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Thuy Trang

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This article is about a/an actress in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Thuy Trang
Thuy Trang
Born December 14, 1973
Born in Saigon, Vietnam
Died September 3, 2001 (age 27)
Died in San Francisco, California
Role(s) Trini Kwan
Appearance(s):


Thuy Trang (Vietnamese: Trịnh Thùy Trang, December 14, 1973 – September 3, 2001) was a Vietnamese American actress.

Biography

Early life

Trang's father was a soldier in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and was defending the capital Saigon from the North Vietnamese Army and their Vietcong agents during the Fall of Saigon. The Communist forces overcame his battalion, which was low on ammunition and air support, during a fierce battle. He decided to return home to retrieve his family, but the route was blocked by the North Vietnamese Army. Fearing for his life, he left South Vietnam and was given political asylum by the United States. He vowed to bring his family to the United States and work hard to contact U.S. government officials to politically pressure the Communist government of Vietnam.

In 1975 the rest of the family (Thuy, her mother, two brothers and a sister) were forced to flee Saigon and in 1979 they secretly boarded a cargo ship along with hundreds of other persecuted Southern Vietnamese traveling to Hong Kong, with the ultimate aim of reaching the United States. Thuy herself was very ill at the time and almost did not survive.

Upon arrival in Hong Kong, Thuy's father was contacted, who petitioned the United States government for political asylum for his family. After about a year living in a Hong Kong detention camp, Thuy and her family were reunited in Little Saigon, California in 1980. Her father would die of cancer in 1992. Thuy began to study Kung Fu around the age of nine.

Thuy graduated from Banning High School and earned a scholarship to study civil engineering at the University of California, Irvine, planning to follow her father and older siblings. However, around 1992 she was approached by a talent scout which changed her plans.

Acting career

Through the talent scout she got small roles in a couple of TV commercials/advertisements before getting her first major role in 1993 when she landed the role of Trini Kwan, the Yellow Ranger, on the original cast of the TV series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The character was written around Thuy herself - an honorable, caring young lady who adored her friends and family.

Trang was on the show for about one and a half seasons. She left the show along with Austin St. John and Walter Emanuel Jones (it is rumored they left because of pay reasons), with whom she became very good friends, and was replaced by Karan Ashley. She went on to play Kali, one of the lead villain's in the 1996 movie The Crow: City of Angels.

Earlier the same year, she also appeared in Spy Hard as a manicurist. However, she was incorrectly credited as a masseuse, her credit being somehow switched with Tara Leon who played a masseuse in the same short scene.

In the episode of Power Rangers Turbo, Passing the Torch, the end of the story would see past rangers returning to see the departing Turbo Rangers pass their powers on. Most of them would be played by body doubles, but Trang was supposed to reprise her role as Trini.[1]

She was set to appear in Cyberstrike, which never entered production. Trang also appeared in a video documentary called the The Encyclopedia of Martial Arts in 1995 as an interviewee.

Death

Trang died in a tragic car accident on September 3, 2001 at the age of 27 near San Francisco. She and former actress/model Angela Rockwood-Nguyen, to whom Trang was to be a bridesmaid later that year, were passengers in a car traveling on Interstate 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles. They were returning late at night from their visit with Angela's planned maid of honor when the driver (another of Angela's bridesmaids) of the vehicle she was riding in lost control of the wheel. The car swerved violently across the road before hitting the roadside rock face and flipping several times before hitting the safety rail and plunging over the bank.

Rockwood-Nguyen, who has claimed both that she was and was not wearing a seatbelt in different interviews, survived despite being thrown out of the vehicle through a window before its final impact; as a result, however, she is now quadriplegic. Trang, who it is believed wasn't wearing a seat belt, died in the crash due to the internal injuries she had sustained. The driver was not believed to have suffered any lasting injuries but it hasn't been confirmed whether she was wearing a seatbelt or not. The episode "Circuit Unsure" of Power Rangers: Time Force was dedicated to her memory.

Many of Trang's castmates from MMPR attended her funeral, with the exception of Jason David Frank who plays Tommy Oliver due to the death of his own brother Eric. Castmate and close friend Amy Jo Johnson who plays Kimberly Hart spoke at her funeral.

Filmography

Film

  • The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
  • Spy Hard (1996)

TV

Self

  • Encyclopedia of Martial Arts: Hollywood Celebrities (1995)

Archive Footage

Notes

  • Thuy is currently the only Ranger actor/actress from the Zordon Era to have died.
  • First name was pronounced as TWO-EE.[Citation needed]

External links

References


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