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]. See 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]. Soo was born Goro Suzuki on a ship traveling from the United States to Japan in 1917. Sadly, Soo died of cancer on January 11, 1979 at the height of his popularity. Jack left behind his wife, Jan Zdelar, who happens to be a former model. [5], Soo finally earned his big break in 1958 when he was cast in the Broadway musical hit Flower Drum Song in the role of the show master of ceremonies and comedian Frankie Wing ("Gliding through my memoree"). Help us build our profile of Jack Soo and Jan Zdelar! 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. Zdelar, Janet L., 81, of Richland. [citation needed], A running joke on the show was that Soo's character made bad coffee. The record was never released and was shelved in the Motown archives. In 1945, Jack Soo married former model Jan Zdelar, who he met in New York. A retrospective episode showing clips of Soo aired at the end of the season, which concluded with the cast members raising their coffee cups in a final farewell toast to him. Three Children (03:09) Etta Benjamin met Soo and formed a friendship. [2][11], Soo was married to Jan Zdelar, a model. The Slanted Screen: Occasionally, his character played against stereotypes of Asian Americans by emphasizing Yemana's solidly American background. 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. Most Popular #79862. Jack Soos brother, Michio Mike Suzuki, was the director of policy at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in Washington, D.C. Jack Soo was born on October 28, 1917, as Goro Suzuki. [1], Soo, a smoker, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer during Barney Miller's fourth season (1977–1978), missing the last five episodes. 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. He later received authorization from the U.S. government to leave the internment camps and later worked in military intelligence in Cleveland, Ohio. Soo met Jan Zdelar in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended and graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied English, but by this time, was already performing in nightclubs in San Francisco, introducing other acts and performing stand-up comedy. Yemana in Television Series Appeared in Movies", "JACK SOO, 63, ACTOR IN 'BARNEY MILLER' He Was Sgt. He was survived by his longtime wife, Jan Zdelar, and his three children at the time of his death. [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. 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. The play and film made history, as the first mainstream musical to feature an all Asian-American cast. His parents lived in Oakland, California, and they decided that as he was the oldest boy, they wanted to have him born in Japan. Friends describe it as love at first sight. 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. Watch an excerpt of "The Jack Benny Show". In 1945, Jack Soo married former model Jan Zdelar, who he met in New York. to add information, pictures and relationships, join in discussions and get credit for your contributions. Born In 1917. The couple had three children and two grandchildren. She is famous for Marriage to actor Jack Soo. Eventually, his smoking habits caught up to him and he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. His zodiac sign is Scorpio. 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? 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. (1963), the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), The Oscar (1968) and The Green Berets (1968) with John Wayne. Jack Soo Popularity . Asian Men in Film and Television USA | 2006 | 60 Minutes. [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. Went to be with the Lord Feb. 8, 2017, at Conemaugh Medical Center, surrounded by her loving family. It was at the Forbidden City that Soo was “discovered” by Gene Kelly, who offered Soo the role of nightclub announcer Frankie Wing in the Rogers and Hammerstein’s Broadway production of The Flower Drum Song in 1958. 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 is most remembered for Barney Miller show. 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. [12] His last appearance on the show was in the episode entitled "The Vandal", which aired on November 9, 1978. 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. [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. Asian Men in Film and Television. [2] He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English. He is most remembered for Barney Miller show. In his personal life, he married model Jan Zdelar, with whom he had three children; years later, they became grandparents of two. Scorpios. First Name Jack. They had three children: Jayne, James and Richard, and two grandchildren. He decided early in his life that he wanted to be an entertainer – a highly unusual choice for a second-generation American born Japanese. 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.

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