October 10, 1916
Sacramento, California, United States
August 1, 1987
Los Angeles, California, United States
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During the so-called "Golden Age of Hollywood," if a director was looking to hire an Asian actor, Benson Fong was certainly at the top of the list, as evidenced by his countless appearances in movies (and television shows) from the 1930s through the 1980s. Fong began his professional acting career with roles in such films as 1936's "Charlie Chan at the Opera" (in an uncredited role), before landing spots in 1944's "The Keys of the Kingdom" and 1954's "His Majesty O'Keefe," among others. Fong's most renowned role from this era was as Tommy Chan ("Number Three Son") in several Charlie Chan movies, including 1944's "Charlie Chan in The Chinese Cat," 1945's "The Scarlet Clue," and 1946's "Dark Alibi." Other standout roles included playing Mr. Tang Wu in Disney's "The Love Bug," as well as "The Old One" in the hit television show "Kung Fu." Fong would continue landing roles up to a year before his death on August 1, 1987, in Los Angeles, from a stroke (at the age of 70), his last role a reprisal of the "Old One" character in 1986's "Kung Fu: The Movie."