NEW: June 2000

This is where you can learn about the talented actors who breathed life into the characters of The Last Dragon. Learn their real life stories, what they have been doing since The Last Dragon.


The Cast of The Last Dragon


Fact File: Taimak Born June 27, 1964, Los Angeles, CA

Taimak stars as Leroy Green (better known as "the legendary Bruce LEE-Roy") a New York City karate student/instructor who had lived in Italy between the ages of seven and twelve, and was without acting experience when he auditioned along with other hopeful young men, all with martial arts background, for the role.

Taimak, who was nineteen years old, was chosen because, in addition to his expertise in karate, he could read lines, take direction, look good, move well and because he had personal qualities that the producers and director found attractive, namely "a wonderful attitude." The attitude shows on the screen, say those close to the production; in fact, radiates from a personality that the producers felt was born for motion pictures.

"My Interest in martial arts began at the age of four while watching Kato on television in 'The Green Hornet'"
-Taimak

Taimak was born June 27, 1964 in Los Angeles, California and his name comes from that of "a little kid my father took care of, Taimak Johnson." boy seemed to be rootless, and, "My father -- at about my age now -- cleaned and fed the boy. After he moved to California he never saw the kid again, but the boy grew up to become a judo star -- Taimak Johnson."

Taimak, who celebrated his 20th birthday during the final week of production of "Berry Gordy's THE LAST DRAGON," has been studying martial arts since the age of 14 with his mentor, master and friend, Ron Van Clief, who worked with Taimak closely during the production of the film in helping plan and chart the actor's martial arts moves in sequences that called for them. At the time of the film he held a 3rd degree black belt and hoped that in about two years with hard work, he may get a 4th degree belt.

"I think I probably will be eventually -- either going to college, working with my father selling leather accessories and other clothing goods -- or teaching karate-kung fu. As a teacher, I would teach Kyoshi's style, Chinese Goju"
-Taimak


He explained at the time that a 5th degree belt is an honor and that a 10th designates one a master. Taimak is also a kick-box champion, a combination of western-style boxing and karate. He went to high school in New York City at Brandeis High School, where he was captain of the fencing team and a member of the school's wrestling team.

His athletic ability derives, he believes, from both sides of his family and was encouraged and developed by a friend of the family and Taimak's boxing trainer at the Times Square Boxing Gym.

Taimak sadly only appeared in a couple of films after The Last Dragon, the most recent being "Nikita's Blues" in 1999.



Fact File: Denise Katrina Smith (Vanity) Born January 06, 1959, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

The role of Laura Charles, high priestess of music video-disco jockeys, whose domain is the night club/TV studio Seventh Heaven, is played by Vanity, in her first screen role.

Described in Louis Venosta's screenplay, Laura Charles is "a gorgeously sexy beauty with a sultry ocean breeze for a voice and a drop dead presence on stage, a fresh, lovely young woman." These words were not written explicitly with Vanity in mind but very well could have been!

Vanity was an ex girlfriend of Prince and at the time had just signed to Motown as a solo recording artist and whose first album was being cut and produced for the company as she began her role. Her one previous album, made with a different label, was called "Vanity 6" after the name of the group of which she was a member.

"Moving from city to city [when growing up] was no particular trauma to me, unless you call cartons of milk and David's cookies for dinner a trauma. But, no, I've been used to moving all my life. I come from a family of kids who were shunted about, between my father and my stepmother, and my real mother, and my grandparents who lived on a farm. I used to drive a tractor. I grew up feeding ducks, and chickens, and pigs, and horses. I had 17 dogs. I may not have been the farmer's daughter, but granddaughter, yes"

-Vanity


"Vanity 6," composed of two other women and herself, was a Minneapolis-based group, part of the musical "family" of rock star Prince. As a Prince-linked musical ensemble, "Vanity 6" shared tours with Prince. A number of songs on her new album were written or co-written by Vanity, as was "Seventh Heaven" from the soundtrack, which se performs herself during the movie.

Vanity was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada where she sang in church choirs. Her early ambition was to be not a singer or actress but a lawyer. Fate intervened, however, and she became first a model, then a singer, songwriter, performer, and then actress.

She left home at the age of 15 and went first to Toronto, then to Montreal. At the age of 18 she moved to New York City where she signed with the Zoli Model Agency.

Asked when she began to realize that she could make it professionally as a singer, she replied, in her Last Dragon dressing room, "Last week?" And as a songwriter? "The week before." And who encouraged her in her profession? "Little King Kong," she smiled. "And Jamie Schoop, my manager"

Asked at the time whether she had any long-range or short-range marriage plans she replied: "Medium-range. Yes, I'd like to get married someday, but first you have to find the time for marriage. Not to mention the guy. Right now both that kind of time and that kind of man are in hiding."

She earlier had spent six months as a model in Japan, an experience she found "New, strange, very exciting. She has never had any formal acting training, although the camera operator of The Last Dragon, Peter Salim, said of her, "I knew the first day, the first time I looked at her through the camera, that she could make it sit up and take notice, and make it keep noticing. The lady has instinct, presence, ability. All she needs is someone to bring it out; in other words, direction.

After The Last Dragon she appeared in a number of movies, notably "Action Jackson" and did a number of appearances on TV shows like "Miami Vice" and later (in the 90's) "Silk Stalkings" and "Highlander". Her last film appearance seems to have been in 1993 in "Da Vinci's War".

In 1996, she was hired as Director of Public Relations for The Genesis Technology Group.


Fact File: Julius J. Carry III Born 1952, Chicago, Il

Julius J. Carry III plays Sho-nuff, the "Shogun of Harlem" . Born in Chicaqo in 1952, he is 6'15" tall and weighed 200 pounds at the time of filming.

His father was a Chicago fireman and his mother is a reverend with Christ Universal Temple and a director of the Johnnie Coleman Institute.

On the stage, Julius Carry has appeared in "West Side Story" and "Hamlet." the latter in 21 cities. For four years he was a member of the Chicago Repertory Company.

He had previously appeared in the film "The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh" in 1979 in which he was "the one with the turban, Jamal Truth --Ain't it the truth!" and an episode of the smash hit TV series "Fame".

Although he played a basketball player cum Shogun in The Last Dragon, he has not played a great deal of basketball in his personal life although he seems to have been made for the game.

He studied Kung Fu. He acted in numerous television shows, including "Bay City Blues," "Benson," "Hill Stree Blues," "Alice," "The A-Team" and "The Bob Newhart Show and has since gone on to work throughout the late 80's and 90's. Notably, he appeared as "Sgt. Moore" in a few episodes of "Boy Meets World".


Please Note: More cast bio's and info will be added all the time. Please keep checking back with us
 
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