Tzi-Ma
Tzi Ma | Biography

Quick Wiki

  • Full Name Tzi Ma
  • Occupation Actor
  • Nationality Chinese-American
  • Birthplace Hong Kong, China
  • Birth Date Jun 10, 1962
  • Age 59 Years, 11 Months
  • Net Worth Undisclosed
Cast of CW Martial Arts Series 'Kung Fu'

Tzi Ma | Biography

Made his acting debut in the 1979 movie 'Cocaine Cowboys'

During the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, Ma became the target of racism against Asian Americans. In an interview with Variety in 2020, Ma explained that he was walking to the entrance of Whole Foods Market in Pasadena, California, and was approached by a car that rolled down the window and said, "You should be quarantined," and left. According to Ma, Former US President Donald Trump has contributed to racism, as he has referred to COVID-19 as the "China virus" and "Kung Flu."


Tzi Ma is an actor best known for his appearance in films like Rush Hour, Rush Hour 3, and Mulan, among others.

Who is Tzi Ma?

Tzi Ma is a Chinese-American actor who debuted his acting career in the 1979 movie Cocaine Cowboys as Jimmy Lee. During the 1980s, he appeared in several TV series like The Cosby Show (1984), The Equalizer (1985), L.A. Law (1989), Star Trek: The Next Generation (1989), MacGyver (1989), and others.

Ma worked in different movies such as Rapid Fire (1992), Golden Gate (1993), Chain Reaction (1996), Red Corner (1997) before finally landing his breakthrough role in the popular film Rush Hour as Han in 1998. He reprised the same part in Rush Hour 3, released in 2007.

Since then, Ma has appeared in several TV series and films like NCIS: Los Angeles (TV series 2010), Perception (TV series 2012), Million Dollar Arm (movie 2014), Man Seeking Woman (TV Series 2016), Skyscraper (movie 2018), Treadstone (TV Series 2019).

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He is also widely known for portraying Zhou Zhou in the movie Mulan, released in 2020. The same year Ma was featured in the film Tigertail and The Kid Detective

His most recent appearance was in the 2021 TV series Kung Fu and the film A Shot Through the Wall. Besides, Ma has an upcoming short movie, A Father's Son, which is in the post-production phase. 

Age & Early Bio

Tzi Ma was born on 10 June 1962 in Hong Kong, China. He grew up in Staten Island, New York, during the Vietnam War. He acted in school plays during his young years. 

While refining his New York theatrical scene talent, Ma worked at a family-owned Chinese restaurant. During this time, he collaborated with rising writers David Henry Hwang and Eric Overmyer, who wrote pieces particularly for Ma (The Dance and the Railroad and In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe, respectively).

In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2020, he mentioned that the drama club saved him from racism. He added, "The first school play I did, Annie Get Your Gun, I played Buffalo Bill. After that, it was like, 'He played Buffalo Bill, how hard could it be to like this guy?"

'Kung Fu'

Kung Fu is a martial arts action TV series that debuted on 7 April 2021 on The CW. The show was renewed for a second season in May 2021, with the premiere date set for 9 March 2022. Ma portrays the role of restaurant owner Jin Shen, the father of the lead character Nicky Shen.

Tzi Ma on the poster of Kung-Fu
Tzi Ma shares the poster of Kung-Fu on his Instagram (Photo: Instagram)
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The show follows Nicky Shen, played by Olivia Liang, a young Chinese-American woman who drops out of college to embark on her journey to a secluded monastery in China. When Nicky returns to her hometown and finds it overrun with crime and corruption, she uses her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice. She also searches for the assassin who murdered her Shaolin mentor and is now going after her.

Ma takes pride in being a partner and on-screen father to many Asian women, including Olivia Liang. "I tell everybody, 'I have an all-star daughter team, so anybody up and down that line-up, you'd be fortunate to work with any of them,'" Ma revealed to EW in 2021.

Anti-Asian Harassment

During the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, Ma became the target of racism against Asian Americans.

In an interview with Variety in 2020, Ma explained that he was walking to the entrance of Whole Foods Market in Pasadena, California, and was approached by a car that rolled down the window and said, "You should be quarantined," and left.

He claimed he stood speechless before going off in screams. Ma added, "I just went numb. You know how you get cold? You just go cold and numb. This is emotional. This affected my psyche."

According to Ma, Former US President Donald Trump has contributed to racism, as he has referred to COVID-19 as the "China virus" and "Kung Flu."

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