Jung died on April 24, his close friend and attorney, Timothy Tau, confirmed to Variety. The cause of death has not been disclosed.
Jung kicked off his acting career in 1969 with his role as Ghengis Khan in “The Savage Curtain” episode of “Star Trek: The Original Series.” From there, taking advantage of his tall stature, his television resume exploded with roles on the biggest shows from the 1970s and ’80s. Jung appeared on “M*A*S*H*,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “CHiPs,” “General Hospital,” “Manimal,” “Riptide” and “Hunter.” He also held roles in “Sanford and Son,” in which he played Helen Funai’s cousin, Saburyo, and “Kung Fu,” in which he plaed the Dark Rider. In the ’90s, he had stints on “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “Martial Law” and “Burke’s Law.”
Jung was among the few actors to work alongside both Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon Lee. Opposite Bruce, Jung appeared on a 1969 episode of “Here Comes the Brides.” With Brandon, Jung played a gunman in movie “Rapid Fire” (1992) and the Bonsai Club manager in “Showdown in Little Tokyo” (1991), which featured him speaking a line of Japanese dialogue to Brandon and Dolph Lundgren.
Jung’s filmography also includes “Kentucky Fried Movie,” “Big Trouble in Little China, “Black Rain,” “American Yakuza,” “Beverly Hills Ninja,” “Darkman,” “The Shadow” and “Longshot.” He also played Leslie Nielsen’s right-hand man in the 1993 comedy “Surf Ninjas.” Outside of the blockbuster realm, Jung appeared in independent Asian American films such as Justin Lin’s “Finishing the Game” and Juwan Chung’s “Baby.” In his final role in 2016, Jung reflected on a highlight of his career. He served as the narrator for Tau’s “Nathan Jung v. Bruce Lee,” a documentary short that recounts his crazy and hilarious meeting with Bruce Lee on “Here Comes the Brides.”
Jung is survived by his nephew, Keith Jung.
- November, 29, 1946
- Bakersfield, California
- April, 24, 2021
- Los Angeles, California
Cause of Death
- died from undisclosed causes