Ke Huy Quan, also known as Jonathan Ke Quan, is an American actor and stunt choreographer. As a young actor, Quan played Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Data in The Goonies (1985). Quan also had starring roles in the sitcom Head of the Class (1991) and film Encino Man (1992).
Quan returned to acting in 2021 after an almost 20-year hiatus from his last acting role; his performance as Waymond Wang, a kind and loving husband navigating the multiverse in the critically acclaimed science fiction comedy-drama film Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022), won him many accolades, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Quan is one of two actors of Asian descent to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the other being Haing S. Ngor. Quan also became the first Vietnam-born actor in history to win an Oscar. With his win at the 2023 Screen Actors' Guild Awards, he became the first Asian man to win in the category of supporting actor for film.
Quan became a child actor at age 12, starring as Harrison Ford's sidekick Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The casting director auditioned children at Castelar Elementary School, which also included his younger brother.
In 1985, Quan co-starred in The Goonies as a member of the eponymous group of children, the inventor Richard "Data" Wang. He played a pickpocket orphan in the 1986 Taiwanese movie It Takes a Thief. In 1987, he appeared in the Japanese movie Passengers (Passenjā Sugisarishi Hibi [ja]) with the Japanese idol singer Honda Minako. He played Sam on the short-lived TV series Together We Stand (1986–1987) and played Jasper Kwong in the sitcom Head of the Class from 1990 to 1991.
He starred in the movie Breathing Fire (1991) and had a small role in Encino Man (1992). He played the starring role in the 1993 Mandarin-language TV show The Big Eunuch and the Little Carpenter which ran for forty episodes. He also starred in the 1996 Hong Kong/Vietnam co-production Red Pirate.
Having studied Taekwondo under Philip Tan on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Quan later trained under Tao-liang Tan.
1998–2018: Transition into film production
As an adult, Quan found it difficult to find acting work in the United States. He eventually quit acting and enrolled in the film program at University of Southern California. After graduating from USC, Quan was asked by Corey Yuen to go to Toronto, Ontario, to help choreograph fighting sequences in X-Men (2000). For the next decade, he worked on various productions in Asia and the United States.
He again helped Yuen as a stunt choreographer for The One (2001). Quan worked as assistant director on Wong Kar-wai's 2046 (2004).
2018–present: Return to acting
In 2018, Quan was inspired by the success of Crazy Rich Asians (2018) to return to acting. That same year, Daniels began casting for their film Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022). They struggled to cast an actor in the role of Waymond Wang, a character who would appear in three different incarnations in the film. Co-director Daniel Kwan stumbled upon Quan on Twitter. Two weeks after getting a talent agent, Quan received a call to audition for the film. In January 2020, Quan was announced as a cast member of Everything Everywhere All at Once. The film was released in March 2022 to overwhelming acclaim, with Quan's performance receiving unanimous praise and media attention, eventually leading to him winning a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award for his role. The Screen Actors Guild Award win made him the first Asian man to win any individual category at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, with his win of the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. He was the first Vietnamese-American actor to be nominated in that category.
After landing the role of Waymond Wang, Quan received a supporting role in the Netflix film Finding ʻOhana (2021) in September 2019. Quan approached director Jude Weng after overhearing her describing the film as The Goonies meets Indiana Jones, in both of which Quan had appeared.
In February 2022, it was announced that he had joined the cast of the TV adaptation of American Born Chinese for Disney+.
In September 2022, Quan was announced to have joined the cast for the second season of the Marvel Cinematic Universe series Loki for Disney+.