Jack Soo in 1975.
October 28, 1917
|Died||January 11, 1979 61) (aged|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)|
Jack Soo (October 28, 1917 – January 11, 1979) was a Japanese American actor. He was best known for his role as Detective Nick Yemana on the television sitcom Barney Miller .
An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.
A sitcom, clipping for situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms originated in radio, but today are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form can also include mockumentaries.
Barney Miller is an American sitcom set in a New York City Police Department police station on East 6th St in Greenwich Village. The series was broadcast from January 23, 1975, to May 20, 1982, on ABC. It was created by Danny Arnold and Theodore J. Flicker. Noam Pitlik directed the majority of the episodes.
Soo was born Goro Suzuki on a ship traveling from Japan to the United States in 1917. He lived in Oakland, California, until ordered into internment along with other Japanese Americans during World War II. He was sent to the Topaz War Relocation Center in Utahand fellow internees recalled him as a "camp favorite", an entertainer singing at dances and numerous events.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 425,195 as of 2017, it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. An act to incorporate the city was passed on May 4, 1852, and incorporation was later approved on March 25, 1854, which officially made Oakland a city. Oakland is a charter city.
Soo's career as an entertainer began in earnest at the end of the war, first as a stand-up nightclub performer primarily in the Midwestern United States. He changed his name to Soo after working at a Chinese night club.
A nightclub act is a production, usually of nightclub music or comedy, designed for performance at a nightclub, a type of drinking establishment, by a nightclub performer such as a nightclub singer or nightclub dancer, whose performance may also be referred to as a nightclub act. A scheduled performance, such as a wedding gig, is a club date.
The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the American Midwest, Middle West, or simply the Midwest, is one of four census regions of the United States Census Bureau. It occupies the northern central part of the United States. It was officially named the North Central Region by the Census Bureau until 1984. It is located between the Northeastern United States and the Western United States, with Canada to its north and the Southern United States to its south.
Chinese people are the various individuals or ethnic groups associated with China, usually through ancestry, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship or other affiliation. Han Chinese, the largest ethnic group in China, at about 92% of the population, are often referred to as "Chinese" or "ethnic Chinese" in English, however there are dozens of other related and unrelated ethnic groups in China.
During his years playing the nightclub circuit, he met and became friends with future Barney Miller producer Danny Arnold, who was also a performer at the time.
Danny Arnold was an American producer, writer, comedian, actor and director known for producing Barney Miller, That Girl and Bewitched.
Soo finally earned his big break in 1958 when he was cast in the Broadway musical hit Flower Drum Song in the role of the show M.C. and comedian Frankie Wing ("Gliding through my memoree"). He was working in San Francisco at the Forbidden City, a Chinese nightclub and cabaret, which was portrayed in the musical and movie.[ citation needed ]
Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
Flower Drum Song was the eighth musical by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based on the 1957 novel, The Flower Drum Song, by Chinese-American author C. Y. Lee. It premiered on Broadway in 1958 and was then performed in the West End and on tour. It was adapted for a 1961 musical film.
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
He was offered the chance to go to Broadway on the condition that he change his name to something Chinese, as Flower Drum Song is set in San Francisco's Chinatown. At that time, he adopted the surname that he had used to leave the internment camp at Topaz, "Soo".Soo switched to the Sammy Fong role (Chinatown's "Nathan Detroit") during the run and played the role when the film version (1961) of the musical was made.
A Chinatown is an ethnic enclave of Chinese people located outside mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, most often in an urban setting. Areas known as "Chinatown" exist throughout the world, including Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and Zealandia.
Flower Drum Song is a 1961 film adaptation of the 1958 Broadway musical Flower Drum Song, written by the composer Richard Rodgers and the lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The film and stage play were based on the 1957 novel of the same name by the Chinese American author Chin Yang Lee. It was nominated for five Academy Awards.
Soo was first broadcast across America by Jack Benny on November 27, 1962, as the street-wise talent agent in "Jack Meets Japanese Agent".
In 1964, Soo played a weekly supporting role as Rocky Sin, a poker-playing con artist in Valentine's Day , a comedy television series starring Anthony Franciosa that lasted for one season.During the next decade, he would appear in films such The Green Berets as a colonel of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and the 1967 musical Thoroughly Modern Millie , as well as making guest appearances on TV shows such as Hawaii Five-O , The Odd Couple , and two episodes of M*A*S*H .
Soo joined Motown Records in 1965 as one of their first non-African American artists. During his time there, he recorded a slow ballad version of "For Once in My Life" as the first male singer to do so. The record was never released and was shelved in the Motown archives. The song was soon after made famous by Stevie Wonder.
Soo was cast in his most memorable role in 1975 on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller as the laid-back, but very wry, Detective Nick Yemana, who was responsible for making the dreadful coffee that, in one of the series' running jokes, his fellow detectives had to drink every day.
Soo refused to play roles that were demeaning to Asian Americans and often spoke out against negative ethnic portrayals.
Soo was married to Jan Zdelar, a model. The couple had three children and two grandchildren.
Soo was diagnosed with esophageal cancer during Barney Miller's fifth season (1978–79). The cancer spread quickly, and Soo died on January 11, 1979, at age 61, at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center (now the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center). His last appearance on the show was in the episode entitled "The Vandal," which aired on November 9, 1978.[ citation needed ]
On the show there was a running joke that Soo's character made bad coffee. Therefore, his last known words were when he was being wheeled into an operating room and he joked to Hal Linden, referring to his cancer - 'it must have been the coffee'.
A retrospective episode showing clips of Soo aired at the end of the season, which concluded with the cast members raising their coffee cups in a final farewell toast to him.
|1961||Flower Drum Song||Samuel Adams 'Sammy' Fong|
|1963||Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?||Yoshimi Hiroti|
|1967||Thoroughly Modern Millie||Asian No. 1|
|1968||The Green Berets||Col. Cai|
|1978||Return from Witch Mountain||Mr. Yokomoto|
|1962||The Jack Benny Program||Himself||Episode: Jack Meets a Japanese Agent|
|1964||Valentine's Day||Rockwell 'Rocky' Sin||Main cast (34 episodes)|
|1965||The Wackiest Ship in the Army||Shiru||Episode: Shakedown|
|1966||Summer Fun||Sidney||Episode: Pirates of Flounder Bay|
|1968, 1971||Julia||Tree Man |
Judge Warren wazaku
|Episode: I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas |
Episode: Courting Time
|1969||The Monk||Hip Guy||ABC TV-Movie|
|1970||Hawaii Five-O||Sam Quong||Episode: The One with the Gun|
|1971||The Name of the Game||Sergeant George Kwan||Episode: The Man Who Killed a Ghost|
|The Jimmy Stewart Show||Woodrow Yamada||Episode: Pro Bono Publico |
Episode: Cockadoodle Don't
|1972||The Odd Couple||Chuk Mai Chin||Episode: Oscar's Promotion|
|1972, 1975||M*A*S*H||Charlie Lee |
|Episode: To Market, to Market |
|1973||She Lives!||Dr. Osikawa||ABC TV-Movie|
|1974||Ironside||Joe Lee |
|Episode: Amy Prentiss (1) |
Episode: Amy Prentiss (2)
Episode: The Over-the-Hill Blues
|1974, 1975||Police Story||Tai'ske |
|Episode: The Hunters |
Episode: Year of the Dragon (1)
Episode: Year of the Dragon (2)
|1975||Police Woman||Red Star||Episode: The Bloody Nose|
|1975–1979||Barney Miller||Detective Sergeant Nick Yemana||Main cast (101 episodes), (final appearance)|
|1977||Busting Loose||Hoofat||Episode: House of Noodles|
Hal Linden is an American stage and screen actor, television director and musician.
Abraham Charles Vigoda was an American actor best known for his portrayals of Salvatore Tessio in The Godfather (1972) and Phil Fish in Barney Miller and Fish (1977–1978).
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre is an American anthology series, sponsored by Chrysler Corporation, which ran on NBC from 1963 through 1967. The show was hosted by Bob Hope, but it had a variety of formats, including musical, dramatic, and comedy.
Jacob "Jack" Kruschen was a Canadian character actor who worked primarily in American film, television and radio. Kruschen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dr. Dreyfuss in the 1960 comedy-drama The Apartment.
Barney Martin was an American actor, comedy writer, and New York City Police Department detective. He is best known for playing Morty Seinfeld, father of Jerry, on the sitcom Seinfeld.
James Saburo Shigeta was an American film and television actor. He was also a standards singer, musical theatre and nightclub performer, and recording artist. He was a Sansei, a third-generation American of Japanese ancestry. He was noted for his roles in The Crimson Kimono (1959), Walk Like a Dragon (1960), Flower Drum Song (1961), Bridge to the Sun (1961), Die Hard (1988), and Mulan (1998). In 1960, he won the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Male, along with three other actors.
Maxwell Trowbridge Gail Jr., known as Max Gail, is an American actor who has starred in stage, television, and film roles. He is best known for his role as Detective Stan "Wojo" Wojciehowicz on the sitcom Barney Miller (1975–1982), which earned him two consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominations.
Patricia Joanne "Jenny" O'Hara is an American film, television and stage actress.
Andrew Duggan was an American character actor of both film and television.
Jeff Adachi was the elected Public Defender of San Francisco, a pension reform advocate, and a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco.
The Topaz War Relocation Center, also known as the Central Utah Relocation Center (Topaz) and briefly as the Abraham Relocation Center, was an internment camp which housed Americans of Japanese descent and immigrants who had come to the United States from Japan, called Nikkei. President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, ordering people of Japanese ancestry to be incarcerated in "relocation centers" like Topaz during World War II. Most of the people interred at Topaz came from the Tanforan Assembly Center and previously lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. The camp was opened in September 1942 and closed in October 1945.
"For Once in My Life" is a swing song written by Ron Miller and Orlando Murden for Motown Records' Stein & Van Stock publishing company, and first recorded in 1965.
"I Enjoy Being a Girl" is a show tune from the 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song. It is the showpiece for the character of Linda Low, the lead showgirl. The musical is a comedic love story about growing up Chinese in America, the clash between the traditional values of the old country and the modern ways of America.
The Forbidden City was a Chinese nightclub and cabaret in business from the late 1930s to the late 1950s, on the second floor of 363 Sutter Street in San Francisco between Chinatown and Union Square. The Forbidden City featured Asian American singers, dancers, chorus lines, magicians, strippers, and musicians. It was popular with military personnel who were transiting through San Francisco during World War II. The novel, and in turn the musical and film Flower Drum Song were inspired by the Forbidden City, as was the 1989 documentary, Forbidden City U.S.A.
"Kidney Now!" is the twenty-second episode and season finale of the third season of the American television comedy series 30 Rock, and the 58th overall episode of the series. It was directed by series producer Don Scardino, and written by show producers Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock. The episode originally aired on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) network in the United States on May 14, 2009. Guest stars in this episode include Alan Alda, Kay Cannon, Donald Glover, Napiera Groves, Chris Parnell, Paula Pell, and Sherri Shepherd. In addition, "Kidney Now!" featured many musical guest stars including Clay Aiken, Elvis Costello, Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, the Beastie Boys, Steve Earle, Adam Levine, Sara Bareilles, Wyclef Jean, Norah Jones, Talib Kweli, Michael McDonald, Rhett Miller, Moby, Robert Randolph, Rachael Yamagata and Cyndi Lauper, all as themselves.
Stacy Harris was a Canadian-born actor with hundreds of film and television appearances. His name is often found spelled Stacey Harris.
Alvin Ing is an American singer and actor. His career has included movies, television, musical theatre, and cabaret acts. Ing was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He studied music at the University of Hawaii, and at Columbia University in New York.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jack Soo .|