Tran Jeong is a Vietnamese-American general practitioner, who is known for his marriage to stand-up comedian and actor Ken Jeong, best known for his roles in the NBC comedy series ‘Community’ and the movie ‘The Hangover’. trilogy.
Early life and family
Tran Jeong was born Tran Ho on February 24, 1972 in the US to Vietnamese immigrant parents, who raised her in the US. No other information about her family and early life is available.
There is also no information about her high school entrance exam, but she graduated from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and then took up her family medicine residency at Kaiser Permanente in California. She is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
She has been practicing medicine as a family physician in California for over two decades now. She currently practices in Woodland Hills and Thousand Oaks.
Tran and Ken both worked at Kaiser Permanente in Woodland Hills. They met sometime in 2002 at a happy hour for doctors at Dave & Buster’s restaurant, and talked about what life was like as a doctor and what being single in Los Angeles was like, ‘Oh wow. We have our misery in common. So, do you want to go out?’ This is how Ken described their first meeting in an interview on “Morning Edition”. The two dated for two years before getting married in September 2004. Their twin daughters, Zooey and Alexa, were born in 2007.
Her fight against cancer
While breastfeeding one of their twins in 2008, Tran discovered a lump on her breast, which turned out to be the very aggressive triple-negative variant breast cancer. Tran was worried about their twin daughters if she didn’t survive this, but said that Ken was strong for her, though according to Ken, Tran was the strong and calm one. This came at a time when Ken had left his medical practice and decided to pursue his acting career full-time. When the offer came to do “The Hangover,” Ken was hesitant about accepting it at this difficult time in their lives. Tran underwent a mastectomy, 16 chemotherapy sessions, and radiation therapy. Ken drove his wife to her chemo sessions and then took care of her, as well as their one-year-old twins.
It was Tran along with her mother who encouraged Ken to accept the movie offer. They also wanted him to have an outlet for his worries and hardships, as he had experienced what they called “caregiver burnout.” In October 2010, her oncologist declared her cancer-free, although she had been warned that the cancer could return in two years, but it has now been over a decade and she is still cancer-free.
Who is Ken Jeong?
Ken Jeong is an actor and stand-up comedian. He was born Kendrick Kang Jo Jeong on July 13, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan, USA, to DK Jeong and Young Jeong, who are South Korean immigrants. He graduated from Walter Hines Page High School in 1986 and graduated from Duke University in 1990 for his pre-med studies, and received his medical degree specializing in internal medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995.
He then went to Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans for his residency, becoming a licensed physician and practiced medicine in California.
Ken’s journey in acting and comedy
His love of comedy and making people laugh started when he was still in high school, entering a male beauty pageant for the ‘Mr. Buccaneer’s title. He had no problem making a public fool of himself by posing as Lou Ferrigno (the Incredible Hulk of the 1970s and 1980s) in his swimming trunks and sang a cover of “Three Times a Lady” by The Commodores. He received two standing ovations that night in 1986, at the age of 16.
Ken wanted to pursue acting as a profession and took theater classes at UCLA during the summer before going to medical school.
He had intense discussions with his father who wanted him to have a more stable job. His father, who was an economics professor at the time, had to promise Ken that if he went to medical school, he would give him the chance to develop his hobby. Ken was finally convinced to take medicine and said, “You know? It is a guaranteed, stable profession. And you do it well, and you help people.’ He then continued his pre-med studies at Duke.
His passion for acting and doing comedy was not forgotten when he was in medical school as he was a regular at open mic nights at various clubs such as Tootie’s Durham Comedy Club and Charlie Goodnights in Raleigh. While still in residency, he entered and won the Big Easy Laff-Off contest, which gave him the chance to perform at Improv in LA for two nights.
The judges in that competition were the founder of New York’s original Improv comedy club, Budd Friedman, and former NBC chief Brandon Tartikoff. So Ken became a doctor by day and a stand-up comedian by night.
Ken Jeong eventually moved to LA in 1998 where he practiced medicine and continued to do comedy gigs as well. In 2007, he was cast as a doctor in the comedy “Knocked Up”, and it was after filming the movie that he decided to quit his practice and focus on acting. He was married by then, but his decision was supported by his wife.
Film series “The Hangover”.
Ken was cast in the supporting role of the flamboyant Chinese mobster Mr. Leslie Chow in the comedy movie ‘The Hangover’, which was released on June 5, 2009.
It was a commercial success with a worldwide gross of over $450 million, received positive reviews from critics and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. It was followed by two more – “The Hangover Part II” (2011) and “The Hangover Part III” (2013), which were also blockbusters. The trilogy had a worldwide gross of nearly $1.5 billion, and Ken was all in it.
It was also in 2009 when Ken Jeong was cast to play the role of Ben Chang, the unstable teacher of Greendale, in NBC’s comedy series ‘Community’ which ran for six seasons from through June 2015 with a total of 110 episodes. Ken is currently the main panelist on the third season of the US version of “The Masked King”, and on the first season of the UK version. He made a special appearance as a contestant on the Korean TV show ‘King of Mask Singer’ in January 2019 – dubbed the ‘Golden Pig’, he sang a cover of Radiohead’s hit single ‘Creep’.
- Ken’s first special, which was released on Netflix on Valentine’s Day in 2019, was dedicated to his wife. Called “You Complete Me, Ho”, apparently the name was Tran’s idea.
- Tran said Ken asked her if she was okay with him doing the “jump naked out of the trunk” scene, and she said, “Of course,” and had a good laugh about it. According to Ken, Tran said it would be a feel-good movie for the summer because any guy would go home feeling good about himself after seeing that scene.
- When Ken was asked in an interview if his wife thinks he was over the line or over the top with the profanity and rudeness of his stand-up comedy routines, he said, “No, she’s really good at that.” He said they both have the exact same sensitivity to what they like in comedy.
- At the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, Ken picked up the Best WTF Moment Award for his famous scene in “The Hangover.” In his acceptance speech, he paid tribute to Tran and celebrated her recovery from cancer. He said the reason he made the film was because his wife, who had cancer at the time of filming, told him not to be afraid to take risks, because life is short.
- While filming ‘The Hangover’, he merged Vietnamese words and phrases into his dialogues that only he and his wife would understand, an inside joke of sorts between the two. He called it “a weird love letter to his wife in a dirty movie” when interviewed by ABC News, something the director was unaware of.
With Tran a cancer survivor, her husband fully understood how cancer takes its toll not only on the person suffering from it, but also on the family. He contributes to several cancer charities and has also expressed his support for the Stand Up to Cancer initiative through his social media posts.
Tran is 5ft 4ins. (m) long and slender build. She has black hair and brown eyes.
Wealth and salary
Her salary as a general practitioner is not disclosed, but is estimated to be over $1 million net value from her husband, Ken Jeong, whose net worth is over $15 million according to sources as of April 2020, it would mean they are able to take good care of their twins and live comfortably.