Rick Yune was born in Washington D.C., the son of Wonhui Park and Tom Taeho Yune.
Yune was educated at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Silver Spring, Maryland, and St. John's Military School. In 1994, he received his MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. To raise cash for his studies, he tried several jobs, including as a hedge fund trader for SAC Capital and was persuaded to become a model in his spare time.
Yune practices many forms of martial arts, having reached Olympic standard in Taekwondo and being a serious contender for the US team when he was 19. He changed the spelling of his last name from "Yun" to "Yune" for Screen Actors Guild (SAG) purposes.
While studying at Wharton, Rick Yune worked as an intern on Wall Street trading stocks during the summer of 1992. During that time, he was "discovered" by a modeling agent and soon became the first Asian-American featured in advertisements for Versace and Ralph Lauren's Polo.
Yune could also be seen in two 2005 episodes of ABC's spy-fi series "Alias," playing a modern-day samurai named Kazu Tamazaki who was hunted down by Jennifer Garner in Sydney. He also appeared as a guest in an episode of ABC's legal dramedy series "Boston Legal" and the popular, Emmy award-winning CBS crime drama "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."
The newcomer made his film debut in 1999, playing Kazuo Miyamoto, a Japanese-American war hero accused of killing a respected fisherman (played by Daniel von Bargen) in the close-knit community, in director Scott Hicks' film adaptation of David Guterson's post-WWII novel, "Snow Falling on Cedars." The film that also starred Ethan Hawke received Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography.
Yune co-starred as Johnny Tran, the ruthless leader of a Vietnamese gang and the rival of Vin Diesel's character, in the 2001 Rob Cohen-directed car-racing film "The Fast and the Furious," which also starred Paul Walker.
In the next year, Yune was launched to the spotlight after portraying James Bond villain Zao, opposite Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry, in the 20th 007 feature "Die Another Day," directed by Lee Tamahori.
In 2008, Yune wrote, produced, and starred (as a Bangkok assassin) in the action/adventure movie The Fifth Commandment, directed by Jesse V. Johnson and also stars Keith David and Bokeem Woodbine.
Yune stars with Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu in the 2012 martial arts film, "The Man with the Iron Fists," directed by RZA and written by RZA and Eli Roth.
His most recent role is Kang Yeonsak, the main villain, in the action thriller "Olympus Has Fallen," with Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo.
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