Image of James Lew

James Lew

1952-09-06 Escalon, California, U.S.

Image of James Lew


Raised in South Central Los Angeles, James Lew's destiny was to answer a cattle call in Hollywood for the hugely popular Kung Fu (1972) television series. He went on to star in the now collectible Hong Kong film, Young Dragon (1976). He made the move to big budget studio films in 1984. John Carpenter handpicked him as the Martial Arts Choreographer for 20th Century Fox's now cult film, Big Trouble in Little China (1986). Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mel Gibson, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Dwayne Johnson, David Carradine, Chuck Norris, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, Madonna, Charlie Sheen, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kathleen Turner, Sylvester Stallone, Brandon Lee, Snoop Dogg and the list goes on and on. James was voted "Favorite Action Star" by fans of Inside Martial Arts magazine. Internet fans voted him into the Hall of Fame in the Martial Arts History Museum. Inside Kung Fu Magazine inducted him as one of the "Martial Arts Greats" alongside legends as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and his longtime friend Jackie Chan. Hit Parader Magazine dubbed him "the king of big-screen martial arts villains." From the deadly killer in Red Sun Rising (1994) to the deadly fighter in the comedy spoof Hot Shots 2 (1993), Lew has proven his chops in both drama and comedy. As a stunt/fight coordinator his creative talents shone in the television series The Crow to recent work on the hit video game, The Matrix: Path of Neo (2005). He handpicked elite members for his company, "Hong Kong Wire Action Team," to bring state of the art action to movies. His formula for longevity in the film industry is diversity, hard work and having a whole lot of fun. Most recently, James Lew wrote, directed and starred in a movie inspired by his personal experiences in the business titled 18 Fingers of Death! (2006). The story follows Buford Lee (James Lew), the most famous unknown "B"-minus, low-budget, martial-arts movie star and Ronald Mack (Maurice Patton), a young black kid from the hood. Together they laugh and bond together on their quest to finally make Buford's break out movie, 18 Fingers of Death! (2006).


Made in Chinatown Lew 2021-05-10
Henchman: The Al Leong Story Himself 2018-12-15
Cucuy: The Boogeyman Beat Cop 2018-10-13
Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine Sinjin 2017-05-08
Black Salt Abbot Xiao 2015-12-31
Frankenstein Hotel Manager 2015-08-29
G.I. Joe: Retaliation Chinese Leader 2013-03-27
The Girl from the Naked Eye Eddie 2012-06-15
Safe Underground Casino Guard (uncredited) 2012-04-16
Mortal Kombat: Rebirth Shang Tsung (uncredited) 2010-06-08
Ballistica Chinese Guard #1 2009-12-18
Angel of Death Tommy 2009-07-07
Star Trek Romulan (uncredited) 2009-05-06
Tropic Thunder Flaming Dragon Compound Person (uncredited) 2008-08-09
Superhero Movie Shaolin Monk (uncredited) 2008-03-27
Rush Hour 3 Triad Assassin (uncredited) 2007-08-08
18 Fingers of Death! Buford Lee 2006-04-11
The Circuit III: Final Flight Spider Webb 2006-10-31
Shira: The Vampire Samurai Xu 2005-01-01
Sin Leo Thamaree 2003-01-01
Outside the Law Cho Sung 2002-06-25
Ultimate Fights from the Movies Knife #1 (Timecop) (archive footage) 2002-04-16
Rush Hour 2 Triad Gangster (uncredited) 2001-08-03
Deep Core Lou Chang 2000-10-21
Fatal Blade James 2000-04-04
Traffic DEA Agent - CalTrans 2000-03-23
Rush Hour Juntao's Man in Los Angeles (uncredited) 1998-09-18
The Replacement Killers Bodyguard 1998-02-06
Lethal Weapon 4 Freighter's Captain 1998-07-10
Boogie Boy Jason 1998-02-12
High Voltage Harry 1997-01-01
Raven: Return of the Black Dragons 1997-04-23
Escape from L.A. Hershe Gang Member 1996-08-09
Assault on Dome 4 Quaid, Windham Henchman 1996-01-01
Robo Warriors Darius 1996-01-01
Balance of Power Shinji Takamura 1996-06-25
Night Hunter Tom Cutter 1996-04-01
For Life or Death Kaan Woo 1996-01-23
Midnight Man Prince Samarki 1995-05-09
Ballistic Woo 1995-02-28
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory Mercenary (uncredited) 1995-07-13
Excessive Force II: Force on Force Lee 1995-08-29
The Shadow Mongol 1994-07-01
On Deadly Ground Mercenary at Aegis 1 (uncredited) 1994-02-18
Red Sun Rising Jaho 1994-09-01
Timecop Knife #1 1994-09-15
Cage II Chin 1994-12-14
Deadly Target Guard #2 (uncredited) 1994-01-01
Showdown Hit Man 1993-09-16
Private Wars Obata 1993-10-13
Hot Shots! Part Deux Kick Boxer Opponent 1993-05-21
Undercover Blues Novacek's Man 1993-09-10
Ulterior Motives Yakuza #5 1993-01-06
American Ninja 5 Viper 1993-01-01
Mission of Justice Akiro 1992-12-02
Rapid Fire Tau's Men at Laundry (uncredited) 1992-08-21
Showdown in Little Tokyo Yoshida's Man (uncredited) 1991-08-23
Martial Law II: Undercover Spencer Hamilton Man (uncredited) 1991-10-01
Do or Die Lew 1991-06-28
The Perfect Weapon Crewcut 1991-03-15
Night of the Warrior Hector Sabatei 1991-06-01
Aftershock Mr. James 1990-10-05
Martial Law Tong Member 1990-10-01
Guns Ninja #1 1990-11-09
Savage Beach Agent #1 1989-10-01
Ninja Academy Ninja Trainer 1989-08-17
Best of the Best Sae Jin Kwon 1989-11-10
勇者無懼 1988-01-01
Action Jackson Martial Arts Instructor 1988-02-12
Big Trouble in Little China Chang Sing #1 1986-05-30
Los Angeles Streetfighter Chan 1985-03-23
Killpoint Nighthawk's Gunman #1 1984-12-03
Young Dragon Shao Lung 1979-08-01
Big Time Karate Instructor 1977-07-31
Enforcer from Death Row Karate Fighter 1976-07-09
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie Guard (uncredited) 1976-02-15