Actor Henry O entered filmdom almost by accident, on a completely spontaneous and unplanned note. As one raised in China and sent to western-run missionary schools, he spent 30 years working in the Children's Art Theater, where he held down positions as an actor and the deputy art director. A middle-aged O moved to America with his wife, ostensibly to look after their grandchildren, but soon received an invitation for a theatrical audition and built up a prolific career essaying parts in television, plays, and films, invariably typecast in elderly Asian roles. Projects in which O appeared include The Last Emperor (1987), Red Corner (1997), Snow Falling on Cedars (1999), and Shanghai Noon (2000). He also guest starred on many series, including The Sopranos and The West Wing. O enjoyed a rare lead in the Wayne Wang drama A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (2007), playing a Chinese man who visits the United States to see his estranged daughter after a decade without communication.