Mark Dacascos became an actor after being discovered walking down the street in San Francisco’s Chinatown by Chris Lee and Rexall Chin for director Wayne Wang. Though his first scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, he went on to establish a film and television career primarily playing martial artists.
Mark has always been one of my favourite action stars; Drive, Only the Strong, Brotherhood of the Wolf and Crying Freeman are personal favourites of mine and I consider them utterly essential for any action fan.
He played the villain opposite Jet Li in Cradle 2 the Grave and has an awesome fight scene with Li at the end; the movie itself wasn’t amazing but it was a lot of fun elevated by the presence of Dacascos.
Mark took the role of Eric Draven in the short-lived (but entertaining) The Crow: Stairway to Heaven TV Series; he always reminded me of Brandon Lee so it was a rather nice piece of casting.
He’s recently been playing the Big Bad on Hawaii Five-O as Wo Fat; a seemingly impossible to catch/kill bad guy, but he is what made the show watchable for me. He’s always had great screen presence and his martial arts prowess is outstanding.
Check out his role as Kung Lao in the Web Series Mortal Kombat: Legacy where he sports a shaven head.
Believe it or not though, it’s not all about the action. I remember being rather shocked to see him hosting Iron Chef in 2004 which he his still hosting, to this day I believe.
He has several projects in the pipeline including a spoof of The Expendables called The Extendables. Black Watch (pre-production), Changing Lives (filming), Beyond the Game (post-production), Operation Rogue (completed) and To Have and to Hold (completed).
Mark is trained in Wun Hop Huen Do, Chin Na, Shui Jao, Tai Chi and Capoeira; he is a world renowned Martial Artist, among his achievements:
1982 — European Kung Fu and Karate Championships — First Place — Lightweight — Brown Belt Division
1982 — Italian Kung Fu and Karate Championships — First Place — Lightweight — Brown Belt Division
1982 — Hamburg Karate Championships — First Place — Junior Division
1980 — Hamburg Karate Championships — First Place — Junior
1980 — Long Beach Internationals — First Place — Brown Belt Division — Forms
1973 — Long Beach Internationals — First Place — Pee Wee