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Kelly Hu
Kelly Hu.jpg
Hu in 2016
Kelly Ann Hu

(1968-02-13) February 13, 1968 (age 55)
  • Actress
  • model
Years active 1987–present

Kelly Ann Hu (born February 13, 1968 Chinese: 胡凱麗; pinyin: Hú Kǎilì) is an American actress, voice artist, former fashion model and beauty queen who was Miss Teen USA 1985 and Miss Hawaii USA 1993. Hu starred as Dr. Rae Chang on the American television soap opera Sunset Beach and as Michelle Chan on the American television police drama series Nash Bridges. She has starred in numerous films including The Scorpion King (2002) as Cassandra, Cradle 2 the Grave (2003) as Sona, X2 as Yuriko Oyama / Lady Deathstrike (2003), The Tournament (2009) as Lai Lai Zhen, and White Frog (2012).

Hu has had recurring roles as Pearl on The CW series The Vampire Diaries, as China White on the CW series Arrow, Hamato Miwa / Karai on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and as Adira in Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure.

Early life

Hu was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Juanita Perez, an engineering drafter from Honolulu, and Herbert Hu, a salesman and exotic bird breeder. Her parents divorced during Hu's childhood. Her brother, Glenn, is a Resource Manager in the United States Army. She is of Chinese, English, and Hawaiian descent. She attended Maʻemaʻe Elementary School and Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Hu has held a lifelong interest in singing and dancing and has also been interested in martial arts since her early childhood. Hu's cousin was a successful model in Japan, and Hu decided to follow her example. Kelly Hu won the title of Miss Hawaii Teen USA and competed in the Miss Teen USA 1985 pageant, becoming the Miss Teen USA pageant's third titleholder in history and its first Asian American winner. Hu has mentioned in interviews that her mother had told her America was not ready for an Asian as such a prominent role model. She discovered after winning that she was prohibited from appearing in non-contest related activities for the year of her reign, though this rule was changed in later years.


Hu as Miss Hawaii Teen USA 1985

Hu modeled in Japan and Italy, and became well known in the latter as the star of a series of television advertisements for Philadelphia brand cream cheese, playing a young Japanese college student named Kaori.

Hu won the title of Miss Hawaii USA in 1993, becoming the first former Miss Teen USA to win a Miss USA state title. In the 1993 Miss USA pageant, held in Wichita, Kansas, Hu entered the top ten in second place, after winning the preliminary interview competition and placing second and third, respectively, in swimsuit and evening gown. She then made the top six, ranked second, winning the top ten evening gown competition and placing second in swimsuit. She was eliminated in fourth place after the judges' questions, just 2/100 of a point from the final three.

Hu moved to Los Angeles and began her acting career in 1987, with a guest starring role as Mike Seaver's Hawaiian love interest on the sitcom Growing Pains. Hu followed this with appearances on various television series, including Night Court, Tour of Duty, 21 Jump Street and Melrose Place. Her first film role was in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. In 1995, Hu starred as an undercover police officer in the film No Way Back. Hu was cast as Dr. Rae Chang on Sunset Beach for six months in 1997. Afterwards, she was cast as police officers Michelle Chan in the television series Nash Bridges, and Pei Pei "Grace" Chen on Martial Law. Her subsequent film appearances include The Scorpion King (2002) and Cradle 2 the Grave (2003). In X2 (2003), she appeared as Yuriko Oyama/Deathstrike, William Stryker's controlled partner.

She was Agent Mia Chen on the last three episodes of the television series Threat Matrix in 2004. She also starred in 2005's Underclassman alongside Nick Cannon and in 2006's Americanese, Undoing and Devil's Den. During the first quarter of 2007, she completed filming the film Stilletto, followed by Farmhouse.

In January 2007, Hu began appearing in a full-time role on the television series In Case of Emergency. She played Kelly Lee, a Korean American woman who accidentally reunites with her high school classmates and realizes none of them grew up according to their high school plans. The show did not have a successful run, being cancelled after airing 12 episodes and leaving its season finale un-aired. The same year she appeared in films, The Air I Breathe and Shanghai Kiss.

In 2009, she appeared in the film The Tournament as Lai-Lai Zhen. In April 2009, Hu developed the character JIA for Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology. She was the first guest actor to cross over between the television series, NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS, playing Lee Wuan Kai in a two-episode arc within both series. In 2010 and 2011, Hu guest-starred as a vampire named Pearl on the CW television series, The Vampire Diaries.

In 2010, Hu began a recurring role on the CBS television series Hawaii Five-0. In 2012, Hu was cast in the role of Karai in the animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She commented: "It wouldn't quite be the first time I played a ninja, I think. Yeah, I don't know why people think I'm dangerous, but for some reason, I keep getting these roles for the ninja, assassin, bodyguard, bad-girl type." In 2013, she joined the cast of the series Warehouse 13 as Abigail Cho, the new owner of the Warehouse-connected B&B.

She also provided voice talents in video games including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords as Visas Marr, the Sith woman who joins the Jedi Exile's party, and Batman: Arkham Origins as Lady Shiva, among the eight assassins hired by Black Mask to kill Batman (a role she reprised in the 2021 animated film Batman: Soul of the Dragon). In a personal first, she lent both her face and voice to the in-game character Khai Minh Dao in Battlefield Hardline, who partnered alongside the protagonist in roughly half of the game levels.

Hu has been featured twice in Maxim magazine (May 2002 and May 2005).

Personal life

Hu is an avid poker fan and has frequently taken part in competitions such as the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour, including the WPT Celebrity Charity match on March 3, 2008. She was part of's "Celebrity Poker Night" on May 30, 2006, and in July 2006 placed in the top 200 in the World Series of Poker Ladies Tournament, besting nearly 1,000 other competitors.

Hu has been in three relationships. She dated Ahmad Ali Moussaui for two years (1996-98). Hu later dated Gordon Gilbertson for about 12 months. From 2010-16, Hu's partner was music producer Mitch Allen.


Kelly Hu on April 10, 2013 (by May S.Young)
Hu in April 2013

Hu has supported the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment and in 2004 starred in a public service announcement for them titled "The Least Likely" to encourage young Asian Americans to register and vote.

In 2007, Hu was a driver in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race a national fund-raising program supporting children's hospitals throughout the United States. In April 2011, Hu was a celebrity host for Save the Children's "Caring for Japan's Keiki" a benefit for Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. Also in 2011 she hosted a Celebrity Poker Tournament in support for Best Buddies International, a charity to which she has given support for several years.

In January 2008, Hu participated in a video for Barack Obama produced by called "Yes We Can". She campaigned for Obama in Hawaii in the run-up to the February 19, 2008, Democratic caucuses. In February 2008, Hu also appeared in another viral video in support of Obama, "Sí Se Puede Cambiar", written and performed by Andrés Useche, directed by Eric Byler. She was the emcee of the Asian American Action Fund's annual fundraiser on June 10, 2008. She was present at the DNC national convention in 2008.

Hu has been active to protect the Hawaiian ecology. She supported Reef Check Hawaii by running in and successfully completing the Honolulu Marathon to raise awareness for the organization. She also gave support to the Shark Fin Ban which took effect in Hawaii July 2010. This made it illegal to possess, sell, or distribute shark fins in Hawaii.



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan Eva Watanabe
1991 Doors, TheThe Doors Dorothy
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man Suzie
1993 Surf Ninjas Ro-May
1995 No Way Back Seiko Kobayashi
Strange Days Anchor Woman
1997 Fakin' da Funk Kwee-Me
2002 Scorpion King, TheThe Scorpion King Cassandra
2003 Cradle 2 the Grave Sona
X2 Yuriko Oyama / Lady Deathstrike
2005 Underclassman Lisa Brooks
2006 Americanese Brenda Nishitani
Undoing Vera
Devil's Den Caitlin
2007 Shanghai Kiss Micki Yang Direct-to-video
Succubus: Hell-Bent Detective Pei Direct-to-video
Air I Breathe, TheThe Air I Breathe Jiyoung
2008 Stiletto Detective Hanover
Dead Space: Downfall Shen (voice) Direct-to-video
Farm House Lilith
Dim Sum Funeral Cindy
2009 Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword Miyumi / Miss Mirimoto (voice) Direct-to-video
Tournament, TheThe Tournament Lai Lai Zhen Direct-to-video
2010 Batman: Under the Red Hood Ms. Li (voice) Direct-to-video
2011 What Women Want Girl In Lotto Commercial
Almost Perfect Vanessa Lee
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights Laira (voice) Direct-to-video
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension Stacy Hirano (voice) Television film
2012 White Frog May Chung
2013 Haumana, TheThe Haumana Linda
They Die by Dawn Polly Bemis
2014 Age of Tomorrow Dr. Gordon
Death Valley Greenstreet
2016 Beyond the Game Unknown
Finding Kukan Voice of Li Ling-Ai as A Young Woman Documentary
Kepler's Dream Irene
2017 Maximum Impact Kate
2018 F.R.E.D.I. Dr. Andi Palmer
2019 Go Back to China May Li
2020 Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe Stacy Hirano (voice)
2021 Batman: Soul of the Dragon Lady Shiva (voice) Direct-to-video
Finding 'Ohana Leilani
2022 Catwoman: Hunted Cheshire (voice) Direct-to-video


Year Title Role Notes
1987–1988 Growing Pains Melia 3 episodes
1988 Night Court Krista 2 episodes
1989 Tour of Duty Vietnamese DJ Episode: "Saigon: Part 2"
1989 21 Jump Street Kim Van Luy Episode: "The Dragon and the Angel"
1990 CBS Schoolbreak Special Emily Episode: "American Eyes"
1993 Raven Pele Episode: "Heat"
1994 L.A.X. 2194 Baggage Handler Television movie
1994 Burke's Law Dawn Episode: "Who Killed the Beauty Queen?"
1994 Melrose Place Andrea Episode: "Parting Glances"
1994 Renegade Kathy Maruyama Episode: "Black Wind"
1995 Maybe This Time Jennifer Episode: "Please Re-Lease Me"
1996 Star Command Ens. Yukiko Fujisaki Television film
1996 Murder One Natalie Cheng 2 episodes
1996 Sentinel, TheThe Sentinel Christine Episode: "Cypher"
1996 One West Waikiki Dr. Midori Episode: "Battle of the Titans"
1996 Pacific Blue Wendy Trang Episode: "The Enemy Within"
1996 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Ms. Jones Episode: "The Second Episode"
1997 Sunset Beach Rae Chang Role held: January 7 – June 5, 1997
1997–1998 Nash Bridges Inspector Michelle Chan Main cast (seasons 3–4); 14 episodes
1998 Malcolm & Eddie Wendy Episode: "Car Trouble"
1998–2000 Martial Law Grace 'Pei-Pei' Chen Main cast; 44 episodes
2003 Boomtown Rachel Durrel 2 episodes
2004 Dark Shadows Dr. Julia Hoffman Unaired TV pilot
2004 Threat Matrix Agent Mia Chen 3 episodes
2004 Librarian: Quest for the Spear, TheThe Librarian: Quest for the Spear Lana Television film
2005–2006 CSI: NY Detective Kaile Maka 4 episodes
2005–2008 Robot Chicken Various Voices 5 episodes
2005 Mayday Sharon Crandall Television film
2006 Las Vegas Natalie Ko Episode: "Died in Plain Sight"
2007 In Case of Emergency Kelly Lee Main cast; 13 episodes
2007 Afro Samurai Okiku (voice) English dub; episode: "The Dream Reader"
2007–2015 Phineas and Ferb Stacy Hirano (voice) 80 episodes
2008–2009 Army Wives Major Jordana Davis 4 episodes
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Kelly Sun Episode: "Smut"
2009 Numbers Alice Chen Episode: "Trouble in Chinatown"
2009 Spectacular Spider-Man, TheThe Spectacular Spider-Man Sha Shan Nguyen 5 episodes
2009 In Plain Sight Jane Kwan / Ahn Li Episode: "Let's Get It Ahn"
2009 NCIS: Los Angeles Lee Wuan Kai Episode: "Killshot"
2009 NCIS Lee Wuan Kai Episode: "Endgame"
2010–2011 Vampire Diaries, TheThe Vampire Diaries Pearl Zhu 8 episodes
2010–2011 Hawaii Five-0 Laura Hills 3 episodes
2011–2021 Young Justice Cheshire / Paula Crock / Lian Nguyen-Harper (voice) 17 episodes
2011 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Angie Salinger Episode: "Bittersweet"
2012 Fairly Legal Lydia Episode: "Shine a Light"
2012 Breakout Kings Kendra Park Episode: "SEALd Fate"
2012–2019 Arrow China White / Chien Na Wei 13 episodes
2013 Castle Scarlet Jones Episode: "Death Gone Crazy"
2013 Hell's Kitchen Herself Guest diner; Episode: "8 Chefs Compete
2012–2017 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Karai / Hamato Miwa (voice) Recurring role
2013–2014 Warehouse 13 Abigail Cho 6 episodes
2014 100, TheThe 100 Callie 'Cece' Cartwig Main role (season 1)
Episode: "Pilot"
2014 High School Possession Denise Brady Television film
2015 Being Mary Jane Unknown Episode: "Some Things Are Black and White"
2017 Gap Year Vanessa Episode: "Nepal: The End"
2017-2022 The Orville Union Admiral Ozawa 8 episodes
2017 NCIS: New Orleans Dr. Anna Yoon Episode: "The Accident"
2018-2020 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Adira Supporting role (7 episodes)
2018 Christmas Wonderland Julia Television film
2020 L.A.'s Finest Angela Turner 3 episodes
2021 List of a Lifetime Brenda Lee TV film
2022 The Legend of Vox Machina Dr. Anna Ripley (voice) 7 episodes

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords Visas Marr Voice
2006 X-Men: The Official Game Lady Deathstrike Likeness only
2008 Fracture Mariko Voice
2008 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Suki Toyama Voice
2009 Afro Samurai Okiku, Osachi Voice
2009 Ninja Blade Ryoko Kurokawa Voice
2009 Terminator Salvation Wells Voice
2012 Sleeping Dogs Inspector Jane Teng Voice
2013 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Karai Voice
2013 Batman: Arkham Origins Lady Shiva Voice
2013 Young Justice: Legacy Cheshire Voice
2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze Karai Voice
2015 Battlefield Hardline Khai Minh Dao Voice and mo-cap
2015 Infinite Crisis Katana Voice
2015 Mortal Kombat X D'Vorah / Sindel / Frost Voice
2019 Mortal Kombat 11 D'Vorah Voice
2021 Guild Wars 2 Captain Mai Trin, Soo-Won Voice
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