David Yip

David Yip Biography

David Yip as Chuck Lee

David Yip is a British actor and playwright born on 4 June 1951 in Liverpool. Yip was born to a Chinese father from Canton who was a seaman, and an English mother from Liverpool.

David Yip grew up in a working-class family as one of eight children. After leaving school at the age of 16, he worked as a shipping clerk for British Railways for two years.

At 18, Yip was offered a job as an assistant stage manager by Teresa Collard at the Neptune Theatre in Liverpool. While working at the Everyman, he participated in local youth productions and was encouraged by his peers to audition for drama school.He got into East 15 Acting School and completed his training in 1973.


David Yip began his career in theatre and later appeared on television in various roles such as an episode of the ITV game show Whodunnit? and the BBC television film Savages in 1975. In 1979, Yip played Frank Chen in the science fiction series Quatermass and had a small part in the Doctor Who story ‘Destiny of the Daleks.’

From 1981 to 1982, David Yip made history by starring as the first East Asian lead on British television, playing the titular detective John Ho in the BBC police procedural The Chinese Detective. Director Steven Spielberg noticed Yip’s performance and cast him in the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, marking Yip’s feature film debut. He went on to have supporting roles in films such as A View to a Kill and Ping Pong.

David Yip played Michael Choì in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside from 1989 to 1990 and appeared in various television shows and films throughout the 1990s and 2000s. He also wrote a play entitled Gold Mountain, based on his father’s life, which premiered in 2010 at the Unity Theatre in Liverpool.

In recent years, David Yip has continued his acting career and has appeared in various productions such as the CBBC series Spirit Warriors and the Sky Atlantic psychological thriller Fortitude. He is also a practising Nichiren Buddhist and a member of the Soka Gakkai International. Yip lives in north Oxfordshire with his wife Virginia.