Margaret Moran Cho (born December 5, 1968) is an American comedian, fashion designer, actress, author, and singer-songwriter. Cho, of Korean ancestry, is best known for her stand-up routines, through which she critiques social and political problems, especially those pertaining to race and sexuality. She has also directed and appeared in music videos and has her own clothing line. She has frequently supported LGBT rights and has won awards for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of women, Asians, and the LGBT community. As an actress she has played parts such as Charlene Lee in It's My Party and that of John Travolta's FBI colleague in the action movie Face/Off. She is part of the TV series Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime Television, playing the role of Teri Lee, a paralegal assistant. Cho was born into a Korean family in San Francisco, California. She grew up in a racially diverse neighborhood in the 1970s and 1980s, which she described as a community of "old hippies, ex-druggies, burn-outs from the '60s, drag queens, Chinese people, and Koreans. To say it was a melting pot — that's the least of it. It was a really confusing, enlightening, wonderful time." Cho's parents, Young-Hie and Seung-Hoon Cho, ran Paperback Traffic, a bookstore on Polk Street at California Street in San Francisco. Her father writes joke books and a newspaper column in Seoul, South Korea. After Cho expressed an interest in performance, she auditioned and was accepted into the San Francisco School of the Arts, an area arts high school. While at the school, she became involved with the school's improvisational comedy group alongside actor Sam Rockwell. After doing several shows in a club adjacent to her parents' bookstore, Cho launched a stand-up career and spent several years developing her material in clubs. Cho's career began to build after appearances on television and university campuses. In 1992, she appeared on the unsuccessful Golden Girls spin-off The Golden Palace in a small role. In 1994, Cho won the American Comedy Award for Best Female Comedian. In 2010, on The View, she discussed her nervousness about doing The Golden Palace and thanked the late Rue McClanahan for her help with rehearsing. Also in the early years of her career, she secured a coveted spot as opening act for Jerry Seinfeld and was featured on a Bob Hope special. She was also a frequent visitor to The Arsenio Hall Show.
Margaret Moran Cho