In 2008, Ken Jeong’s wife, Tran, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She initially felt a lump in her breast in 2007, while breastfeeding the couple’s twin daughters. In 2009, while undergoing chemotherapy treatment, Ken Jeong got the call that he had booked the hit film The Hangover.
In an interview with ABC News, Tran shared, “Ken was so strong for me. I really needed that… But you know, I knew he was stressed out too.” She added, “And when the opportunity of ‘The Hangover’ came up, he really worried about [it]… He said, ‘I don’t know if I should do this.'” Naturally, Tran urged Ken to take the job.
It was just a month after filming “The Hangover” that Tran was declared cancer-free.
When he received his award at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, Jeong shared, “I want to take the opportunity to thank my wife Tran… The reason why I did this is that she taught me that life is short, and don’t be afraid to take chances. And I want to tell you that Tran is cancer-free for two years.”
Tran is also a physician who practices family medicine and medicine is how the two met.
In his Netflix special, Ken opens up about his relationship, saying, “My wife is the biggest muse I had… I remember feeling stressed out that I couldn’t be with my wife during chemo. I wanted to be with her for every round of it.”
On the last day of filming, Bradley Cooper, according to Market Watch, drove Jeong back from Las Vegas to LA and asked how Tran was doing. Jeong says, “It’s definitely ironic that one of the raunchiest comedies of the past 10 years could not have been more gentle and compassionate behind the scenes. ‘The Hangover’ was the greatest thing that ever happened in my life, because it saved my life, even if it wasn’t a box-office sensation,” he said.
The couple are parents to two twin girls, Zooey and Alexa, who are 12 today.
As fans are well aware, Jeong is a licensed physician but stopped practicing medicine so he could focus on his acting career. Raised in North Carolina and South Korea, Jeong graduated from Duke University in 1990. He earned his MD at the UNC School of Medicine in 1995. He began practicing theater and improv while a student at North Carolina. He would spend his evenings performing at open mic nights.
Jeong made his film debut in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up. That gave way to other iconic roles in films like Pineapple Express, Role Models, Couples Retreat, The Hangover, and Zookeeper. These days, he also serves as a judge on The Masked Singer, premiering on September 25.