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
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
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.
Interest in martial arts began at the age of four while watching Kato on
television in 'The Green Hornet'"
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.
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
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.
File: Denise Katrina Smith (Vanity)
Born January 06, 1959, Niagara
Falls, Ontario, Canada
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
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.
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 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
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
J. Carry III Born
1952, Chicago, Il
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
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".
More cast bio's and info will be added all the time. Please keep checking back
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