ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Immigrants Of The Day: William Hung of Hongkong, Leo Tarcissus McCarthy of New Zealand, and Ray Milland of United Kingdom

by Kevin R. Johnson

William Hung (Hong Kong)

Williamhung William Hung (born January 13, 1983) gained fame in 2004 as a result of his performance of Ricky Martin's hit song "She Bangs" on the third season of the television series American Idol. (Watch it here). Hung gained fame because of the novelty derived from his lack of talent. Originally from Hong Kong, Hung moved to New Jersey in 1993 and graduated from the John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles. He attended UC Berkeley, but after getting a record deal after his American Idol performance, Hung dropped out from UC Berkeley. He currently attends Pasadena City College.

After appearing on American Idol. Hung rapidly gained a cult following. A William Hung fan site recorded over four million hits within its first week. Hung subsequently appeared on several television programs including Entertainment Tonight, The Late Show With David Letterman, The Howard Stern Radio Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dateline NBC, and CBS's The Early Show. Hung was featured in several national magazines and newspapers; he was parodied on Saturday Night Live and appeared on Celebrity Deathmatch. An online petition to get Hung back to American Idol included more than 100,000 signatures. Hung was brought back to American Idol as part of a mid-season specia in March 2004. Hung has become more famous than many American Idol contestants and he has many fans.

Hung's first single was a cover of The Village People's "YMCA."  His debut album Inspiration includes covers of Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" and "Shake Your Bon Bon" and Elton John's "Rocket Man." The album has sold approximately 200,000 copies and peaked in the top 50 of the U.S. Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart. Several of Hung's songs reached the top 10 on Apple's iTunes charts, and the album reached #3 on's sales rankings. Hung released a Christmas album, Hung for the Holidays, in 2004 and Miracle: Happy Summer from William Hung in 2005.

September 26, 2007 | Permalink

Leo McCarthy (New Zealand)

166pxleo_mccarthy Leo Tarcissus McCarthy (1930-2007) served as the Democratic Lieutenant Governor of California from 1983 to 1995. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, he moved with his parents to San Francisco at the age of four. McCarthy received his B.A. in history from the University of San Francisco and a law degree from San Francisco Law School. McCarthy served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.

McCarthy was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1963.   In 1968, he was elected to the State Assembly, serving as Speaker of the Assembly from 1974 to 1980. McCarthy was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1982 and was re-elected in 1986.  In 1988, McCarthy ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against the Republican incumbent, Pete Wilson. He won a third term as Lieutenant Governor in 1990. In 1992, McCarthy entered the Democratic primary election for the U.S. Senate, but lost the nomination to Congresswoman (now Senator) Barbara Boxer. McCarthy continued as Lieutenant Governor until 1995.

Upon leaving politics, McCarthy created an investment company and helped found the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco. After a long illness, McCarthy died in 2007. Here is his obituary from the S.F. Chronicle.

September 27, 2007 | Permalink

Ray Milland (Wales, United Kingdom)

Lost_weekend Ray Milland (19071986) was an Oscar-winning actor and director. His screen career ran from 1929 to 1985 and he appeared in scores of films. Born in Wales, Milland was "discovered" by a Hollywood talent scout while performing on the stage in London.  He came to America and was signed by Paramount Pictures. In 1946, Milland won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of an alcoholic in Billy Wilder's film The Lost Weekend (1945).  Milland gave perhaps the shortest acceptance speech of any Oscar winner: he simply bowed and left the stage. Milland died in 1986 at age 79.

September 28, 2007 | Permalink

These posts were orginally posted on the ImmigrationProf Blog here, here and here.

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog .

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.