Masayori “Masi” Oka
|Date of Birth||December 27, 1974|
|Rise to Fame||Starred in hit TV show Heroes as Hiro Nakamura|
Masi Oka is an American actor and digital effects artist who was born in Tokyo, Japan. At an early age he moved to Los Angeles and attended The Mirman School and graduated high school from Harvard-Westlake School in 1992. At the age of 12 and being smart he was stereotypically on the front cover of Times magazine as one of “Those Asian-American Whiz Kids”. His career seemed set on a typical “Asian” male career path when he graduated from Brown University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and mathematics.
Oka’s first job after graduation was at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), which is George Lucas’s motion picture visual special effects company. Oka hoped one day of earning an Oscar for technical work on a motion picture. However Oka’s passion was to be in front of the big screen and his goal was to meld acting and technology.
Oka’s first acting roles came in 2000 when he earned a Screen Actors Guild card. He had a contract with ILM if he did not get cast for a recurring role then he would have to return to ILM, but instead he did get cast for a pilot—unfortunately the pilot did not get picked up – however it fulfilled the contract and Oka was allowed to stay in Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. He landed several guest spots and a recurring role as Franklyn on the hit comedy show Scrubs.
His big break came in 2006 when Oka was cast as Hiro Nakamura in the NBC TV series Heroes (2006-2010). His portrayal of the role earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination that year in the “Best Supporting Actor on a TV Series” and an Emmy Award nomination for best supporting actor in a drama series. Since his rise to stardem Masi Oka has been cast in other projects while still continuing to work at ILM, writing programs that create special effects. With his fame and fortune he still manages to stay true to his Asian-American roots by driving his 2000 Honda Accord.
He was named the “Coolest Geek” at the Spike TV Guys’ Choice Awards in 2007. He is one if not the coolest Asian geek — Besides the fact that he looks like a typical Asian dad he sure has white girls wanting him — Not bad for someone with an IQ of 180.