Biography

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).

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).

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 62

Birthday 1952-09-06

Place of Birth Escalon, California, U.S.

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • James Jene Fae Lew

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2018 Henchman: The Al Leong Story as Himself
2018 Made in Chinatown as Lew
2018 Cucuy: The Boogeyman as Beat Cop
2017 Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine as Sinjin
2015 Black Salt as Abbot Xiao
2013 G.I. Joe: Retaliation as Chinese Leader
2012 The Girl from the Naked Eye as Eddie
2009 Angel of Death as Tommy
2008 Tropic Thunder as Flaming Dragon Compound Person (uncredited)
2007 Chuck (1 episode) as Anad Chenerad
2006 The Circuit III: Final Flight as Spider Webb
2005 Shira: The Vampire Samurai as Xu
2004 Entourage (1 episode)
2003 Sin as Leo Thamaree
2002 CSI: Miami (1 episode)
2002 Ultimate Fights from the Movies as Knife #1 (Timecop) (archive footage)
2001 Alias (1 episode)
2000 Deep Core as Lou Chang
2000 Fatal Blade as James
1998 Rush Hour as Juntao's Man in Los Angeles (uncredited)
1998 Boogie Boy as Jason
1997 High Voltage as Harry
1996 Escape from L.A. as Hershe Gang Member
1996 Balance of Power as Shinji Takamura
1996 Night Hunter as Tom Cutter
1996 Robo Warriors as Darius
1995 Excessive Force II: Force on Force as Lee
1995 Midnight Man as Prince Samarki
1994 Cage II: The Arena of Death as Chin
1994 Timecop as Knife #1
1994 Weird Science (1 episode)
1994 Babylon 5 (1 episode) as Bloodhound Teep #1
1993 Private Wars as Obata
1993 Frasier (1 episode) as Security Guard
1993 Showdown as Hit Man
1993 Hot Shots! Part Deux as Kick Boxer Opponent
1993 Walker, Texas Ranger (1 episode)
1993 American Ninja 5 as Viper
1991 Do or Die as Lew
1991 Night of the Warrior as Hector Sabatei
1991 The Perfect Weapon as Crewcut
1990 Guns as Ninja #1
1990 Aftershock as Mr. James
1989 Best of the Best as Sae Jin Kwon
1989 Savage Beach as Agent #1
1989 Family Matters (1 episode)
1989 Nasty Boys (2 episodes) as Fighter / Karate class fighter (uncredited)
1989 Ninja Academy as Ninja Trainer
1988 Roseanne (1 episode)
1988 Zodiac America 2: Evil Destroyer
1987 Beauty and the Beast (1 episode)
1986 Big Trouble in Little China as Chang Sing #1
1985 Growing Pains (1 episode)
1985 L.A. Streetfighters as Chan
1984 Killpoint as Nighthawk's Gunman #1
1982 T. J. Hooker (1 episode)
1977 Big Time as Karate Instructor

Crew

2016 Westworld (1 episode)Stunts
2012 Hijacked Stunt Coordinator
2008 Get Smart Fight Choreographer
1991 Ring of Fire Stunts
1990 Guns Stunt Coordinator

Directing

2018 Made in Chinatown Action Director
2006 18 Fingers of Death! Director

Production

1986 Big Trouble in Little China Producer

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