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RICK YUNE (Zao) is first generation American; his parents came to the United States from Korea in 1972. He was born in Washington, DC, and educated at the Wharton School of Business.

To raise cash for his studies, Yune tried several jobs and was persuaded to become a photographic model in his spare time. The modeling work escalated to such an extent that it became his principal source of income during his education years. Working with photographer Bruce Weber, he was the first Asian-American model to work for leading companies such as Versace and Polo Sport. He also filmed a commercial with Cindy Crawford.

His plan at the time was to go into finance, and, after college, he served for a time as a trader with an investment bank, handling millions of dollars every day. As much as he enjoyed the cut and thrust of international finance, it was never his intention to spend his entire career as a trader. Maintaining contact with his model agency, Yune was asked to meet movie director Scott Hicks, who was about to make a film called Snow Falling on Cedars. Yune made his motion picture debut in that film in 1999. He went on to appear in The Fast and the Furious and The Fence before joining the cast of Die Another Day.

A keen athlete, Yune qualified for the Olympic Trials in Tae Kwon Do, a Korean martial art, when he was 19.


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