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Chester Gan

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Chester Bue Gan
Born(1908-07-04)July 4, 1908[citation needed]
Grass Valley, California, U.S.
DiedJune 29, 1959(1959-06-29) (aged 50)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Years active1932–1959
Spouse(s)Mei Heong Lee

Chester Gan (1908-1959) was an American character actor of Chinese descent who worked in Hollywood from the 1930s through the 1950s.


Chester Gan was born in Grass Valley, California, to Wing Hong Gan and Wong Shee. He went to China for university, where he developed an interest in acting.[1] Upon his return to the United States, he headed to Los Angeles, where he worked as an engineer.[1]

In 1932, Gan's acting career in Hollywood began as a Chinese guard in Secrets of the French Police. Gan played almost a hundred roles, typically portraying Asian stereotypes, from the Chinese cook or waiter to the Japanese enemy soldier. (He once joked that as an actor, he was responsible for hundreds of on-screen deaths.) He also worked as an interpreter and a consultant on Chinese culture and customs on Hollywood films like The Good Earth.[2][3]

Aside from his acting career, owned a slipper store and a restaurant in Los Angeles's Chinatown neighborhood.[4] World War II put a pause on his career as an actor, as he joined the navy.[5][6] He died in San Francisco—where he operated a photography business—in 1959 after a brief illness. He was survived by his wife, his four children, and his father.[7]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1931 Prestige Soldier in Indo-China Uncredited
1932 War Correspondent Bandit Uncredited
1932 Secrets of the French Police Chinese Guard Uncredited
1933 The World Gone Mad Alpha Delta - Houston's Servant Uncredited
1933 Meet the Baron Chinese Man Uncredited
1934 Lazy River Sam Kee's Henchman Uncredited
1934 Monte Carlo Nights Larry's Valet Uncredited
1934 The Red Rider Wing Serial, Uncredited
1934 Fighting Through Wong
1934 Tailspin Tommy Flapjack - the Cook Serial, Ch. 1, Uncredited
1934 The Mysterious Mr. Wong Tung's Secret Service Agent Uncredited
1935 The Case of the Curious Bride Ping - Perry's Servant at Party Uncredited
1935 Vagabond Lady Japanese Fisherman Uncredited
1935 Shadows of the Orient Chinaman at Canton House Uncredited
1935 China Seas Rickshaw Boy Uncredited
1935 Wanderer of the Wasteland Ling
1935 The Bishop Misbehaves Chinese Man Smoking Uncredited
1935 Stormy Chinaman Uncredited
1935 Moonlight on the Prairie Chinese Cook Uncredited
1935 East of Java Crewman Uncredited
1935 Last of the Pagans Chinese Cook Uncredited
1936 The Adventures of Frank Merriwell Lumber Camp Cook Serial, Uncredited
1936 Drift Fence Clarence Uncredited
1936 Klondike Annie Ship's Cook Uncredited
1936 Sutter's Gold Charlie - Chinese Waiter Uncredited
1936 Small Town Girl Wing Uncredited
1936 The Country Beyond Chinese Cook Uncredited
1936 San Francisco Jowl Lee Uncredited
1936 Sea Spoilers Oil
1936 Ace Drummond Kai-Chek Serial
1936 Mad Holiday Vendor Uncredited
1936 Hideaway Girl Chinese cook
1936 Arizona Mahoney Chinese Man at Sing-a-Long Uncredited
1936 Crack-Up House Boy Uncredited
1936 Stowaway Chinese Merchant Uncredited
1936 After the Thin Man Chinese Waiter Uncredited
1937 The Mighty Treve Chang
1937 The Good Earth Teahouse Singer Uncredited, (credited as Chester Gann)
1937 China Passage Rooftop Marauder Uncredited
1937 Slave Ship Crew Member Uncredited
1937 Wild West Days Wong, 1st Cook Serial, (Ch's. 4-5)
1937 West of Shanghai Kung Nui
1937 Mannequin Chinese Waiter Uncredited
1937 Thank You, Mr. Moto Wing Uncredited
1937 Wells Fargo Chinese Workman Uncredited
1938 Love Is a Headache Louie, Peter's Butler Uncredited
1938 International Settlement Green Dragon Proprietor Uncredited
1938 Gold Is Where You Find It Wong - McCooey's Servant Uncredited
1938 Air Devils Hotel Waiter Uncredited
1938 Speed to Burn Chung Uncredited
1938 The Mexicali Kid Mo Cort - Chinese Cook
1938 Too Hot to Handle Chinese Sergeant Uncredited
1938 Shadows Over Shanghai Lun Sat Li
1939 North of Shanghai Policeman 'C'
1939 Blackwell's Island Wong, Prison Laundryman Uncredited
1939 Nancy Drew... Reporter Waiter Uncredited
1939 The Mystery of Mr. Wong Sing, the Butler
1939 King of Chinatown Mr. Foo
1939 Torchy Runs for Mayor Ling - Ward's Assistant Uncredited
1939 No Place to Go Cheng Uncredited
1939 Barricade Mongol Bandit Leader Uncredited
1939 Westbound Stage Charlie
1940 My Little Chickadee Chinese Train Passenger Uncredited
1940 'Til We Meet Again Hong Kong Policeman Uncredited
1940 Pals of the Silver Sage Ling
1940 The Carson City Kid Wong Lee
1940 Victory Wang
1941 Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery Henchman Uncredited
1941 Man-Made Monster Wong
1941 Singapore Woman Waiter at Crow's Nest Uncredited
1941 The Get-Away Sam
1941 They Met in Bombay Woo Tau Woo Uncredited
1941 Rawhide Rangers Sing Lo - the Cook
1941 Passage from Hong Kong Chung
1941 The Maltese Falcon Bit Part Uncredited
1941 Burma Convoy Keela
1942 All Through the Night Gloves' Rescuer at Nazi Meeting Uncredited
1942 A Yank on the Burma Road Doctor Uncredited
1942 To the Shores of Tripoli Chinese Man Watching Parade Uncredited
1942 Moontide Henry Hirota


1942 The Tuttles of Tahiti Emily's servant Uncredited
1942 Escape from Hong Kong Tamoto
1942 Submarine Raider Yoshiwara Uncredited
1942 Busses Roar Yamanito
1942 Across the Pacific Captain Higoto
1942 Flying Tigers Mike the Mechanic
1942 Heart of the Golden West Chinese Cook Uncredited
1942 China Girl Japanese Officer Uncredited
1943 The Amazing Mrs. Holliday Young Farmer Uncredited
1943 China Japanese General [9]
1943 Crash Dive Lee Wong Uncredited
1943 Salute to the Marines Japanese Officer Uncredited
1959 Blood Alley Ferry Boat Captain Uncredited


  1. ^ a b "Chinese Comic in New Role at the Cameo". The Bristol Herald Courier. 30 Jun 1940. Retrieved 2019-11-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Gan Chinese Teacher". Chattanooga Daily Times. 24 Dec 1935. Retrieved 2019-11-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "Gelatin Gleanings". The Baltimore Sun. 15 Mar 1936. Retrieved 2019-11-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Gan Just Kidding When He's Killing". The Pittsburgh Press. 15 Apr 1941. Retrieved 2019-11-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Buck Private Almost Becomes Japanese General". The Dispatch. 6 Feb 1943. Retrieved 2019-11-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Naval Aviation News. Chief of Naval Operations and Naval Air Systems Command, Navy Department. 1956.
  7. ^ "Chester Gan, Filmland Character Actor, Dies Here". The San Francisco Examiner. 30 Jun 1959. Retrieved 2019-11-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Crowther, Bosley (April 30, 1942). "Review1 -- No Title". The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "China (1943)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
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Chester Gan
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