Philip Ahn

Philip Ahn (March 29, 1905 – February 28, 1978) was a Korean-American actor. He was the first Asian-American film actor to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ahn was born Pil Lip Ahn in Highland Park, California. His parents emigrated to the US in 1902 and were the first Korean married couple admitted; his mother, Helen Lee, was the second Korean woman in the country. Ahn's father, Dosan Ahn Chang-ho, was an educator and an activist for Korean independence during the colonial period. Philip Ahn is believed to be the first American citizen born in the United States of Korean parents. When he was in high school, Ahn visited the set of the film The Thief of Bagdad, where he met Douglas Fairbanks. Fairbanks offered him a screen test, followed by a part in the movie. However, his mother told him, "No son of mine is going to get mixed up with those awful people." Ahn graduated from high school in 1923, and went to work in the rice fields around Colusa, California. The land was owned by the Hung Sa Dan, or Young Korean Academy, a Korean independence movement that trained Koreans to become leaders of their country once it was free from Japanese rule.


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