Born and raised in Hong Kong, Henry Chan moved to the United States to study at the University of Oregon, focusing on medicine at his parents’ insistence. Not satisfied studying chemistry, he took a variety of classes before discovering and graduating with a BA in theater. Chan’s father, though not thrilled about his career path, encouraged him to find employment in television, leading Chan to earn a masters degree in film at Brooklyn College.
Chan began his career in television as a technician at a local New York TV station, and soon transitioned to CBS where he worked on Archie Bunker’s Place, and other programs, as an assistant editor. It was on Archie Bunker’s Place that Chan got his big break and was promoted from assistant editor to editor, working with the legendary sitcom director Paul Bogart and lead actor Carroll O’Connor. His Emmy-winning editing experience allowed him to transition to directing in 1991. Since then, Chan has directed on more than 40 sitcoms including A Different World, Living Single, Sister, Sister, Moesha, Girlfriends, The King of Queens, The Fresh Beat Band, Let’s Stay Together, and most recently Zoe Ever After, to name a few. Along with his sitcom work, he has directed the feature film Gas (2004) and the Chinese language film 100 Days (2013).
Henry Chan has served on five Western Region Negotiating Committees (2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014), is a founding co-chair of the Asian American Committee, and since 2004 has been a Diversity Task Force Committee Member. He has been a DGA member since 1985.