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Dustin Nguyen

Dustin Nguyen

Vietnamese actor
Dustin Nguyen
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Vietnamese actor
Is Actor Television actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 17 September 1962, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Age 58 years
Star sign Virgo
Spouse: Angela Rockwood
The details


Dustin Nguyen (born September 17, 1962) is a Vietnamese-American actor, director, writer, and martial artist. He is best known for his roles as Harry Truman Ioki on 21 Jump Street and as Johnny Loh on V.I.P. In Films, he's known for starring in Little Fish, The Doom Generation and The Rebel.

Early life

Born as Nguyễn Xuân Trí in Saigon, South Vietnam, his mother My Le, was an actress and dancer, and his father, Xuan Phat, was an actor, comedian, writer, and producer in South Vietnam. The family left Vietnam in April 1975 as it fell to Communist Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army forces.

They arrived in Guam, then the family was moved to a refugee camp in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, and finally with the assistance of a Methodist church they relocated to Des Peres, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. After Nguyen graduated from Garden Grove High School in Garden Grove, CA, he attended Orange Coast College and majored in communications. Nguyen practices several martial arts including Muay Thai, Tae Kwon Do, Eskrima, and Jeet Kune Do.

Personal life

After a car accident on September 3, 2001 late at night on California's Interstate 5 Highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles that left his wife, Angela Rockwood-Nguyen, a quadriplegic, Nguyen and his wife became active in The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center. That accident also claimed the life of Vietnamese-American actress Thuy Trang, a member of the original cast of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He separated from his wife in 2011.

Dustin Nguyen is based in Vietnam full time. In 2011, he married Vietnamese actress-model Bebe Pham with whom he has two children.


He made his acting debut on Magnum, P.I., portraying a Cambodian freedom fighter in the episode "Crouching." He was a cast member on both 21 Jump Street and V.I.P., and has guest-starred on a number of other series, including General Hospital, Highlander, and most notably seaQuest DSV, playing the role of Chief William Shan. Moreover, he played a cameo role in Charlie's Angels. Nguyen also auditioned for the role of Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat, but lost out to Robin Shou. In 1993 he played a Vietnamese man sent off to fight with the Viet Cong, in the film Heaven & Earth. In 2005, Nguyen starred as a former heroin addict opposite Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett in the critically acclaimed Little Fish. He starred in the 2007 films The Rebel and Saigon Eclipse. In 2008 he starred in the Vietnamese martial art film Huyen Thoai Bat Tu (The Legend Is Alive, The Immortal Legend) where he plays a mentally disabled martial artist. Nguyen screened in 2009 the Thriller The Gauntlet under the Direction from Matt Eskandari and stars alongside Chinese actress star Bai Ling. He has made a small cameo in 22 Jump Street as Vietnamese Jesus as an Easter egg to his own participation as a main cast member in the original 21 Jump Street series.

Nguyen continues to act and make films in Vietnam full-time. He made his feature directorial debut in the Vietnamese fantasy film Once Upon a Time in Vietnam, which he also starred in. He recently starred in the Vietnamese film Gentle that premiered at the 2015 Busan International Film Festival where he received strong reception for his performance.

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Sunset Strip Chinese Youth
1991 Earth Angel Peter
1992 Rapid Fire Paul Yang
1993 No Escape, No Return Tommy Cuff
1993 Heaven & Earth Sau
1994 3 Ninjas Kick Back Glam
1994 Vanishing Son II Hung
1994 Vanishing Son IV Hung
1995 Virtuosity Suburban Reporter
1995 The Doom Generation Quickiemart Clerk
1998 Hundred Percent Isaac
2003 The Break
2005 Little Fish Jonny
2007 Finishing the Game: The Search for a New Bruce Lee Troy Poon
2007 Saigon Eclipse Kim
2007 The Rebel Sy
2009 The Legend Is Alive
2010 Fool for Love (vi) Dung
2010 Floating Lives Vo
2011 The Gauntlet Jin-Soo
2011 Popular Dysfunctions Comandante Chitt
2013 Once Upon a Time in Vietnam Dao Director/Actor
2014 22 Jump Street Vietnamese Jesus/Harry Truman Ioki Cameo
2015 The Man with the Iron Fists 2 Li Kung Actor
2015 Jackpot Tu Nghia Director
2015 Zero Tolerance Johnny Actor
2015 Gentle Thien Actor
2016 I'll Wait Director


Year Title Role Notes
1983 General Hospital Suki
1985 Magnum, P.I. Joe
1986 The A-Team Bobby
1987 Shell Game Doug
1987–90 21 Jump Street Officer Harry Truman Ioki
1989 Danger Bay Duk Chin
1992 The Commish
1992 Street Justice
1992 Highlander Chou Lin
1993 Murder, She Wrote David Kuan
1993 Highlander Jimmy Sang
1993 SeaQuest DSV Chief William Shan
1994–96 Phantom 2040 Tranh
1995 Vanishing Son Hung
1995 VR.5 Ky Buchanan
1995 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Lo Gee
1997 Die Gang Marc Wiessner
1998 - 2002 V.I.P. Johnny Loh
2003 JAG Lt. Bao Hien
2009 The Unit Transit Officer
2012 The Amazing Race Vietnam himself TV host


  • The Amazing Race Vietnam (2012-ongoing) - Himself
  • 2007 AZN Asian Excellence Awards (2007) - Himself
  • "E! True Hollywood Story" - Himself (1 episode, 2004)
  • "Howard Stern" - Himself (4 episodes, 1999)
  • "The Howard Stern Radio Show" - Himself (2 episodes, 1999)
  • "Intimate Portrait" - Himself (1 episode)

In production

  • CinemAbility (2011) (filming) - Himself
  • The Slanted Screen (2006) - Himself


In March 2009, he won the Vietnamese Cánh Diều Vàng (Golden Kite Award) for best actor, for his starring role in the Phuoc Sang Films vehicle Huyền Thoại Bất Tử (The Legend Is Alive). For the same role, that year he won a Golden Lotus Award (Vietnam's Oscar) for Best Actor. And also China's Golden Rooster Award for Best International Actor at China's Golden Rooster and Thousand Flowers International Film Festival 2009.

In 2015, at the Milan International Film Festival, Dustin won the Leonardo diVinci Golden Horse Award for Best Supporting Actor in the Vietnamese film GENTLE; an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's A GENTLE CREATURE."

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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