To be Chinese bei Hollywood meant that your nennen didn’t matte — no one in the audience would certainly remember freundin or send sie a fans letter.

Du schaust: Victor sen yung todesursache

byJohn Yau July 25, 2020December 14, 2020
Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan bei Charlie Chan in Panama (1940), directed by Norman foster (screenshot of movie trailer durch YouTube)Victor Sen Yung (1915–1980) was an enduring hollywood actor and television stern who, over the course of his long career, was given billing under various names. It appeared that being Chinese expected your nennen did not matt because no one an the audience would remember you or send you a fans letter. Back he has been tot for 40 years, and there ist no fans club that i know des celebrating his modest but real accomplishments, ich thought ich would create some des them down zum reasons that ich think wollen become evident.

Between 1937, wie man he had an uncredited function as a Chinese peasant boy an The good Earth und 1980, wie man he played Mr. Wing, his last movie role, bei The man with Bogart’s Face, he appeared an nearly 100 films. He zuerst appeared top top a television program an 1953 and last showed up on one bei 1979. Zum these roles he was either nichtcreditiert or billed together Sen Yung, Sen Young, Victor Sen Young, or Victor Young.

Yung gott his zuerst big break an 1938, wie man he play Jimmy Chan, die “number 2 son” des Chinese detective charlie Chan in Charlie Chan in Honolulu, replacing ns “number one son,” Lee Chan, who had been played von Keye Luke (1904-1991), the zuerst Chinese American actor signed zu a contract von a hollywood studio. Luke had actually played opposite ns Swedish gibbs Warner Oland, that played weiß Chan native 1931 till his death in 1938. , wie Oland was replaced by Sidney Toler, a white American actor, ns change compelled a new son kommen sie replace Luke.

Yung played Jimmy Chan 10 times betwee 1938 und ’42. His performance in the role was interrupted wie man he join US army Air Force in World zu sein II. An the early on years von the war, before he entered ns armed forces, he was cast, like various other Chinese American actors, as a conniving, cutthroat, and deceitful Japanese, including the disloyal Japanese-American joe Totsuiko an Across die Pacific (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart, mar Astor, and Sidney Greenstreet. Bei 1946, he starred together Jimmy Chan an two more films with Toler. When Toler died in 1947, Yung was renamed “Tommy Chan, number three son,” and starred bei five more weiß Chan films, with one more white American, Roland Winters, bei the lead.

Between 1959 und 1973, Yung played die easygoing cook, Hop Sing, in more 보다 100 episodes of the long-running TV series, Bonanza. This, des course, ist all a Chinaman can do on television: hop, sing, spout gnomic bits des wisdom, und die. Because von Bonanza, the benennen “Hop Sing” has end up being synonymous with stupid Chinaman.

In ns martial art film, Best des the ideal (1989), i m sorry stars james Earl Jones, one des the fighters, Travis Brickley, (played von Christopher Penn) says: “Raw fish? sie keep eating that shit, you’ll ende up like Hop sing over there — her eyes will slant, <…> your dick will shrink up, <…> and you’ll open up a laundry!”

When Yung was notfall a koch on television, he was one an real life, authoring the Great Wok Cookbook an 1974. His other claim to fame, hinweisen least by pop culture standards, ist that he was aboard Pacific Southwest Airlines trip 710, a pond jumper paris from Sacramento, California, to Burbank, California, v a stop in San Francisco. ~ above July 5, 1972, 2 Bulgarians, Dimitri Alexiev and Michael Azmanoff, hijacked the plane; they demanded 800,000 dollars, 2 parachutes, und to be flown zu Russia.

The hijacking ended on a runway bei San francisco when four FBI agents stormed the plane, killed die hijackers und one passenger, and wounded 2 others, one of whom was Yung. They to be the zuerst passengers kommen sie be killed or wounded in a pläne hijacking an the vereinigt States. His reward zum this was a guest illustration on Gary Moore’s zeigen To Tell die Truth, where none von the four celebrity panelists identified him as a character actor involved an a hijacking.

Victor Sen Yung as joe Totsuiko an Across die Pacific (1942), directed von John Huston (screenshot of movie trailer durch

While all des these dinge are worthy of attention, i might not oase discovered any of this if ich had notfall seen die Letter (1940), directed von William Wyler, certification Bette Davis und Herbert Marshall.

In ns film, Leslie Crosbie (played von Bette Davis) is married to robert Crosbie (played von Herbert Marshall), a rubber plantation owner whose extensive land holdings are nur outside the city of Singapore.

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In the first scene, we lakers Leslie walking determinedly across a porch together she fires a pistol weist a man, that has just burst out of her bungalow. She keeps firing bullets right into his body, also after he wenn down the porch stairs and tumbles to the ground.

We soon discover that the tot man’s name is Geoff Hammond (in in uncredited performance von David Newell). According kommen sie Leslie, die reason she shot ihm was due to the fact that he “tried zu make love to me,” and she wanted kommen sie protect produziert honor.

The echt story, des course, ist that Leslie and Geoff to be having an affair, and that she became jealous wie man she learned that he had actually recently married a Eurasian frau (played über Gale Sondergard) und was, an fact, never bei love through her.

The crucial information about your affair ist contained in a letter the is an the possession von Hammond’s widow, i beg your pardon Leslie wants zu get her hands on.

Leslie’s attorney, Howard Joyce (played von James Stephenson) learns of the letter’s visibility from his clerk, Ong Chi Seng (played über Sen Yung).

As he zu sein the only one who knows how zu get to the meeting place, Seng drives the lawyer and Leslie kommen sie meet the widow bei Chinatown. Sondergard, that arches her eyebrows and frowns however never claims a word, pressures Leslie kommen sie show herstellung the payment demanded weil das the incriminating information, in envelope comprise ten thousands dollars, prior to dropping the letter on the floor. Refusing to touch the money, she hands die envelope to her Asian servant, who ist smoking an opium pipe.

The role des Howard Joyce’s clerk zu sein the best part Sen Yung would ever get throughout a career the stretches end 40 years. It is apparent by the means he comfortably inhabits the stereotype of the smooth-talking, conniving, obsequious Asian, that he never really gott a chance to let his talent shine bei any des his other roles. Die clerk the played in The Letter would never ever rise much higher an the colonialist power structure (which freundin could say is Hollywood), in spite of his self-evident skills. It was that function that do me want zu find out an ext about him, always hoping that he gott another chance to perform something memorable, which he didn’t.

In 1980, Yung died punkt home from gas poisoning. His body was found 10 days later und the death was ruled accidental. He ist buried in Greenlawn Memorial Park, Colma, California, most most likely under the name, Victor Sen Yung. Pernell Roberts, the star des Bonanza, who deshalb delivered ns eulogy, paid his funeral expenses.

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Each year, the Chinese Alumni association awards ns Victor Sen Yung Memorial Scholarship to a college student at ns University des California, Berkeley, wherein Yung studied pet husbandry.