Rick Yune

Rick Yune Biography

Rick Yune as Tang Ling Zao

Rick Yune is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, and martial artist of Korean descent. Born on August 22, 1971, Yune has trained in various forms of martial arts, with Taekwondo and Boxing being his specialties. He is an Olympic-level Taekwondo black belt and a former Golden Gloves boxer.

While studying at Wharton, Rick Yune interned on Wall Street trading stocks in 1992 when he was discovered by a modeling agent. He soon became the first Asian-American featured in advertisements for Versace and Ralph Lauren’s Polo.

In 1999, Yune made his film debut in Snow Falling on Cedars, where he played Kazuo Miyamoto, a Japanese-American war hero accused of killing a respected fisherman. He co-starred as Johnny Tran, a Vietnamese gang leader, and rival of Vin Diesel’s character in The Fast and the Furious (2001).


In 2002, Rick Yune was cast as Zao, a North Korean terrorist who worked for the Korean People’s Army, in the James Bond film Die Another Day, starring Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry and in a smaller role Madonna. Yune was voted one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” that same year.

Apart from his acting career, Rick Yune has also appeared in music videos and TV series, including Alias, Boston Legal, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He produced and starred in the action/adventure movie The Fifth Commandment and acted alongside Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu in the 2012 martial arts film The Man with the Iron Fists.

In 2013, Rick Yune played Kang Yeonsak, a North Korean ultra-nationalist and ex-terrorist mastermind in the action thriller Olympus Has Fallen, opposite Gerard Butler. He also took on the role of Kaidu, a Mongol Khan, in the historical drama series Marco Polo, which he reprised in the second season released in 2016.