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Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong

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Information about Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong

Profile image of Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Actor
Music Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Peas and Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Birthplace

Born:
12/19/1934
Birth Location:
Port of Spain,

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Actor
Music Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Peas and Rice
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Birthplace

Born:
12/19/1934
Birth Location:
Port of Spain
See how Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Actor and record executive Aki Aleong was born on December 19, 1934 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to Henry Leong (Aleong), a cook from Hong Kong, and Agnes Vera Gonsalves from St. Vincent, British West Indies; he was originally called Assing Aleong by his father and Leonard Gonzales by his mother. Aleong attended Progressive Education Institute in Trinidad as a youth. After moving to Brooklyn, New York, with his mother in 1949, Aleong graduated from Boys High School; in 1951, he started taking classes at Brooklyn College while working in a hardware store.

Responding to a casting call for an Asian character, Aleong was cast as the Goat Boy in the 1954 Broadway production of Teahouse of the August Moon on Broadway. In 1956, Aleong made his first live television appearance in The Letter, an episode of NBC’s Producers’ Showcase. In 1957, Aleong was cast in the movie Motorcycle Gang. Throughout his career, Aleong performed in over than 200 different television programs, including: Ben Casey (1961); The Outer Limits (1963); The Virginian (1967); L.A. Law(1986); Babylon 5 (1994); Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1996); and Curb Your Enthusiasm (2001). Aleong’s movie credits include: Never So Few (1959); The Hanoi Hilton (1987); Farewell to the King (1989); Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993); Tidal Wave: No Escape (1997); A Breed Apart (1998); Missing Brendan (2003); House of Sand and Fog (2003); and Sci-Fighter (2004).

Also a musician, Aleong wrote the hit songs Trade Winds and Shombalor; in 1963 he formed Aki Aleong and the Nobles. Leaving the movie business in 1967, Aleong worked as the west coast R&B sales and promotion manager for Capitol Records; an assistant vice president of promotion for Polydor Records; an assistant vice president of sales for Liberty/United Artist Records; the president of Pan World Records and Pan World Publishing (BMI); and a record producer for VeeJay Records. Aleong worked with The 5th Dimension, The Ojays, and Bobby Womack, and produced the Roy Ayers album Red Black and Green. Aleong also managed Norman Connors in 1976, and produced Connors’s gold record You are My Starship.

Onetime chairman of the Fraternity of Recording Executives, Aleong returned to acting in 1983. Aleong served on the boards of the Screen Actors Guild and the Media Action Network for Asian Americans and was the executive director for Asians in Media.

See how Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers immigrating to Brooklyn, New York City from Trinidad
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his mother's childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers his childhood in Port of Spain, Trinidad
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes how his father processed opium
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about his exposure to opium
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his father's family background and the history of Chinese immigration to the Americas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes the role of religion in his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers moving to Brooklyn, New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes the culture shock he experienced upon immigrating to New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers attending Boys High School in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers joining a street gang
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers gang activity and policing in Brooklyn, New York City in the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers being involved in a street fight in Brooklyn, New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about his friend, Bolero Martinez, from Brooklyn, New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong recalls dancing at Brooklyn College in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong recalls his focus on dancing at Brooklyn College in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his dance studies at Henry Street Settlement House in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his audition for 'Teahouse of the August Moon'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes the jobs he held while attending Brooklyn College in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers watching a Broadway play for the first time
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his role in 'Teahouse of the August Moon'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his friendship with Marlon Brando
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers his time in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes acting in the television production of 'The Letter'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong shares an insight he gained from acting in 'The Enemy'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong recalls housing discrimination in California during the 1950s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes working with Frank Sinatra
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong recalls disputes in Hollywood that impacted his career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes the legacy of Bill Cosby and HistoryMaker Berry Gordy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about the relationship between Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes the limited roles for actors of color
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes the Asian community in Hollywood
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong recounts his efforts to increase diversity in advertising
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about record companies' exploitation of the black community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong recalls record companies' exploitation of black employees and musicians
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes the systemic discrimination against black disc jockeys and black record labels
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes big record companies buying out black labels
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about why he quit acting
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his promotional work with Liberty UA Records and PolyGram Records
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about his friendship with HistoryMaker Reverend Al Sharpton
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about leaving the record business and working as an ambulance driver
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes managing jazz musician Norman Connors
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about promoting jazz musicians Norman Connors and Pharaoh Sanders
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his presence in the doo wop scene
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his sales and promotional work for Capitol Records
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes working with Ray Charles
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes working as an ambulance driver
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong remembers his return to acting
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his TV roles and joining the National Board of Screen Actors Guild
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about promoting diversity in Hollywood
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes promoting diversity with the SAG Ethnic Minorities Committee
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong explains the need for writers and producers of color
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong reflects upon his work as an activist
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong reflects upon the challenges of representing Asian Americans in the media
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes undermining stereotypes of Asians in his roles
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about being perceived as Asian rather than black
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes his film, 'Chinaman's Chance: America's Other Slaves'
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes the need for more diverse stories
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong talks about his relationship with his children
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Aki Leonard Gonzales Aleong narrates his photographs, pt. 2