Actor Haing Ngor found gunned down outside L.A. home

February 27, 1996
Web posted at: 12:50 a.m. EST

From Correspondent Jim Hill

killing fields

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Dr. Haing S. Ngor, the actor best known for his Oscar-winning performance in "The Killing Fields," has been killed.

Los Angeles police say Ngor's body was found next to his car -- in the open parking garage of his house. They say he apparently was shot as he arrived home in the Chinatown section of Los Angeles Sunday evening.

There are conflicting reports about Ngor's age. The Los Angeles Coroner reports he was 55. However, Ngor's longtime publicist, Marion Rosenberg, said he was 45.

Ngor won an Academy Award in 1984 for his portrayal of Cambodian journalist Dith Pran, who barely survived the mass killing of the Pol Pot regime. Ngor himself was tortured by Pol Pot forces -- and dedicated his Oscar to the family he lost.

Pran now works as a news photographer for The New York Times, where he learned of Ngor's killing.

"He is like a twin with me," Pran said. "He is like a co- messenger and right now I am alone." (128K AIFF sound or 128K WAV sound)

In a 1993 interview with CNN, Ngor gave his perspective on the success he achieved.


"I have a house, I have everything, but I have no family," he said. "How rich you are, but you can't buy a happy family." (136K AIFF sound or 136K WAV sound)

But Ngor's money did buy help for the people of Cambodia. Actor-producer Matt Salinger says that Ngor -- a doctor by training -- supported two clinics and a school in his Southeast Asian home country.

"He had a largeness of heart that was all encompassing," Salinger said.

Ngor was never trained in acting, but he won roles in a number of films and television series, including Oliver Stone's "Between Heaven and Earth." (128K AIFF sound or 128K WAV sound)

Investigators say they have no suspects or motive in Ngor's killing. They say he carried a wallet and money, but neither was taken. Ngor clearly had political enemies from his activities in Cambodia, something police were said to be checking.

Those who knew Ngor see a sad irony in his death -- that a man who had survived so much in his native Cambodia would be killed outside his home in the United States.



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