Michael Yama grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. When he was 12, his family moved to Northern California. After graduating from San Jose State University, Yama was drafted into the United States Army. After completing his tour of duty, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. He began his professional acting career 38 years ago. His feature film credits include "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and "Click." He played the character Kimo on the soap "General Hospital" and also played the character Kei on the television series "Hotel."
He has appeared in many theater productions in Los Angeles, including "Shoe Story" for the Theatre of Note, "Bronzeville" for the Robey Theatre Company, "Gumsimao" for Playwright's Arena at LATC, "Climbing Everest" at the Colony Theatre and "The Nisei Widows' Club" at East West Players. Yama was the voice of Torpedo in the cartoon series "G.I. Joe." He has performed voices for many cartoon series such as "Spawn," "Avatar" and "Rocket Power," and can be heard as the voice of the Ancient One in the animated feature "Dr. Strange and the Sorcerer Supreme." He has been seen in many television commercials as well as print campaigns and has been heard on many radio commercials.