Alvin Ing, a pioneering Asian-American Broadway and screen star, has died at 89 of breakthrough COVID-19 complications.
The actor and singer died Saturday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, representatives confirmed.
"Honolulu native and American Army veteran with a gift to serve, he felt a duty to himself and his fellow citizens to be fully vaccinated," reads a statement from his reps provided to People. "Although he was fully vaccinated, Ing was first diagnosed with pneumonia in mid-July then confirmed to have COVID-19 a few days later. After two weeks of battling COVID-19, Ing passed away due to cardiac arrest."
Born in Honolulu, Ing moved to New York City to pursue a career in theater after completing his studies in music at the University of Hawaii. He appeared in a number of off-Broadway productions before finally landing his debut in 1976 as Shogun's mother in "Pacific Overtures." Ing also famously appeared in several tours and productions of "Flower Drum Song" as Wang Ta — a role he reportedly played more than any other actor, Fox News noted.
"His voice was glorious and filled the room with its flawless sound, but beyond that, his sound was steeped in joy. Alvin was a joyful presence to be around at every rehearsal and performance," said Lea Salonga who starred in "Flower Drum Song."
Ing's career was not limited to theater. He had recurring roles in several soap operas including "The Doctors" and "Falcon Crest," and he guest-starred in "Charlie's Angels," "Dallas," "Fantasy Island," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and the "Hawaii Five-0" revival.
Furthermore, Ing also appeared in films like "The Gambler," "The Final Cutdown," "Stir Crazy," and "Smilla's Sens of Snow."
In addition to his acting career, Ing was a staunch advocate for the Asian American Pacific Islander community in the entertainment industry and an active member of the Theater for Asian American Performing Artists.
"Since forever, the reputation of Asian American actors has been defiled by a well known, but rarely spoken, sentiment: we will never be as good as our colleagues of other colors, never mind better," B.D. Wong, who appeared alongside Ing in the revival of "Pacific Overtures," said in a statement. "One day Alvin Ing sang for me, and I finally knew, for keeps, that anyone who thought this was pitifully mistaken."
Taking to Twitter, Broadway star Telly Leung, added, "There was only one ALVIN ING, and a generation of Asian performers would not be where are today without his leadership and courage. Boy, I will miss you, my friend."
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