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'Heroes' Star:

Former 'Whiz Kid'

11/27/2006 3:28 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Masi OkaMasi Oka shot to fame playing Hiro Nakamura on the NBC hit "Heroes," but the 31-year-old landed his first magazine cover when he was just 12.

Oka was on the cover of Time magazine in 1987 (he's the one in blue on the left) with the banner, "Those Asian-American Whiz Kids." He told Conan O'Brien that a parent of one of his childhood friends was the photographer, and "She was looking for smart Asian kids." Oka wasn't featured in the article, but he is something of a genius.

Masi worked for George Lucas' special effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, toiling on special effects for films like "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," "War of the Worlds" and the three "Star Wars" prequels. Oka says he still works for the company a couple of days a week.

In a clip from tonight's episode of "Heroes," Hiro figures out that he teleported back in time six months instead of only one day. "Heroes" airs tonight at 9PM ET/PT on NBC.

9 COMMENTS

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1.

girly    

Wow it really is a slow news day!

2702 days ago
2.

We, are not amused.    

Lets see...
Asians are smart
Blacks are not
Whites are crazy
Mexicans have lots of babies
Jews run Hollywood
...did I forget anybody?

2702 days ago
3.

jewish smewish,,    

asians have the best stereotype! shucks

2702 days ago
4.

sam    

I love the show Heroes. One of the best out this season. Fast paced and you actually get answers to your questions. Unlike another Lost program I've quit watching.

The Question still remains. Did saving the Cheer Leader, save the world???? Stay tune.

2702 days ago
5.

???    

#1 LoLo is that you? I LOVE YOU!

2702 days ago
6.

Gabrielle    

Ack! Watch the spoilers, TMZ! We can figure most plot lines out, but please try not to spoil the show. Should have just said "watch the clip, spoiler alert."

2702 days ago
7.

Jason Elias    

LOL@3

2702 days ago
8.

Marissa    

I love this guy. Some asian guys are so loveable. I think its completely awesome that he's so down to earth to somewhat keep his "day job". Awesome. If only more were like that.

2700 days ago
9.

angelica    

r u that smart ur so cute too

2697 days ago

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