Dr. Haing S. Ngor was born in Samrong Young, Cambodia March 22nd, 1940. He was a highly skilled surgeon and gynecologist, practicing in Phnom Penh Cambodia, when in 1975 he was ordered out of the city, along with two million other residents, as part of the Khmer Rouge takeover. After four years in a "concentration camp", he and his niece Sophia Ngor took refuge in Thailand, and subsequently the United States. Although Dr. Ngor had no acting experience, he was chosen for the role of a journalist's assistant trapped in the killing fields of Cambodia. Haing Ngor's real life experience in Cambodia's killing fields enabled him to deliver a performance that was so realistic and moving, that it earned him an Academy Award in 1985 for "Best Supporting Actor". Dr. Ngor's Oscar winning performance in "The Killing Fields" was followed with roles in 16 other feature films, as well as numerous television appearances.
Dr. Ngor started the "Dr. Haing S. Ngor Foundation" to assist in raising funds for Cambodian aid. As part of his humanitarian efforts, Dr. Ngor built an elementary school and operated a small sawmill that provided jobs and an income for local families. Today, long time friend Jack Ong is the Executive Director of the foundation and continues the legacy of Dr. Ngor.
On February 25th, 1996 Dr. Haing S. Ngor was shot and killed while standing beside his car in Los Angeles' Chinatown. Three members of a Chinatown gang were later tried and convicted of first degree murder, and second degree robbery in the senseless slaying of Dr. Ngor.