Keye Luke


Actor
Keye Luke

About

Birth Place
China
Born
June 18, 1904
Died
January 12, 1991
Cause of Death
Stroke

Biography

Born in China but raised from childhood in Seattle, Luke entered the film industry as a billboard artist and caricaturist doing layout work for movie houses. He first acted when an MGM producer needed a Chinese actor with good English diction for a supporting role in the 1934 Greta Garbo film "The Painted Veil." A featured actor in between 100-150 films, Luke is best known as Lee Chan, t...

Photos & Videos

Family & Companions

Ethel Davis
Wife
Married from 1942 until her death in 1979.

Notes

Founding member of the Screen Actors Guild.

He won the first Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by the Association of Asian/Pacific American Artists (1986)

Biography

Born in China but raised from childhood in Seattle, Luke entered the film industry as a billboard artist and caricaturist doing layout work for movie houses. He first acted when an MGM producer needed a Chinese actor with good English diction for a supporting role in the 1934 Greta Garbo film "The Painted Veil."

A featured actor in between 100-150 films, Luke is best known as Lee Chan, the No. 1 Son in 13 Charlie Chan films beginning in the late 1930s and as Kato, the clever houseboy to the masked avenger in "The Green Hornet" serials. During Hollywood's "Yellow Peril" period, when Asian actors were often cast as villains, MGM signed Luke to play the eager young intern in the "Dr. Gillespie" film series with Lionel Barrymore. He was subsequently cast as "good guys"--ambitious young lawyers or detectives.

Working consistently for over 60 years, Luke also made guest appearances on numerous TV shows and played Thomas Wong on "Kentucky Jones" (1964-65), Kralahome on the series "Anna and the King" (1972), the blind monk Master Po on "Kung Fu" (1972-75) and Dr. Fong on "Harry-O" (1976). After being identified as Charlie Chan's son for so many years, Luke supplied the voice of Charlie Chan himself on the Saturday morning cartoon "Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan" (1972-74).

Luke costarred on Broadway as the patriarch of a Chinese-American family in the 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Flower Drum Song" for three years. More recently, he appeared as the Chinese merchant in both "Gremlin" films and made his final screen appearance as the Chinese herbalist, Dr. Yang, whose blend of Eastern herbs and Western psychiatry liberates Mia Farrow in the Woody Allen film "Alice" (1990).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
The Mighty Quinn (1989)
Dead Heat (1988)
Kung Fu: The Movie (1986)
Blood Sport (1986)
Dr Makimura
A Fine Mess (1986)
Blade in Hong Kong (1985)
Chang Ching-Tzu
Gremlins (1984)
Cocaine and Blue Eyes (1983)
Tan Ng
Fly Away Home (1981)
Duc
Just You And Me, Kid (1979)
The Amsterdam Kill (1978)
Chung Wei
Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders (1974)
The Cat Creature (1973)
Thief
Kung Fu (1972)
Master Po
The Hawaiians (1970)
Foo Sen
The Chairman (1969)
Professor Soong Li
Nobody's Perfect (1968)
Gondai-San
Project X (1968)
Sen Chiu
Battle Hell (1957)
Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
The Bamboo Prison (1955)
Li Chung
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
Elder Brother
Hell's Half Acre (1954)
Chief Dan
World for Ransom (1954)
Lee Wong
South Sea Woman (1953)
Japanese officer
Fair Wind to Java (1953)
Pidada
The Congregation (1952)
Young Man with a Horn (1950)
Ramundo
The Sky Dragon (1949)
Lee Chan
Waterfront at Midnight (1948)
Loy
Sleep, My Love (1948)
Jimmie
The Feathered Serpent (1948)
Lee Chan
Dark Delusion (1947)
Dr. Lee
Tokyo Rose (1946)
Charlie Otani
Between Two Women (1945)
Dr. Lee
How Doooo You Do!!! (1945)
Himself
First Yank into Tokyo (1945)
Haan-Soo
Secret Agent X-9 (1945)
Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble (1944)
Dr. Lee [Wong How]
Three Men in White (1944)
Dr. Lee Wong How
Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)
Dr. Lee Wong How
Salute to the Marines (1943)
"Flashy" Logaz
The Adventures of Smilin' Jack (1943)
Journey for Margaret (1942)
Japanese statesman
Mr. & Mrs. North (1942)
Kumi
The Invisible Agent (1942)
Surgeon
The Falcon's Brother (1942)
Jerry
North to the Klondike (1942)
[K.] Wellington Wong
Spy Ship (1942)
Haru
A Yank on the Burma Road (1942)
Kim How
Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942)
Dr. Lee Wong How
Destination Unknown (1942)
Secretary
A Tragedy at Midnight (1942)
Ah Foo
Across the Pacific (1942)
Steamship office clerk
Mexican Spitfire's Elephant (1942)
Magician
Somewhere I'll Find You (1942)
Thomas Chang
Submarine Raider (1942)
Tesei
Footlight Fever (1941)
Waiter
Passage from HongKong (1941)
Chinese waiter
Burma Convoy (1941)
Lin Taiyen
Let's Go Collegiate (1941)
Buck
The Gang's All Here (1941)
George [Lee]
Bowery Blitzkrieg (1941)
Clancy
No Hands on the Clock (1941)
Houseboy
They Met in Bombay (1941)
Mr. Toy
Phantom of Chinatown (1940)
Jimmy Lee Wong
Wildcat Bus (1940)
Tai
Sued for Libel (1939)
Chang Howe
Disputed Passage (1939)
Andrew Abbott
Barricade (1939)
Ling
North of Shanghai (1939)
Jimmy Riley
International Settlement (1938)
Dr. Wong
Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1938)
Lee Chan
Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938)
Lee Chan
The Good Earth (1937)
Elder Son
Charlie Chan at the Olympics (1937)
Lee Chan
Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937)
Lee Chan
Charlie Chan at the Opera (1937)
Lee Chan
Anything Goes (1936)
Chinese boy
Charlie Chan at the Race Track (1936)
Lee Chan
Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)
Lee Chan
King of Burlesque (1936)
Wong
Shanghai (1935)
Chinese ambassador's son
Here's to Romance (1935)
Saito
Charlie Chan in Paris (1935)
Lee Chan
Mad Love (1935)
Dr. Wong
Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1935)
Lee Chan
Eight Bells (1935)
Interpreter
Murder in the Fleet (1935)
Consul's secretary
Oil for the Lamps of China (1935)
Young Chinese
The Casino Murder Case (1935)
Taki
The Painted Veil (1934)
Shay Kee Seng

Art Department (Feature Film)

The Shanghai Gesture (1942)
Mural in Mother Gin Sling's apartment

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Macao (1952)
Mural painter

Cast (Special)

The 1988 Miss Universe Pageant (1988)
Judge
The Last Electric Knight (1986)
Sabasan
Unit 4 (1981)
Jimmy Yew
Brothers (1980)

Life Events

1934

Became an actor when an MGM producer needed a Chinese actor with educated diction to play a supporting role in the Greta Garbo film, "The Painted Veil"

1935

Starred as No. 1 Son in first of 13 Charlie Chan films

Photo Collections

First Yank Into Tokyo - Movie Poster
Here is an original release movie poster from RKO's First Yank Into Tokyo (1945), starring Tom Neal. This is an Insert poster, measuring 14 x 36 inches.
Charlie Chan at the Circus - Movie Poster
Here is the Window Card from Fox's Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936), starring Warner Oland. Window Cards were 14x22 mini posters designed to be placed in store windows around town during a film's engagement. A blank space at the top of the poster featured theater and playdate infromation.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

First Yank Into Tokyo - (Original Trailer) An army pilot (Tom Neal) undergoes plastic surgery to infiltrate the Japanese during World War II in First Yank Into Tokyo (1945).
Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant - (Original Trailer) Three young surgeons vie to replace the legendary Dr. Kildare in Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant (1942).
Dark Delusion - (Original Trailer) The last of the Dr. Kildare series, this one minus Dr. Kildare, has a new doctor (James Craig) trying to help a neurotic beauty.
Bamboo Prison, The - (Original Trailer) An undercover agent investigates atrocities at a Korean P.O.W. camp in The Bamboo Prison (1955).
Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble - (Original Trailer) In the 13th entry in the series, college boy Andy tangles with beautiful twins in Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble (1944).
Somewhere I'll Find You - (Original Trailer) Brothers feud over a girl they both fall for while covering World War II in Somewhere I'll Find You (1942) starring Clark Gable and Lana Turner.
Good Earth, The - (Wide release trailer) The Good Earth (1937) is an epic adaptation of the Pearl Buck classic about Chinese farmers battling the elements and stars Luise Rainer & Paul Muni.
Between Two Women (1944) - (Original Trailer) Dr. Gillespie's young assistant (Van Johnson) finds himself pursued by two beautiful women in Between Two Women (1944).
Spy Ship - (Original Trailer) Fog Over Frisco (1934) is turned into a spy thriller with the addition of enemy agents in Spy Ship (1942).
Mr. & Mrs. North - (Original Trailer) A dizzy socialite (Gracie Allen) and her husband set out to solve a murder in their Park Avenue apartment in Mr & Mrs. North (1942).
Murder in the Fleet - (Original Trailer) Robert Taylor got his first starring role solving a Murder In The Fleet (1935) when he becomes a suspect.
Mad Love - (Original Trailer) A mad doctor grafts the hands of a murderer on to a concert pianist's wrists in Mad Love (1935) starring Peter Lorre.

Family

Ethel Longenecker
Daughter

Companions

Ethel Davis
Wife
Married from 1942 until her death in 1979.

Bibliography

Notes

Founding member of the Screen Actors Guild.

He won the first Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by the Association of Asian/Pacific American Artists (1986)

A month before his death, Luke was honored by a sidewalk star in the Hollywood Hall of Fame (December, 1990)