Rex Lee made a living out of appeasing difficult bosses, long before typifying the stereotypically abused personal assistant. With his addition to the second season of HBO’s breakout hit, “Entourage” (2004- ), he became an instant fan favorite, infusing his role of Lloyd, the gay Asian assistant often ridiculed by his venom-spewing boss, super-agent Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), with an infinite supply of level-headedness and patience.
Born in Warren, OH on Jan. 7, 1969, the compact thespian with the cherubic face got a taste of life on both the east and west coasts. The son of a doctor father and homemaker mother, Lee spent his life from the age of nine in Boston before being transplanted to Los Angeles, CA. As an adolescent, Lee developed a strong aptitude in music and mathematics, nourishing in particular, a gift for the piano. His advanced musical skills led him back to Ohio and its heralded Oberlin College of Music, where, after an unsuccessful foray from music to dance, he became enchanted with acting. Lee then switched his major once again, deciding to pursue a career back in Los Angeles upon graduation, taking jobs in retail and working at a coffee shop along the way.
Lee’s acting resume would become peppered with a variety of stage, commercial, television and film work. Though he managed to land a guest spot on the Harry Anderson sitcom vehicle “Dave’s World,” in 1994, Lee would see a five-year gap between that show and his next screen appearances on the series “Redemption High” and the feature “Word of Mouth,” both in 1999. More notable credits came in a steady succession, as Lee appeared on the primetime television comedies “Son of the Beach” (FX, 2000-02) in 2002; “Lucky” (FX, 2003) in 2003; “Twins” (WB, 2005- ) in 2005; and “What About Brian” (2006- ) during its first season. Lee also appeared in numerous stage productions, including the AIDS drama “Queen Of Angels,” as well as “Taming of the Shrew” and “Letters to a Student Revolutionary.”
In a case of life imitating art, by 2005, the openly-gay Lee was well into a five-year stint working as a casting assistant, which he did even during his early episode tapings for “Entourage.” By Lee’s own admission, the job required a professional endurance and sense of diplomacy in the face of the occasional tantrum – traits which inadvertently helped him settle into his first major onscreen opportunity acting against co-star Jeremy Piven’s high-energy Ari. After his winning performance prompted an expansion in episode count from its intended four to 10, he was tapped as a regular for the series’ third season, in which he made his biggest splash in its finale. After his “golden boy” boss is ousted from his own agency, the loyal Lloyd offered a rousing monologue to Ari, accompanying his homophobic/racist – but often endearing – boss into the great unknown. This shining moment cemented Lee’s popularity on the show, leading to greater exposure for him as an actor and all but ensured his invaluable return into the continuing seasons.