You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vietnamese actor Don Duong dies

Left country after U.S. films roles sparked ire

Don Duong, a Vietnamese actor who felt compelled to leave the country after the army newspaper labeled him a traitor for taking roles in American films, died Thursday, Dec. 8, of heart failure and a brain hemorrhage in San Francisco. He was 55.

After Duong appeared with Patrick Swayze in Timothy Linh Bui’s 2001 drama “Green Dragon,” about Vietnamese refugees in the U.S., and in the 2002 Mel Gibson vehicle “We Were Soldiers,” a Vietnam war epic depicting the first major battle involving American forces and shot entirely in the U.S., the actor drew the scorn of the military, official media and other actors in Vietnam.

The Quan Doi Nhan Dan (People’s Army) daily newspaper called Duong’s actions “unforgivable” and said the “conscience-seller and traitor must be strictly disciplined,” while film director Duong Minh Dau said the actor had insulted Vietnam by “turning his back on his country and his people,” according to the BBC.

The handsome Duong had many female fans in the country, but he nevertheless departed in 2003 for the U.S., where he subsequently became a citizen. Vietnamese authorities denied him a visa for a return visit; permission was granted this year, but he was unable to make the trip before he died.

Duong appeared in director Tony Bui’s “Three Seasons” in 1999.

More Film

  • Assassination Nation Sundance

    Sundance Film Review: 'Assassination Nation'

    Don Duong, a Vietnamese actor who felt compelled to leave the country after the army newspaper labeled him a traitor for taking roles in American films, died Thursday, Dec. 8, of heart failure and a brain hemorrhage in San Francisco. He was 55. After Duong appeared with Patrick Swayze in Timothy Linh Bui’s 2001 drama […]

  • Netflix Execs Call Film Critics 'Disconnected'

    Netflix Execs Call Critics 'Disconnected' for Bashing 'Bright' Film

    Don Duong, a Vietnamese actor who felt compelled to leave the country after the army newspaper labeled him a traitor for taking roles in American films, died Thursday, Dec. 8, of heart failure and a brain hemorrhage in San Francisco. He was 55. After Duong appeared with Patrick Swayze in Timothy Linh Bui’s 2001 drama […]

  • Ryan Reynolds Detective Pikachu

    Ryan Reynolds Signs First-Look Deal at Fox With 'Clue' Movie in the Works

    Don Duong, a Vietnamese actor who felt compelled to leave the country after the army newspaper labeled him a traitor for taking roles in American films, died Thursday, Dec. 8, of heart failure and a brain hemorrhage in San Francisco. He was 55. After Duong appeared with Patrick Swayze in Timothy Linh Bui’s 2001 drama […]

  • Monsters and Men Sundance

    Sundance: Neon Buys Police Shooting Drama 'Monsters and Men'

    Don Duong, a Vietnamese actor who felt compelled to leave the country after the army newspaper labeled him a traitor for taking roles in American films, died Thursday, Dec. 8, of heart failure and a brain hemorrhage in San Francisco. He was 55. After Duong appeared with Patrick Swayze in Timothy Linh Bui’s 2001 drama […]

  • Idris Elba'Molly's Game' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Idris Elba Says the World Is Ready for a Female James Bond

    Don Duong, a Vietnamese actor who felt compelled to leave the country after the army newspaper labeled him a traitor for taking roles in American films, died Thursday, Dec. 8, of heart failure and a brain hemorrhage in San Francisco. He was 55. After Duong appeared with Patrick Swayze in Timothy Linh Bui’s 2001 drama […]

  • Incredibles 2

    'Incredibles 2': Pixar Reveals New Cast and Characters

    Don Duong, a Vietnamese actor who felt compelled to leave the country after the army newspaper labeled him a traitor for taking roles in American films, died Thursday, Dec. 8, of heart failure and a brain hemorrhage in San Francisco. He was 55. After Duong appeared with Patrick Swayze in Timothy Linh Bui’s 2001 drama […]

  • 'Maze Runner: The Death Cure' Tops

    'Maze Runner: The Death Cure' Dominates Social Media Buzz Ahead of Opening

    Don Duong, a Vietnamese actor who felt compelled to leave the country after the army newspaper labeled him a traitor for taking roles in American films, died Thursday, Dec. 8, of heart failure and a brain hemorrhage in San Francisco. He was 55. After Duong appeared with Patrick Swayze in Timothy Linh Bui’s 2001 drama […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content