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[FILM] Willie Fung - Character Actor Between 1922-1944

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  • madchinaman
    Biography by Hal Erickson http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=2:24116 http://www.answers.com/topic/willie-fung Born: Mar 03, 1896 in Canton, China
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 10, 2006
      Biography by Hal Erickson

      Born: Mar 03, 1896 in Canton, China
      Died: Apr 16, 1945 in Los Angeles, California
      Occupation: Actor
      Active: '30s-'40s
      Major Genres: Drama, Western
      Career Highlights: Burma Convoy, Border Wolves, Come On, Cowboys
      First Major Screen Credit: The Black Book (1929)
      Chinese character actor Willie Fung spent his entire Hollywood career
      imprisoned by the Hollywood Stereotype Syndrome. During the silent
      era, Fung was the personification of the "Yellow Peril," never more
      fearsome than when he was threatening Dolores Costello's virtue in
      Old San Francisco (1927). In talkies, Fung was a buck-toothed,
      pigtailed, pidgin-English-spouting comedy relief, usually cast as a
      cook or laundryman.

      Worked With
      Production Team:
      Edwin B. Willis (Set Designer)
      Thomas K. Little (Set Designer)
      Hal B. Wallis (Producer)
      Darryl F. Zanuck (Producer)
      Louis Clyde Stoumen (Cinematographer)
      Charles Previn (Mus. Direction/Supervision)
      Hans Salter (Composer)
      Franz Waxman (Composer)
      Edward J. Le Saint (Director)
      William Wellman (Director)
      Orry-Kelly (Costume Designer)
      Cedric Gibbons (Art Director)
      Jack Otterson (Art Director)

      Samuel S. Hinds
      Keye Luke
      Richard Arlen
      Richard Loo
      J. Carrol Naish
      Louis Natheaux
      Eugene Pallette
      Barbara Stanwyck
      Randolph Scott
      Robert Young


      COME ON COWBOYS (Republic Pictures, 1937) FILM
      While Stony and Tucson are playing "Truth", Lullaby and Charlie, the
      chief cook and bottle washer at the 3M ranch, are at the local bus
      station awaiting the arrival of Rigby's daughter and her governess.
      Charlie is played by Willie Fung. The criticality of Willie's role in
      COME ON, COWBOYS ! almost qualifies him for status as a fourth
      Mesquiteer. Willie is a great comedian. He still makes me laugh,
      whether spouting off in Chinese, mispronouncing English words
      like "all-lite" for "alright" , or misunderstanding common American
      speech. He was a great comedy supplement to Lullaby. I wish he would
      have been a regular in the series.

      The synergistic Willie Fung - Lullaby comedy interaction throughout
      COME ON, COWBOYS ! begins with Lullaby explaining to Willie that a
      governess is not the governor's wife. It continues as they
      misidentify a matron and a young girl for the Rigby child. As Lullaby
      and Willie escort the "correct" child and governess to the buckboard,
      they encounter Stony and Tucson, still in his gorilla grab, chasing
      the liars. As governess, you can imagine Ellen's reaction as she
      wondered if these three vagabonds would be suitable guardians for
      Nancy. We must credit her with an astute perception of our heroes!

      Some more Willie Fung comedy ensues as he prepares the ranch for the
      wedding ceremony. His first attempt to play some marriage music
      backfires when the ancient Victrola blares out with "The Death
      March". Flipping the record, the reverse side is entitled "Don't Ever
      Marry My Son". After some record smashing and probably some Chinese
      cursing, Willie finally rounds up a bunk house trio for his musical
      support. All that remains is for Stony to pop the question to a yet
      unsuspecting Ellen. Though Ellen initially turns him down, she
      readily agrees to the marriage as a "purely business relationship"
      when she learns of the judge's harsh conditions.

      While all the "proposing" is going on, Lullaby and Willie have gone
      to town to execute a plan of their own. They lure Yak into a card
      game. Being a master card player Lullaby figures that if he can win
      all of the cash, including any bogus bills, in Yak's possession, he
      will have the evidence needed to spring Rigby. After each round,
      Lullaby secretly drops the winning pot into a basket which Willie
      takes to the bank for verification. When Yak finally resorts to
      playing with the funny money, Lullaby wins that too, but the bank has
      now closed. So no verification is possible. Yak has also realized
      that he has been suckered and follows Lullaby home.

      Riding behind Lullaby but out of sight is Willie who observes Yak
      robbing and kidnapping the senior Mesquiteer. Willie rides back to
      the 3M ranch lick-ety-split to get help, just in time to save Stony
      from his walk to the altar. Stony and Tucson ride off to follow a
      trail of cards which Lullaby literally coughed up leading to the
      outlaws' hideout. The story climaxes with Tucson rescuing Lullaby who
      was tied to a runaway buckboard speeding along a curving cliffside
      road. Meanwhile, Stony and the sheriff clean out the hideout catching
      Harris and company with the bad "goods".

      Notwithstanding the disruption to Stony's almost nuptial, the movie
      does end with a marriage of sorts as Elmer takes a wife.

      Some concluding comments on the movie which deserves a 3 and 1/2 six
      gun rating. While this movie did not lack for action, it had a
      greater dose of quality comedy than any previous 3M movie ably
      delivered by Willie Fung and Lullaby. They made a great pair. Too
      bad, as noted earlier, Willie was not a regular. With his attempt to
      purchase the red wagon, we also see that Lullaby is still the kind
      and loving person we saw in ROARIN' LEAD. Another fact about Lullaby
      is his liking for some booze now and then. We see Ray Corrigan not
      only as Tucson Smith but as Tucson the Ape. How many other actors had
      a career impersonating animals so convincingly? I like the era
      blending of the 1880s and the 1930s. It makes me think that I am not
      that far removed in time from that era.

      All in all, COME ON, COWBOYS !, the 1937 version, is a class A movie.


      Willie Fung

      Date of birth (location): 3 March 1896 / Canton, China
      Date of death (details)" 16 April 1945 / Los Angeles, California,
      USA. (coronary occlusion)

      Actor - filmography
      (1940s) (1930s) (1920s)

      The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944) (uncredited) .... Chinese Man
      They Got Me Covered (1943) (uncredited) .... Laundry Man
      The Black Swan (1942) (uncredited) .... Chinese Cook
      ... aka Rafael Sabatini's The Black Swan (USA: complete title)
      Seven Days' Leave (1942) (uncredited) .... Les Brown's Houseboy
      Destination Unknown (1942) .... Chinese Farmer killed by the Japanese
      Flying Tigers (1942) (uncredited) .... Jim 'Gin' Sling (waiter)
      Half Way to Shanghai (1942) .... Chinese passenger
      Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942) (uncredited) .... Sun Lee, the
      Chinese Tailor
      Meet the Stewarts (1942) (uncredited) .... Wong
      Tortilla Flat (1942) (uncredited) .... Chin Kee, Fisherman
      The Spoilers (1942) (uncredited) .... Chinese Man in jail cell
      A Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen (1942) .... Asian Waiter
      ... aka A Desperate Chance (UK)
      Captains of the Clouds (1942) .... Willie (cafe owner)
      North to the Klondike (1942) .... Water Lily
      Public Enemies (1941) .... Lee Hong
      ... aka Gangs of the City (USA: reissue title (TV title))
      The Gay Falcon (1941) .... Jerry, Gay's Servant
      Burma Convoy (1941) .... Smitty
      Badlands of Dakota (1941) .... Wong Lee (laundryman)
      Saddle Mountain Roundup (1941) .... Fang Way
      The Letter (1940) .... Chung Hi
      Seven Sinners (1940) (uncredited) .... Charlie, Shopkeeper
      ... aka Cafe of the Seven Sinners
      The Great Profile (1940) .... Confucius
      Buck Benny Rides Again (1940) (uncredited) .... Chinese cook
      Barricade (1939) .... Yen - Cady's Major Domo
      Hollywood Cavalcade (1939) .... Willie, Michael's Valet
      Hawaiian Nights (1939) .... Murphy
      Lady of the Tropics (1939) (uncredited) .... Ling
      Maisie (1939) .... Lee, the Ranch Cook
      The Girl and the Gambler (1939) (uncredited) .... Yen, the Chinese
      The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939) (uncredited) .... Houseboy
      6000 Enemies (1939) .... Wang
      ... aka Six Thousand Enemies
      Nancy Drew... Reporter (1939) (uncredited) .... Mandarin Cafe
      Honolulu (1939) .... Wong, Mason's Hawaiian Servant
      Too Hot to Handle (1938) .... Willie
      The Road to Reno (1938) .... Lame Duck
      ... aka The Ranger and the Lady (USA: reissue title)
      Pride of the West (1938) (uncredited) .... Sing Loo
      Sinners in Paradise (1938) .... Ping
      Border Wolves (1938) .... Ling Wong
      Wells Fargo (1937) (uncredited) .... Wang (MacKay's servant)
      Jungle Menace (1937) .... Chiang (houseboy)
      The Trigger Trio (1937) .... The cook
      Wee Willie Winkie (1937) .... Mohammet Dinh, Indian servant
      The Big Shot (1937) (uncredited) .... Wu Ping, the Dry Cleaner
      Come On, Cowboys! (1937) .... Fong
      Git Along, Little Dogies (1937) .... Sing Low
      ... aka Serenade of the West (UK)
      Top of the Town (1937) (uncredited) .... Prop Man
      Lost Horizon (1937) (uncredited) .... Bandit Leader at Fuel Stop-over
      ... aka Lost Horizon of Shangri-La (USA: TV title)
      Secret Valley (1937) .... Tobasco
      ... aka Gangster's Bride (UK)
      ... aka Gangster's Valley (UK)
      We Who Are About to Die (1937) .... Kwong
      Pan Handlers (1936)
      Stowaway (1936) .... Chang, Boatman
      College Holiday (1936) (uncredited) .... Chinese Man in Junk
      Happy Go Lucky (1936) .... Coolie worker
      White Hunter (1936) .... Wong
      The General Died at Dawn (1936) .... Bartender at Mansion House Hotel
      Small Town Girl (1936) .... So-So
      ... aka One Horse Town (USA: TV title)
      Call of the Prairie (1936) .... Wong
      One-Way Ticket (1935) .... Wing
      China Seas (1935) (uncredited) .... Cabin Boy Ah Sing
      Hop-Along Cassidy (1935) .... Salem the Cook
      ... aka Hopalong Cassidy Enters (USA: reissue title)
      Shanghai (1935) (as Willy Fung) .... Wang
      Oil for the Lamps of China (1935) .... Kin
      Red Morning (1935) .... Cook
      Rocky Mountain Mystery (1935) .... Ling Yat
      ... aka The Fighting Westerner
      Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) (uncredited) .... Willie (Chinese servant)
      I Sell Anything (1934) (uncredited) .... Charlie
      ... aka I Sell Everything
      Sequoia (1934) .... Sang Soo
      ... aka Malibu
      Gunfire (1934) .... Camp Cook
      Happiness Ahead (1934) (uncredited) .... Chinese Headwaiter
      A Lost Lady (1934) .... Forrester's Cook
      ... aka Courageous (UK)
      You Belong to Me (1934) (uncredited) .... Waiter
      Gambling Lady (1934) (uncredited) .... Ching - Syndicate Board Member
      The Crime Doctor (1934) (uncredited) .... Wah-Sing
      Meet the Baron (1933) (uncredited) .... Chinese Man
      Tugboat Annie (1933) (uncredited) .... Chow, the Cook
      The Narrow Corner (1933) .... Ah Kay, Saunder's Servant
      Don't Bet on Love (1933) (uncredited) .... Charley Lee
      Cocktail Hour (1933) (uncredited) .... Mori
      The Thrill Hunter (1933) .... Wong, the Cook
      The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble (1933) (uncredited) .... Ah Chung
      The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) (uncredited) .... Officer
      Self Defense (1932) .... Charlie
      The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) (uncredited) .... Ship's steward
      Red Dust (1932) .... Hoy (Chinese houseboy)
      One Way Passage (1932) (uncredited) .... Hong Kong Curio Dealer
      The Painted Woman (1932) (uncredited) .... Dealer
      Roar of the Dragon (1932) (uncredited) .... Chinese sailor with rifle
      The Mouthpiece (1932) (uncredited) .... Waiter
      The Hatchet Man (1932) (uncredited) .... Notary Fung Loo/Bomb maker
      ... aka The Honourable Mr. Wong (UK)
      Shanghai Express (1932) (uncredited) .... Train Engineer
      Panama Flo (1932) (uncredited) .... Bartender at Sadie's Place
      West of Broadway (1931) .... Wing, the Cook
      Chinatown After Dark (1931) (uncredited) .... Ling Chi
      Night Nurse (1931) (uncredited) .... Hospital Patient
      Three Girls Lost (1931) (uncredited) .... Chinese Headwaiter
      Gun Smoke (1931) .... Wong, Chinese Cook
      River's End (1930) (uncredited) .... Eskimo
      The Sea God (1930) .... Sin Lee
      Shadow Ranch (1930) (uncredited) .... Circle O cook
      The Bad One (1930) (uncredited)
      Dangerous Paradise (1930) .... Wang
      The Ship from Shanghai (1930) (uncredited) .... Extra in Shanghai
      The Lone Star Ranger (1930) (uncredited) .... Laundryman
      Shanghai Lady (1929) (uncredited) .... Bill Collector
      ... aka Girl from China (UK)
      The Virginian (1929) (uncredited) .... Hong (Box H cook)
      The Delightful Rogue (1929) (uncredited) .... Hi Lee (the cook)
      The Black Book (1929) .... Tin Lung
      Where East Is East (1929) (uncredited) .... Servant
      The Far Call (1929) .... Wing
      Chinatown Nights (1929) (uncredited) .... One of Riley's Henchmen
      ... aka Tong War (USA)
      The Way of the Strong (1928) (uncredited)
      Old San Francisco (1927) (uncredited) .... Chang Sue Lee's Laughing
      Whispering Smith Rides (1927)
      Tell It to the Marines (1926) (uncredited) .... Guard at door of
      besieged clinic
      Twinkletoes (1926) (uncredited)
      The Yellow Back (1926) .... Chinese
      The Texas Streak (1926) (uncredited) .... Chinese Man
      The Road to Mandalay (1926) (uncredited) .... Man in Bar
      The Two-Gun Man (1926) .... Quong
      Chip of the Flying U (1926) (uncredited)
      The Blackbird (1926) (uncredited) .... Chinese Man
      Thundering Hoofs (1924) (uncredited) .... Cook
      Her Temporary Husband (1923) (uncredited)
      Thundergate (1923) (uncredited)
      Broken Chains (1922) (uncredited)
      Hurricane's Gal (1922) .... Sing
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