Gunsmoke Guests on
Keye Luke (1904-1991)

Keye Luke

The Queue, December 3, 1955 - Written by Sam Peckinpah., Story by John Meston, Directed by Charles Marquis Warren, Guest Cast: Keye Luke, Sebastian Cabot

He was always the kindly, honorable Asian in films, non-stereotypical, and from what I hear of those who knew him, he was a charming gentleman offscreen also. Keye Luke was born on June 18, 1904 in Canton, China and his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was a child. He grew up in Seattle, Washington graduating from Franklin high school there. He entered the film industry as a billboard designer and caricaturist and was discovered for acting by accident when a casting director needed an educated Chinese actor with good diction for a role in a Garbo film, "The Painted Veil" (1934), thus beginning a career of over 60 years and over 100 films. He also became a technical advisor on films with Chinese themes. In the photo above he is pictured in his early days from the Charlie Chan film series where he played Chan's No. 1 son; a role that endeared him with filmgoers the world over. He was later best remembered for his TV role as the wise sage, Master Po on "Kung Fu." His film credits include: "Shanghai" (1935) as Ambassador's Son; "Charlie Chan in Egypt" (1935) as Lee Chan; "Anything Goes" (1936); "The Good Earth" (1937) as Elder Son, one of few Oriental actors cast in the film; "Mr. Moto's Gamble" (1938) originally intended to be a Charlie Chan film, as Lee Chan; "Green Hornet" (1939) as Kato; "Phantom of Chinatown" (1940) as James Lee Wong; "Mr. and Mrs. North" (1941) as Kumi; "Bowery Blitzkrieg" (1941) as Clancy; "North to the Klondike" (1942) as Wellington Wong; "The Falcon's Brother" (1942) as Jerry; "Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant" (1942) as Dr. Lee Wong Howe; "Across the Pacific" (1942) as Steamship Office Clerk; "Adventures of Smilin' Jack" (1943) as Capt. Wing; "Dragon Seed" (1944) uncredited, as Japanese Diplomat; "Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble" (1944) as Dr. Lee; "Secret Agent X-9" (1945) as Ah Fong; "Tokyo Rose" (1946) as Charlie Otani; "Lost City of the Jungle" (1946) as Tal Shan; "The Feathered Sepent" (1948) as Lee Chan; "Sleep, My Love" (1948) as Jimmie; "Fair Wind to Java" (1953) as Pidada; "Hell's Half Acre" (1954) as Chief Dan; "Around the World in 80 Days" (1956); "The Chairman" (1969) as Prof. Soong Li; "The Hawaiians" (1970) as Foo Sen; "The Amsterdam Kill" (1977) as Chung Wei; "Gremlins" (1984) as Grandfather; "The Mighty Quinn" (1989) as Dr. Raj; Woody Allen's "Alice" (1990) as Dr. Yang and "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (1990) as Mr. Wing, his last film. He was quite active on TV as a regular on "Kentucky Jones" (1964-65) with Dennis Weaver, as Thomas Wong; "Anna and the King (1972) as Kralahome; the animated cartoon series "The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan" (1972) as the voice of Charlie Chan; "Kung Fu" (1972-75) as Master Po; "Harry O" (1976) with David Janssen, as Dr. Fong; "Battle of the Planets" (1978) as Zoltar, the Great Spirit & Col. Kronus and "Sidekicks" (1986) as Sabasan. He also appeared in made for TV movies and guested on such series as: "Annie Oakley"; "Gunsmoke"; "Perry Mason"; "Family Affair"; "Star Trek"; "Hawaii 5-O"; "Magnum P.I."; "Night Court" and "MacGyver." He died of a stroke on January 12, 1991 in Whittier, California at age 87.

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