In 1945, Jack Soo married former model Jan Zdelar, who he met in New York. Watch an excerpt of "The Jack Benny Show". A genial, laid back, slumber-eyed character player especially adept at the relaxed wisecrack or dry comment, Japanese-American actor Jack Soo was born in Oakland, California, in 1917, his real name being Goro Suzuki. The son of George Suzuki, a tailor, and Haruko Shiozawaa Suzuki, a dressmaker, Suzuki attended Oakland Technical High School, and worked as a farm laborer and eventually as a contractor, buying melons in Turlock. Yemana in Television Series Appeared in Movies", "JACK SOO, 63, ACTOR IN 'BARNEY MILLER' He Was Sgt. Soo was married to Jan Zdelar, a model. Soo met Jan Zdelar in Cleveland, Ohio. Scorpio Named Jack #17. They had three children: Jayne, James and Richard, and two grandchildren. Ah So! Although his parents lived in Oakland, they decided to give birth to their son in Japan, and Goro Suzuki was born on the ship before it reached Japan. He is most remembered for Barney Miller show. Jack Soo Is A Member Of . He also appeared in many television shows, including Hawaii Five-O (1970), The Odd Couple (1972), Ironside (1974), MASH (1972,1975) and Police Woman (1975). His zodiac sign is Scorpio. She is famous for Marriage to actor Jack Soo. [citation needed], A running joke on the show was that Soo's character made bad coffee. In 1945, Jack Soo married former model Jan Zdelar, who he met in New York. The play and film made history, as the first mainstream musical to feature an all Asian-American cast. Eventually, his smoking habits caught up to him and he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Occasionally, his character played against stereotypes of Asian Americans by emphasizing Yemana's solidly American background. He often spoke out against negative ethnic portrayals, and was adamant about being a person who was seen as an American. Born January 9, 1936, in Johnstown. His death shocked Soo’s friends and cast members of the show Barney Miller, which was in its fifth season, and the entire cast stepped out of character in a tribute to Jack in an episode that aired in May of 1979. It's been four decades since his passing, but just like his family, the world of entertainment still holds the memories of Jack Soo dear at heart. The couple had three children and two grandchildren. The couple had three children and two grandchildren. He was sent to the Topaz War Relocation Center in Utah[3] and fellow internees recalled him as a "camp favorite", an entertainer singing at dances and numerous events. Jack Soo 1917 – 1979. He was working in San Francisco at the Forbidden City, a Chinese nightclub and cabaret, where he was discovered by the dancer-director of Flower Drum Song, Gene Kelly [2], which was portrayed in the musical and movie. Also by Jeff Adachi: Three Children (03:09) Etta Benjamin met Soo and formed a friendship. Yemana in Television Series — Appeared in Movies", "CTVA US Comedy – "Busting Loose" (Paramount/CBS)(1977) Adam Arkin", SFIAAFF 2009: YOU DON’T KNOW JACK (THE JACK SOO STORY) — Interview With, You Don't Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story (2009), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jack_Soo&oldid=986543447, Burials at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2018, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Main cast (101 episodes), (final appearance), This page was last edited on 1 November 2020, at 14:41. [1], Soo, a smoker, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer during Barney Miller's fourth season (1977–1978), missing the last five episodes. Soo decided to settle in Hollywood, and over the next decade, despite a lack of roles for Asian Americans, he managed to find work in films such as Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? The pair got married in 1945 and had three children together. [2] He lived in Oakland until ordered into internment along with other Japanese Americans during World War II. His last known words when he was being wheeled into an operating room were, as he joked to Hal Linden, referring to his cancer - "It must have been the coffee".[13]. He Was Sgt. [4][10], Soo was cast in his most memorable role in 1975 on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller as the laid-back, but very wry, Detective Nick Yemana, who was responsible for making the dreadful coffee that, in one of the series' running jokes, his fellow detectives had to drink every day. and more from FamousFix.com. Jan did not care that Soo was Japanese. Asian Men in Film and Television. (1963), the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), The Oscar (1968) and The Green Berets (1968) with John Wayne. Friends describe it as love at first sight. He was best known for his role as Detective Nick Yemana on the television sitcom Barney Miller. At that time, he adopted the surname that he had used to leave the internment camp at Topaz, "Soo". film, He got his first big break when he teamed up with Joey Bishop, playing Bishop’s straight man in 1949 for a year and a half, and the duo played Chez Paris in Chicago. Most Popular #79862. Sadly, Soo died of cancer on January 11, 1979 at the height of his popularity. He later received authorization from the U.S. government to leave the internment camps and later worked in military intelligence in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1964, Soo played a weekly supporting role as Rocky Sin, a poker-playing con artist in Valentine's Day, a comedy television series starring Anthony Franciosa that lasted for one season. Scorpios. Suzuki, who took on the stage name of “Jack Soo” after World War II, returned to the West Coast, and was a popular act at Andy Wong’s Sky Room and Charlie Low’s Forbidden City in San Francisco, which featured all Chinese performers. [citation needed]. Login Soo was born Goro Suzuki on a ship traveling from the United States to Japan in 1917. "SFIAAFF 2009: YOU DON'T KNOW JACK (THE JACK SOO STORY)—Interview With Jeff Adachi", "Year of Snake? Asian Men in Film and Television USA | 2006 | 60 Minutes. Went to be with the Lord Feb. 8, 2017, at Conemaugh Medical Center, surrounded by her loving family. photos, [2] He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English. In 1941, Suzuki, along with his family, was interned at the Tanforan Assembly Center in South San Francisco and then at Topaz Relocation Center, Utah, along with thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II. He began his career as a singer and was often referred to as the “Asian Bing Crosby.” He was among one of the first non-African American artists signed to Motown records in 1965, and was the first male artist to record the classic, “For Once In My Life.” He also sang several songs in both the film and Broadway productions of the Flower Drum Song. Jack Soo Popularity . The song was soon after made famous by Stevie Wonder. Soo was also cast as a regular in the series Valentine’s Day, as the chauffeur-gambler Rockwell Sin, co-starring with Tony Franciosa, which aired for one season in 1964. In his personal life, he married model Jan Zdelar, with whom he had three children; years later, they became grandparents of two. After earning rave reviews for his portrayal of Frankie Wing, Soo was elevated to the leading role of the nightclub owner and romantic lead Sammy Fong, and was chosen to play the same role in the film version of the musical, which was released in 1961. videos It was Barney Miller‘s fourth season. Jan Zdelar is an American Spouse. [9] During the next decade, he appeared in films such The Green Berets as a colonel of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam and the 1967 musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, as well as making guest appearances on TV shows such as Hawaii Five-O, The Odd Couple, and two episodes of M*A*S*H. Soo joined Motown Records in 1965 as one of their first non-African-American artists. Jack left behind his wife, Jan Zdelar, who happens to be a former model. Soo also refused to perform in roles that were demeaning to Asian Americans. She is famous for Marriage to actor Jack Soo. During his time there, he recorded a slow ballad version of "For Once in My Life" as the first male singer to do so. He decided early in his life that he wanted to be an entertainer – a highly unusual choice for a second-generation American born Japanese. First Name Jack. He was survived by his longtime wife, Jan Zdelar, and his three children at the time of his death. [2][11], Soo was married to Jan Zdelar, a model. It was said that his last words to his co-star Hal Linden, who played Barney Miller in the series, as Soo was being wheeled into the operating room before his death were "It must have been the coffee,” referencing a running joke by his character from Barney Miller of having the reputation for making horrible coffee. See He returned for the opening of season five, but the cancer spread quickly, and Soo died on January 11, 1979, at age 61, at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center (now the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center). He is most remembered for Barney Miller show. After the war, Suzuki began working as a butcher in Ohio but continued to moonlight as an emcee and performer in nightclubs and venues throughout the Midwest and Eastern States, including the Heidelberg Roof in Jackson, Mississippi, Vine Gardens in Chicago, the State Fair in Dallas and the China Doll in New York. © 2009       All Rights Reserved       Site design by Tommiland, Home | Trailer | About Jack Soo | Crew | Screenings | Media Resources | Press/Contact, The Slanted Screen: [12] His last appearance on the show was in the episode entitled "The Vandal", which aired on November 9, 1978. He was a guest on two episodes of the Jimmy Stewart Show with James Stewart in 1971. His parents lived in Oakland, California, and they decided that as he was the oldest boy, they wanted to have him born in Japan. Jack Soos brother, Michio Mike Suzuki, was the director of policy at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in Washington, D.C. Soo was first broadcast across America by Jack Benny on November 27, 1962, as the tough-talking, street-wise talent agent in "Jack Meets Japanese Agent".[8]. Jack Soo (October 28, 1917 – January 11, 1979) was an American singer and actor. Zdelar, Janet L., 81, of Richland. He was offered the chance to go to Broadway on the condition that he change his name to something Chinese, as Flower Drum Song is set in San Francisco's Chinatown. The Slanted Screen: [6] Soo switched to the Sammy Fong role[7] (Chinatown's "Nathan Detroit") during the run and played the role when the film version (1961) of the musical was made. Flowers ... memorial page for Jean Ann Zdelar Soo (15 Jan 1924–3 Feb 2004), Find a Grave Memorial no. Jan Zdelar is an American Spouse. Daughter of the late Delmas B. and Ida Mae (Harris) Faith. American Actor Jack Soo was born Goro Suzuki on 28th October, 1917 in Oakland, California, USA and passed away on 11th Jan 1979 Los Angeles, California, USA aged 61.

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