On This Gay Day: Actor B.D. Wong was born in San Francisco

Actor B.D. Wong celebrates his 61st birthday

B.D. Wong is best known for playing Dr George Huang for nine seasons of long running cop show Law and Order SVU, but he’s also an acclaimed stage actor who has an enviable list of awards.

Wong first came to prominence in 1988 with his Broadway debut in David Henry Hwang’s play M.Butterfly. Acting opposite John Lithgow he received a mountain of praise and won a swag of awards including the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award and the The Theatre World Award – he’s the actor to win all the major theatre awards for the same role.

M.Butterfly, which entwines the story of opera Madam Butterfly tells the story of René Gallimard a French diplomat who falls in love with Chinese opera performer Song Liling. He does not at first realise that women are not permitted to perform in China and the object of his affections is male.

Born Brad Darryl Wong, he was raised in San Francisco and studied acting at San Francisco State University.

Wong would go on to appears in a range of films including The Freshman, Father of the Bride I & II, Seven Years in Tibet and several of the Jurassic Park films. He was a memeber of the cast of prison drama Oz playing Father Ray Maukada.  He decided to step down from his long running role on Law and Order in order to join a new TV series Awake which starred Jason Issacs, sadly the show did not connect with viewers and it was only on screens for a single season.

Throughout his career Wong has appeared in many queer themed productions including the 1993 film And the Band Played On, and Ryan Murphy’s production of The Normal Heart. Both films centre on the AIDS crisis.  The actor’s recent work includes appearances on Mr Robot, American Horror Story, Gotham, Madam Secretary and Nurse Jackie.     

In 1988 Wong began a long term relationship with talent agent Richie Jackson. In 2000 the couple faced a tragedy when one of their twin sons, who was born via a surrogate, died just 90 minutes after birth. Wong shared the experience in a book he wrote Following Foo: The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man.

The couple’s relationship ended in 2004 but they continue to co-parent their surviving son Jackson Foo Wong. Jackson married theatre producer Jordan Roth, In 2018 Wong married his partner Richert John Frederickson Schorr. When he was 15 their son Jackson came out as gay. When he’s not acting B.D. Wong donates a lot of his time to LGBTI charities and causes.

ANOHNI was born on this day too

Musician ANOHNI was born on this day in 1971. ANOHNI was born in England, when she was ten years old her family moved to San Francisco.

She first came to prominence as the lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons, the band released several highly acclaimed albums and won the Mercury Music Prize in 2005 for their second album I Am A Bird Now.

The singer has gone to have a successful solo career, and became a prominent campaigner for transgender rights, and has also been a supporter of the Martu people of Parnngurr in Western Australia and their campaign to stop a Uranium mine being established on their transitional lands.

OIP Staff

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