Actor Keye Luke was born in China (he described himself as a "Cantonese Ham") and brought to the U.S. at age 3. Raised in Seattle, he attended Washington University. Following his graduation, he worked in the advertising department at RKO Radio Pictures, and also designed billboards and layout art for movie-theatre displays. After a bit part in a forgotten 1934 quickie called Ho for China, Luke was hired to appear in Greta Garbo's The Painted Veil (1934) when director Richard Boleslavsky put out a call for someone who could play an intellectual Chinese. In 1935, Luke was cast in Charlie Chan in Paris as Lee Chan, Number One son of the great detective; he would reprise this role in 12 subsequent Chan films. He also took over for Boris Karloff in Monogram's Mr. Wong series, starring in 1940's Phantom of Chinatown. During the early 1940s, Luke was cast opposite Lionel Barrymore in MGM's "Dr. Gillespie" series, playing one of Barrymore's rotating pool of interns. From 1958 through 1961, Luke appeared as Master Wang in the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical Flower Drum Song. The actor's many TV appearances include recurring roles on Kentucky Jones, Anna and the King, and Kung Fu (as Master Po); he also supplied the voice of Charlie Chan in the 1972 Hanna-Barbera cartoon weekly The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan. Among Keye Luke's final film assignments were the two Gremlins pictures and a marvelous supporting part as a philosophical herb merchant in Woody Allen's Alice (1989).
by Hal Erickson biography