors in Channel 8's Love at 0°C (2006), has also worked in several foreign films and television series.

Her cameo in the Hong Kong-produced movie Paradox (2017) came after a decade-long break from the big screen.Starring Hong Kong actor Louis Koo, the action movie earned three Hong Kong film awards and two Asian film awards.

Saram has also acted in several Hong Kong and Taiwanese dramas, such as A Step into the Past (2001) and Meteor Garden II (2002).

7. Lim Kay Tong


The 65-year-old actor who portrayed Lee Kuan Yew in the 2015 Singaporean historical thriller 1965 also has much experience working in Hollywood.

His prominent films include British-American comedy Shanghai Surprise (1986) and American comedy It Could Happen To You (1994).

He has also starred in several locally-produced films, such as Mee Pok Man (1995), Army Daze (1996) and OneLeg Kicking(2001).

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