[PROFILE] Bessie Loo (Super Agent/Actress) & Richard Loo (Husband/Great Actor)
- Bessie Loo
The historymaker for the entertainment category is Bessie Loo. Mrs.
Loo broke into the movies as an actress in the mid-1930s. When the
Screen Actors Guild was established, she worked as a casting
director for war movies requiring Asian actors in minor roles. As
writers began to expand parts for Asians, Mrs. Loo became a talent
agent specializing in Asian American actors. She played a pioneering
role in breaking down both gender and racial barriers in the film
industry for over 40 years.
As Bessie Loo was unable to attend the ceremony, her daughter,
Angela Levy accepted the award on her behalf. The Museum of Chinese
American History has been close to her heart, Mrs. Levy announced to
the banquet guests on her mother's behalf. It's wonderful what you
all are doing and what you have achieved, and my mother thanks you
very, very much.
Mrs. Loo passed away in October 1998 at the age of 97.
Date of birth (location)
30 December 1902
Hanford, California, USA
Date of death (details)
28 October 1998
Los Angeles, California, USA.
Moved to Los Angeles to work as an actress, interpreter, casting
Actress - filmography
Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939) .... Lilly May, Princess Lin Hwa's
Good Earth, The (1937) (uncredited)
Back to Yellow Jacket (1922) (uncredited)
Hung Wai Ching, 96, of Honolulu, a retired real estate developer,
died Feb. 9 in St. Francis Medical Center. He was born in Honolulu.
He is survived by sons King-Lit and Sai, daughter Su-Sun Wang,
sister Bessie Loo, nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Services: 4 p.m. Saturday at Community Church of Honolulu. Call
after 2:30 p.m. Aloha attire. No flowers.
Loo, Richard b. October 1, 1903 d. November 20, 1983
Internationally known Asian-American motion picture and television
character actor of the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Most
remembered for playing the role of 'Hai Fat' in the 1974 James Bond
007 adventure "The Man with the Golden Gun." Married to well-known
Hollywood agent Bessie Loo. (bio by: A.J. Marik)
San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, Los Angeles County,
Plot: Section F, T-8, grave 28
Hong Kong Affair (1958)
Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (1955)
China Venture (1953)
Target Hong Kong (1953)
5 Fingers (1952)
Westinghouse Studio One - "Pagoda" (1952)
The Steel Helmet (1951)
State Department: File 649 (1949)
The Clay Pigeon (1949)
Back to Bataan (1945)
First Yank Into Tokyo (1945)
Betrayal From the East (1945)
The Purple Heart (1944)
Across the Pacific (1942)
The Fatal Hour (1940)
Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)
The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933)
Died: November 20, 1983
Though he was the personification of the cruel, calculating Japanese
military officer in many a wartime propaganda film, Richard Loo was
actually born in Hawaii of Chinese parents. The holder of a Business
Studies degree from the University of California, Loo ran a
successful importing firm until his assets were wiped out in the
1929 stock market crash. He launched his acting career in 1931,
first in California-based stock companies, then in films, beginning
with Frank Capra's Dirigible (1931). His movie career picked up
momentum after the attack on Pearl Harbor, with villainous roles in
such films as Wake Island (1942) and The Purple Heart (1944). In
all, Richard Loo toted up some 200 film appearances in his five-
decade career. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Richard Loo (3rd Generation Chinese American)
(1903 - 1983)
He was the epitome of the sinister Japanese officer in the
propaganda World War II films of the 30s and 40s but later had more
satisfying roles. Richard Loo was born on October 1, 1903 in Maui,
Hawaii of Chinese descent. He attended the University of California
at Berkeley in the 1920s and later began an import-export business.
The stock market crash of 1929 doomed that effort and he turned to
acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. In a play where he played a
rickshaw boy the director told him to speak Chinese but being a
third generation Chinese he could not speak the language and had
to "fake it." He soon became the best known Asian actor that
Americans "loved to hate." He always played the Japanese
interrogator who was "educated at UCLA" and thus spoke fluent
English. Among his film credits were: "Dirigible" (1931) in an
uncredited role, his film debut; "War Correspondent" (1932); "The
Bitter Tea of General Yen" (1933) as Captain Li; "The Good Earth"
(1937) uncredited as a Farmer, one of few Asian actors in the
film; "The Lost Horizon" (1937) as Shanghai Airport
Official; "Island of the Lost Men" (1939) as Gen. Ahn Ling; "Flying
Tigers" (1942) as Dr. Singh; "Across the Pacific" (1942) as First
Officer Miyuma; "Wake Island" (1942) as Mr. Saburo Kurusu; "Bombs
Over Burma" (1943); "The Purple Heart" (1944) as Japanese General,
probably his best known role; "Back to Bataan" (1945) as Maj.
Hasako; "The Story of Dr. Wassell" (1944) as Dr. Wei; "Keys of the
Kingdom" (1944) with Gregory Peck, as Lt. Shon; "The Steel Helmet"
(1951) as Sgt. Tanaka; "The Sand Pebbles" (1966) as Maj. Chin; "One
More Train to Rob" (1971) as Mr. Chang and "The Man With the Golden
Gun" (1974) as Hai Fat, a James Bond film and his last theatrical
film. On TV he was a regular on "Kung Fu" (1972) playing Master Sun.
He also guested on many TV series including: "Perry Mason"; "Family
Affair"; "Bewitched"; "Hawaii 5-0"; "It Takes A Thief"
and "Bonanza." He died on November 20, 1983 in Burbank, California
of complications of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 80.