Haing S Ngor
Cambodian-born doctor who, after escaping from war-torn Southeast Asia to the US, came to be cast in a co-starring role in "The Killing Fields" (1984). This fact-based feature depicted events which paralleled many of Ngor's own experiences. A practicing doctor, Ngor was captured, and tortured for years, by the Khmer Rouge following their takeover of Cambodia. He eventually escaped to Thailand and then to the US where he worked at various jobs until director Roland Joffe cast the non-professional as Dith Pran, translator and assistant to The New York Times reporter Sidney Schanberg (played by Sam Waterston), upon whose memoirs the drama is based. It was Ngor's acting debut and garnered him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.