Soon-Tek Oh (1932–2018)


Actor Soon-Tek Oh, who guest starred in five episodes of M*A*S*H between 1974 and 1982, died last Wednesday (April 4) at the age of 85. Born in Korea under Japanese rule, Oh later emigrated to the United States with his family. He began acting in the mid-1960s with guest starring roles on TV shows like I Spy, The Invaders, and The Wild Wild West. He played Lieutenant Hip in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun and voiced Fa Zhou in the 1998 Disney film Mulan (and its 2004 sequel).

Still from the M*A*S*H episode Love and Marriage showing Soon-Tek Oh.
Sooh-Tek Oh as Mr. Kwang in “Love and Marriage” (Season 3).

Oh made his first guest appearance on M*A*S*H during Season 3, playing Mr. Kwang in “Love and Marriage.” He portrayed the unnamed Korean soldier in “The Bus” during Season 4. Then came “The Korean Surgeon” during Season 5, in which Oh played the title character, Dr. Paik. Later, during Season 8, he played another North Korean soldier in “The Yalu Brick Road.” Hawkeye and B.J. decide to call him Ralph. His final guest role came during Season 11. Oh played a South Korean translator named Joon-Sung in “Foreign Affairs.”

(In 1981, Oh made a guest appearance on Trapper John, M.D..)

Still from the M*A*S*H episode The Korean Surgeon showing Soon-Tek Oh.
Soon-Tek Oh as Dr. Paik in “The Korean Surgeon” (Season 5).

Obituaries can be found at Deadline Hollywood, The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety.

(via Deadline Hollywood)

11 Replies to “Soon-Tek Oh (1932–2018)”

  1. One of my favorite guests from the show. All the roles he played were great. Also (obviously) as a Bond fan, always enjoyed his appearance in The Man With the Golden Gun.

    The rate of the M*A*S*H family departing lately is depressing and I fear it’s only going to get worse. The inevitability of time.

    RIP Soon Tek Oh.

  2. You were tops mr Oh,and the world was blessed with a great talent.Rest in peace and God speed to you . I’ll really miss you .

  3. Just watched an episode of Baa Baa Black Sheep and Soon Tek Oh played a Japanese officer. He was both handsome and talented. I think it takes a lot of talent to appear in the same show… MASH and make each chacter believable individuals. I will miss seeing his face in the future. My condolences to his family. They are undoubtedly very proud of him.

  4. So sorry to see that he has left us. A great actor. Whenever my husband and I would see him in a movie or Mash,we would both say, “There’s our guy!”
    He will be truly missed.
    Our condolences to the family!

  5. Just watched MASH,”The Bus” episode. Guy was great. Loved him as the translator in “Foreign Affairs.” RIP.

  6. I could have sworn that he appeared in Hill Street Blues as a Korean shop owner who got fed up catching a young black kid of stealing. In the end he had pity on the kid, and took him under his wing. Rest In Peace Sir. You had an amazing body of work

  7. Throughout his acting career Mr. Oh, created beautiful, endearing characters. His body of work could stand against any other actor. In the Man with the Golden Gun, he was great, but it was in his 5 M*A*S*H episodes where he really shined. His performances were wonderful. Each character was completely individualized from his previous characters. I have mourned in loosing you for over 3 years now, but only now have I been able to convey my feelings into words. Rest in peace my gentle friend.

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