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Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:16:47 GMT | By Francis Whittaker
Debut Academy Award winners

Haing S. Ngor



Dr. Haing S. Ngor (© Everett Collection / Rex Feature)
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  • Jo Van Fleet (© Everett Collection / Rex Feature;)
  • Julie Andrews (© WireImage/Kevin Mazur)
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  • Dr. Haing S. Ngor (© Everett Collection / Rex Feature)
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  • Anna Paquin (© WireImage/Steve Granitz)
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Best Supporting Actor (1984) for The Killing Fields

Cambodian Ngor initially trained as a doctor. When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge seized control of the country in 1975, he was compelled to conceal his medical education due to the regime's suspicion of intellectuals, before he was interned in a concentration camp with his wife who subsequently died during childbirth. A year after the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979, Ngor moved to the US and, despite having no prior acting experience, was cast in the role of real-life photojournalist Dith Pran in 1984's The Killing Fields, for which he won an Academy Award. Tragically, Ngor was murdered by three gang members in Los Angeles during a bungled robbery attempt in 1996. He was 55.

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