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George Kuwa



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April 7, 1885 in Japan
October 13, 1931
Best remembered as the answer to a trivia question, Japanese actor George Kuwa was indeed the screen's first Charlie Chan. Kuwa played the Hawaiian sleuth in The House Without a Key, a 1926 serial starring the popular team of Allene Ray and Walter Miller. But unlike the later Fox series, Kuwa's Chan appeared halfway down the cast list and his presence in the serial was reportedly minimal. (Sadly, no copy is known to exist.) A former stock company actor for impresario Oliver Morosco, Kuwa had appeared on-stage in both Japan and California prior to entering films in 1916. Like so many other Japanese actors of his generation, the diminutive supporting player was more often than not cast as a "Yellow Peril" Chinese. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
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