Sunday, April 14, 2013

Keye Luke Appreciation

"I have played so many doctors and characters in the mainstream. Because of my appearance, or because of my personality, or whatever it may be, I was always put into good Boy Scout roles -- lawyers, doctors, business executives and tycoons, the nice Chinese guy down the block."

That was a quote from the late, great, and criminally unsung Keye Luke. 

Keye Luke was born in Guangzhou, China and raised in Seattle. Before becoming an actor, he worked as an artist--first in Seattle, later in Hollywood.

Here are some more Fun Facts about Mr. Luke (via IMDb):

  • Drew the artwork used in the press book for King Kong (1933).

  • Painted the garden fairytale setting murals on the interior of Grauman's Chinese Theatre as well as the massive auditorium ceiling.

  • Mr. Luke was the first Chinese-American actor to be signed with RKO, Universal, and MGM. 

  • Did you know that Keye Luke was the only person of Asian descent to play a lead (...wait for it...) Asian detective in 1930's/1940's era Hollywood?

Keye Luke painting designs on the bathing suit of his The Good Earth co-star, Suzanna Kim.

Popular Roles (Links)

Charlie Chan in Paris
 (1935)--This was Keye Luke's second film role and the first of his work as Lee Chan (aka "Number One Son") in the Charlie Chan detective films.

The Sky Dragon (1949)--Mr. Luke's last role as Lee Chan.

The Green Hornet--"The Tunnel of Terror" (1940)--Keye Luke played Kato in the 1940 film serials of The Green Hornet. "The Tunnel of Terror" is the first of thirteen serials.

Kung Fu (1972)--Keye Luke played Master Po in the early 1970's series Kung Fu. This is a clip from the pilot episode.


Here is Mr. Luke's IMDb page. You'll see that he worked in a lot of other great movies and television shows, including The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan (where he voiced Charlie Chan), Star TrekM*A*S*H*, and Gremlins.


Also, check out this trailer for KEYE LUKE (2012).

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