Ken Jeong has been married to Tran Jeong since 2004
Before he found fame in film and television, Ken Jeong found his wife.
The actor was working as a doctor when he met Tran Ho, also a doctor. The couple soon married in September 2004, and then welcomed their twin daughters, Alexa and Zooey, in 2007.
When the couple’s twins were just a year old, Tran was diagnosed with breast cancer. Around the same time, Ken was offered a role in The Hangover as Leslie Chow, which would propel his career forward. Despite going through treatment for cancer and having young daughters, Tran encouraged her husband to take the opportunity.
“I was going to turn it down, but Tran encouraged me not to. She would not let her diagnosis change our lives or strip us from our dreams,” Ken wrote in a 2011 personal essay for HuffPost.
He continued, “For as long as we'd known each other, she'd been my biggest champion in my efforts to pursue a career in comedy. She knew this was my chance, and again, she selflessly put herself second.”
So who is Ken Jeong’s wife? Here’s everything to know about Tran Jeong and her relationship with the actor.
She met Ken at a singles mixer
Ken and Tran met when they were both working as doctors at the same Los Angeles hospital. She was working in family medicine and he was in internal medicine.
“I remember we would pass by each other in the hospital occasionally when we were rounding. She was very pretty, very together. She just seemed very together,” he recalled during an episode of the Death, Sex & Money podcast.
“I remember we had a doctors' night out, like young doctors. Doctors in their late 20s, early 30s,” he added. “We all got together for a happy hour at a bar.”
He said, “We both realized — oh my God, this is amazing. She made me laugh. She was really the first person I ever met that made me laugh so hard. She’s just so funny. We really bonded by our love of comedy. You don’t meet a lot of people in medicine, much less date them, who like that, but we had that in common.”
She’s “secure” in herself
Not only did the couple bond over a love of comedy, but Tran is comfortable being at the receiving end of her husband’s jokes. Even his 2019 Netflix comedy special, You Complete Me, Ho, is a play on her maiden name.
“I ran every joke by her. It just shows what thick skin she had. She’s like a comedian’s dream for a wife, or a girlfriend. Because she’s just so secure in herself. Her last name’s Ho, and I’m doing like the worst, hackeyiest ho jokes,” he said on the Death, Sex & Money podcast.
“Even when we got married, she was like, “I knew I married a comedic actor at heart. Not a doctor,” he added.
She encouraged Ken to become a full-time actor
Ken gives credit to Tran for pushing him to pursue a career in acting full time. After a few minor roles throughout the early 2000s, his life became “wonderfully surreal” after his big break in 2007’s Knocked Up.
“I was happy just being the doctor from Knocked Up, much less what happened after,” he told critics during ABC’s summer press tour. “The Hangover changed my life from black-and-white to Technicolor.”
Jeong explained, “I had filmed Knocked Up during a vacation week. My wife was like a good college coach telling the star player it was time to go pro. She knew I had the secret ambition to want to act full time I just didn’t know if I could do this full time. It was really my wife’s confidence in me that encouraged me to do this full time. I owe my whole career to her.”
Though Ken no longer practices medicine, he has portrayed a doctor in a few roles including in Knocked Up and Dr. Ken, and has even put his skills to use in real life when necessary.
She is a mom of twins
Ken and Tran became parents in 2007 with the arrival of their twin daughters, Alexa and Zooey.
Though the girls mostly stay out of the spotlight, they have made a few appearances over the years with their parents at premieres and events. And despite being twins, Ken has opened up about celebrating their differences and what makes each of his girls unique.
“There is something special and different about being a father to twin daughters,” the Community star told PEOPLE in 2017.
“I have not one but two ‘Daddy’s little girls,’ and you have double that dynamic in a lot of ways,” he continued. “It really is just double the sweetness. There’s something to be said about that.”
He also shared a bit of advice for fellow parents, “The best thing I can recommend is to listen to your child. I really mean that.”
“Alexa loves gymnastics, and neither me nor my wife [are athletic] — she may have taken a few tumbling classes, but Alexa really had an aptitude and a passion for gymnastics and we encouraged that,” he shared.
“We listen to [our children] and I take a lot of pride in that,” Jeong added. “Zooey, on the other hand, loves comedy. She’s guest starred on Dr. Ken, and it’s been fun having shared experiences as well.”
She is a breast cancer survivor
Tran is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with the illness after finding a lump in her breast while breastfeeding her daughters when they were infants.
“It was difficult to comprehend why this was happening to her at a time when she should be enjoying the first years of motherhood with her young children,” Ken wrote in a personal essay for HuffPost. “I now believe there was a reason she was diagnosed when she was — she had a mother's strength to draw from, and a stronger will to fight.”
Tran is still working as a doctor and has been in remission for over a decade. After witnessing the journey his wife embarked on through chemotherapy and treatments, it inspired Ken to become an advocate for cancer detection and research.
The Community actor once told PEOPLE Now, “It’s the most important thing to me, family-wise and personally. And I have actually gone to different hospitals just to speak of breast cancer awareness and the importance of getting screened. And I’ve been just doing talks around the country.”
She gave approval for Ken to appear naked in The Hangover
Before Ken stripped down for his role of Leslie Chow in The Hangover and later The Hangover Part II, he got approval from someone important – Tran.
“I got her permission. I’m not stupid,” the actor told PEOPLE at The Hangover II’s Los Angeles premiere. “I ran it by her before I ran it by [director] Todd Phillips.”
“I’m very blessed to have a supportive wife,” added Jeong. “In fact, she said this will be a feel-good movie because every guy will go home feeling good about themselves.”
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