Korean American actor Ralph Ahn, famously known as the sweet but silent Tran in the Fox sitcom “New Girl,” has passed away at the age of 95.
Ahn passed away on Feb. 26 at 11 p.m., the Korean American Foundation Los Angeles told E! Online. News of Ahn’s death was also reported by outlets such as South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency (YNA) and shared by “New Girl” co-star Jake Johnson on Instagram on Monday.
Johnson posted a still from an episode of the Fox series and wrote, “RIP. So much fun to work with. He gave so much with literally no lines. I loved when he was on set. I was always expecting to somehow work with him again.”
According to YNA, Ahn was recently admitted to a hospital due to an undisclosed illness.
Aside from Johnson, “New Girl” star Zooey Deschanel also reacted to the news, commenting “Noooooo” with a crying emoji.
Born on Sept. 28, 1926, in Los Angeles, Ahn was the son of Ahn Chang-ho, a prominent Korean independence activist, and Helen Ahn. They were reportedly the “first married Korean couple to immigrate to the U.S. in 1902,” according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
In 1905, Ahn’s father reportedly founded “Pachappa Camp,” which is considered the first organized Korean settlement in the country. He also founded the Korean Labor Bureau to employ immigrants.
During World War II, Ahn served in the U.S. Navy before becoming an actor. During his on-screen career, he appeared in several movies, including the 1991 drama “Eyes of an Angel,” and several TV shows, including “The Golden Girls” and “Gilmore Girls.” However, he is remembered by most fans today for his role in the sitcom “New Girl.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, “New Girl” creator Elizabeth Meriwether revealed it was Johnson who pushed the idea to make Tran a recurring character in the show.
“He’s really easy to write for… It was Jake Johnson’s idea, originally. He texted me about it. We all thought it was so funny,” Meriwether said. “Going into this year, I think one of the writers in the retreat pitched his granddaughter being a love interest. But Jake also wanted to do something like that.”
Brett Baer, the show’s executive producer, also said at the time that Johnson and Ahn “get along so well off camera.”
Featured Image via “New Girl” / Fox