Actor Ray Park certainly didn’t take the traditional path of becoming an actor. While a lot of young actors spend time performing in theatre productions or doing acting classes Park begun his career by learning martial arts and the becoming a stunt double.
Raymond ‘Ray’ Park was born on the 23rd August, 1974 in Glasgow, Scotland. As a youngster, he attended Greenfield Primary School until he was seven years old and his family moved to London. It was after this move to London that Park found himself of dreaming of being in movies one day. His father, who was a fan of Bruce Lee, decided that a good way of helping his son achieve his dreams was to teach him martial arts. Park begun by learning Northern Shaolin Kung Fu and then expanded to wushu and kickboxing and at the age of sixteen, won Great Britain’s Martial Arts Championship. He decided to go to Malaysia to further his skills before returning to London in the late 1990s in order to pursue a career in movies.
He soon got his wish by doing stunt work on ‘Mortal Kombat: Annihilation’ before landing one of his most famous roles to date – that of Darth Maul in ‘Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace’. He followed this up by playing Toad in the popular ‘X-Men’ movie before appearing in smaller roles such as ‘Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever’, ‘Potheads: The Movie’ and ‘What We Do Is Secret’ before getting to play Chuck Norris in ‘The Legend Of Bruce Lee’ television series.
Soon he once again found himself appearing in notable films like the cult classic ‘Fanboys’ and ‘G.I. Joe: Rise Of The Cobra’ before having a reoccurring role in ‘Heroes’, another television show that quickly gained a huge fan following.
Over recent years, Park has returned to the small screen in ‘Nikita’ and ‘Super Ninjas’ while in 2013 he reprized his role of Snake Eyes in the box office blockbuster ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation’ and appeared in small films such as ‘Jinn’ and ‘Avarice’.
When it comes to his personal life Ray Park has a wife named Lisa and has two children – a son and a daughter. When he is not appearing in films he likes to travel around the world appearing at Pop Culture Expos and Comic Book Conventions. Recently in Melbourne, Australia he thrilled the crowd by bringing a small boy up onto the stage and then borrowed the boy’s light sabre and gave the audience an impromptu lesson in how to use a light sabre. Organizers also learned that you should never underestimate the popularity of Ray Park because he managed to fill out the hall in which he was giving his demonstration.
Fans of Ray Park will next be able to see him on the big screen alongside Reuben Langdon and Chia Hui Liu in ‘Future Fighters’.