Regally attractive Asian-American character actor of stage, film, and TV. The only child of two performers, Long's father was an actor-tap dancer of Chinese-Scottish extraction and her mother was a Japanese-American showgirl. She made her stage debut at age seven and later toured with her father in "Flower Drum Song." Long's numerous NY and regional theater credits have included several non-traditional roles for Asian actresses including Ophelia in "Hamlet," Billie Dawn in "Born Yesterday," Cherie in "Bus Stop," and Helena in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." In 1988, she toured the USA, Europe, and Australia in David Henry Hwang's "1000 Airplanes on the Roof," a one-woman multimedia monologue with music by Phillip Glass.
Most of Long's film roles have been bit parts that capitalize on her dignified, statuesque demeanor--reporters, TV journalists, dedicated mothers. She had more to do with a major supporting role in Paul Schrader's "Patty Hearst" (1988) as Wendy Yoshimura, a relatively moderate member of the SLA who befriends the heiress. Long had a rare lead in Mike Newell's "Soursweet" (1988), a British feature about a struggling Hong Kong family that opens a cheap eatery in a London suburb. Her feature credits have included "Splash" (1984), Woody Allen's "Oedipus Wrecks" sequence in "New York Stories" (1989), "Alice" (1990), "Amos and Andrew" and "Striking Distance" (both 1993).
Long worked frequently in TV, doing guest spots ("The Cosby Show," "Designing Women," "Roseanne"), pilots, and TV-movies. She landed a regular stint as the flamboyant Madame Ybarra on the Paris-set sitcom "Cafe Americain" (NBC, 1993-94). Long joined an impressive ensemble on "All-American Girl" (ABC, 1994-95), a highly touted sitcom about conflicts within a Korean-American family between a brash Westernized daughter and her traditional parents. Though she was only thirtysomething when cast, a streak of gray helped sell Long as the mother of the supposedly college-aged Margaret Cho.
Cast (Feature Film)
NY stage debut at age seven in "Nowhere to Go But Up"
Acted on Broadway for a year in the Circle in the Square production of "Loose Ends", starring Kevin Kline and Christine Lahti
Appeared in The Chorus in an off-Broadway production of the Greek tragedy, "The Bacchae"
TV debut, "Nurse", a TV-movie which served as the pilot for the dramatic series starring Michael Learned
Feature debut, "Rollover", starring Jane Fonda
First TV guest shot, "The Equalizer"
First major feature role, "Soursweet", a British film directed by Mike Newell
First substantial supporting role in a feature, "Patty Hearst"
Toured the USA, Europe, and Australia with the David Henry Hwang/Phillip Glass collaboration, "1000 Airplanes on the Roof", a one-woman multimedia monologue
TV-movie debut, "How to Murder a Millionaire"
Had leading role of a Chinese-American author in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of "Red" by Chay Yew
Co-starred in Wendy Wasserstein's Off-Broadway play "Old Money"
Had featured role in the revised revival of "Flower Drum Song"; played in Los Angeles