Keye Luke (June 18, 1904 - January 12, 1991) is a Chinese actor. He appeared in the NBC-TV series The A-Team as Sam Yeng, owner of The Golden Pagoda reataurant, who enlists the help of the A-Team to fight off a Chinese organized crime boss from taking over the restaurant, which he and daughter Sun Yeng (Lydia Lei) purchased from them in the Season 2 episode The Maltese Cow.
Early life/career[edit | edit source]
Born in Guangzhou, China, Keye's family later moved to Seattle, Washington, where Luke would eventually become a naturalized American citizen in 1944. Before his acting career, Luke was an artist who worked on some of the murals inside Grunman's Chinese Theater, and the original artwork for 1933's King Kong pressbook.
In 1934, he made his acting debut in The Painted Veil. In 1935, Luke received his first notable role, as the number one son in the Charlie Chan series of movies, which he played in until 1938. He continued his career with roles in the Dr. Kildare movie series and as Kato in the Green Hornet sequels of the 1940s. In 1948 he returned to the Charlie Chan movie series in his old role for two pictures. He mainly played Asian character roles in numerous movies & television shows in the 1950s & 1960's. In 1965 he began a career of animated roles as the voice of Charlie in Jonny Quest. In 1969, he played another role he was recognized for, as Governor Cory of an insane asylum in Star Trek: The Original Series (with George Takei).
In 1972, Keye returned to the Charlie Chan series, this time as the main character, in the animated series The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, as well as another famous TV role as Master Po in the series Kung Fu (and reprised the role in the 1986 TV reunion movie). One of his most recognized voice roles was providing the voice of Zoltar in the hit animated series, Batlle of the Planets. He did more voice-over work in Jem, Scooby-Doo & Scrappy-Doo, Thundarr The Barbarian, Spider-Man, and Alvin & The Chipmunks. Luke was reportedly considered for the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope but the role went to Sir Alec Guinness instead. Luke's last notable role came in 1985's Gremlins and 1990's sequel Gremlins 2: The New Batch as Mr. Wing, the Chinese man who brought the Gremlins to their owners. His final role was in 1990's Alice.
Personal Life/Death[edit | edit source]
Luke was married to Ethel Davis from 1942 until her death in 1979, they had one daughter, Ethel. Luke became ill in 1990 (which prevented him from becoming one of the few actors to have appeared in both the original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation) and died from a stroke on January 12, 1991, at the age of 86.