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Victor Sen Yung

Victor Sen Yung

American actor
Victor Sen Yung
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor
Was Actor Television actor Film actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 18 October 1915, San Francisco, USA
Death 1 November 1980, North Hollywood, USA (aged 65 years)
Star sign Libra
Victor Sen Yung
The details (from wikipedia)


Victor Sen Yung and Willie Best in Dangerous Money (1946)

Victor Sen Yung (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: 扬森; pinyin: Yáng Sēn; Jyutping: Joeng4 Sam1; October 18, 1915 – c. October 31, 1980), born Sen Yew Cheung, was an American character actor, best known for playing Jimmy Chan in the Charlie Chan films and Hop Sing in the western series Bonanza. He was born in San Francisco, California to Gum Yung Sen and his first wife, both immigrants from China.

When his mother died during the flu epidemic of 1919, his father placed Victor and his younger sister, Rosemary, in a children's shelter, and returned to his homeland to seek another wife. He returned in 1922 with his new wife, Lovi Shee, once again forming a household with his two children.

During his acting career, Victor was given billing under a variety of names, including Sen Yung, Sen Young, Victor Sen Young, and Victor Young.


Sen Yung made his first significant acting debut in the 1938 film Charlie Chan in Honolulu, as the Chinese detective's "number two son," Jimmy Chan. In this movie, Sidney Toler replaced the recently deceased Warner Oland as Charlie Chan and Sen Yung replaced Oland's "number one son" Lee, who had been played by Keye Luke. Sen Yung played Jimmy Chan in 10 Charlie Chan films between 1938 and 1942. He played the crucial role of lawyer's clerk Ong Chi Seng alongside Bette Davis in The Letter (1940).

In common with other Chinese-American actors, Sen Yung was cast in Japanese parts during World War II, such as his role as the treacherous Japanese-American Joe Totsuiko in the 1942 Humphrey Bogart film Across the Pacific.

During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Forces. During his military service, he was replaced in the Charlie Chan series by Benson Fong, who played "number three son", Tommy Chan. Yung's military service included work in training films at the First Motion Picture Unit and a role in the Army Air Forces' play and film Winged Victory.

After the war, Sen Yung resumed his Hollywood career. The Charlie Chan series was now in the hands of Monogram Pictures, with Sidney Toler continuing in the leading role. Toler's health was failing by 1946; Monogram was conserving Toler's energy and shooting around him wherever possible, even reusing two-year-old footage to finish Toler's last film. To relieve the burden on Toler, Monogram hired his original screen foil, Sen Yung (now billing himself as Victor Sen Young). He and Mantan Moreland shared the spotlight in Toler's final two films, Shadows over Chinatown and The Trap. Following Toler's death in 1947, Victor Sen Young appeared in five of the remaining six Charlie Chan features. His character "Jimmy" was renamed "Tommy" (author Scott MacGillivray contends that "Jimmy" was so closely associated with Sidney Toler that audiences would miss seeing Toler opposite him, resulting in Monogram making the change).

Victor Sen Young continued to work in motion pictures and television, playing affable or earnest Asian characters. He is probably best remembered as Hop Sing, the cook on the long-running television series Bonanza, appearing in 102 episodes between 1959 and 1973.

Sen Yung was cast as the compassionate Chinese restaurant owner Quong Kee in Tombstone, Arizona, in the 1957 episode, "Quong Kee", of the syndicated television anthology series Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. In the story, an aging Quong Kee recalls how in 1881 he brought together the Bostonians Art Gresham (Walter Kelley) and his mother (played by Mary Newton) with the saloon musician Ann Bailey (Eugenia Paul), who after a topsy-turvy romance became Mrs. Art Gresham.

In the early 1970s, Sen Yung had a recurring role in seven episodes of the tv series Kung Fu, which starred David Carradine as a Shaolin monk, also in the Old West.

Sen Yung was also an accomplished and talented chef. He frequently appeared on cooking programs, and authored The Great Wok Cookbook in 1974.

Plane hijacking

In 1972, Yung was on Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 710, which was hijacked. The FBI stormed the plane, and in the ensuing gunfire Sen Yung was shot in the lower back. He and another wounded passenger survived, but a third passenger and the two hijackers were killed.

In 1975, he appeared on Garry Moore's To Tell The Truth and related the events of the hijacking. With Yung dressed in a sport coat and flanked by two dissimilar imposters, none of the four panelists was able to choose him as the character actor.

Death and legacy

Sen Yung died in his North Hollywood home in 1980. The actor, who ran a small mail-order Chinese pottery business, was creating clayware and curing the items with an oven, and died of natural gas poisoning from a gas leak. His body was found November 10, but he had reportedly been dead at least ten days, from possibly around October 31.

Some reports suggested that the actor was murdered, but police ultimately ruled the death accidental. The eulogy at Sen Yung's funeral was given by fellow Bonanza actor Pernell Roberts, who also paid the funeral expenses.

The Victor Sen Yung memorial scholarship is awarded each year by the Chinese Alumni Association of the University of California, Berkeley, where Sen Yung majored in animal husbandry.

Selected filmography

  • The Good Earth (1937) .... Chinese peasant boy (uncredited)
  • Double or Nothing (1937) .... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937) .... Onlooker with Street Acrobats / Chinese Elevator Operator (uncredited)
  • International Settlement (1938) .... Bellboy / Onlooker in Street (uncredited)
  • Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938) .... Khmer soldier (uncredited)
  • Shadows Over Shanghai (1938) .... Wang (as Victor Young)
  • Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938) .... James Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • Torchy Blane in Chinatown (1939) .... Chinese Entertainer with Sword (uncredited)
  • Charlie Chan in Reno (1939) .... James Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939) .... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • 20,000 Men a Year (1939) .... Harold Chong
  • Barricade (1939) .... Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Escape to Paradise (1939) .... (uncredited)
  • Charlie Chan in Panama (1940) .... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise (1940) .... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum (1940) .... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • The Letter (1940) .... Ong Chi Seng (as Sen Yung)
  • Murder Over New York (1940) .... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • Dead Men Tell (1941) .... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • They Met in Bombay (1941) .... Gin Long (uncredited)
  • Charlie Chan in Rio (1941) .... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • A Yank on the Burma Road (1942) .... Wing (as Sen Yung)
  • Castle in the Desert (1942) .... Jimmy Chan (as Sen Yung)
  • Secret Agent of Japan (1942) .... Fu Yen (as Sen Yung)
  • Moontide (1942) .... Takeo (as Sen Yung)
  • The Mad Martindales (1942) .... Jefferson Gow
  • Little Tokyo, U.S.A. (1942) .... Okono
  • Across the Pacific (1942) .... Joe Totsuiko (as Sen Young)
  • Manila Calling (1942) .... Armando
  • China (1943) .... Lin Wei-third brother (as Sen Yung)
  • Night Plane from Chungking (1943) .... Captain Po (as Sen Yung)
  • Lost Angel (1943) .... Chinese Man (uncredited)
  • Winged Victory (1944) .... Lee (uncredited)
  • Betrayal from the East (1945) .... Omaya (as Sen Young)
  • Shadows Over Chinatown (1946) .... Jimmy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
  • G.I. War Brides (1946) .... Chinese Waiter (uncredited)
  • Dangerous Money (1946) .... Jimmy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
  • Dangerous Millions (1946) .... Lin Chow (as Victor Sen Young)
  • The Trap (1946) .... Jimmy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
  • Web of Danger (1947) .... Sam
  • The Crimson Key (1947) .... Wing-houseboy
  • The Flame (1947) .... Chang
  • The Chinese Ring (1947) .... Tommy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
  • Intrigue (1947) .... Western Union clerk (uncredited)
  • To the Ends of the Earth (1947) .... Chinese pilot (uncredited)
  • Docks of New Orleans (1948) .... Tommy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
  • Half Past Midnight (1948) .... Sam-hotel porter
  • Shanghai Chest (1948) .... Tommy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
  • The Golden Eye (1948) .... Tommy Chan (as Victor Sen Young)
  • Rogues Regiment (1948) .... Rickshaw boy (uncredited)
  • The Feathered Serpent (1948) .... Tommy Chan
  • State Department: File 649 (1949) .... Johnny Han
  • Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture (1949) .... Movie Theatre Ticket Taker (uncredited)
  • Tuna Clipper (1949) .... Oriental dock worker
  • The Sickle or the Cross (1949) .... Major
  • Red Light (1949) .... Vincent, Houseboy (uncredited)
  • Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1949) .... Houseboy (uncredited)
  • Chinatown at Midnight (1949) .... Hotel proprietor
  • And Baby Makes Three (1949) .... Lem Kee (uncredited)
  • Key to the City (1950) .... Chinese MC at the Blue Duck (uncredited)
  • A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) .... Long Time
  • The Breaking Point (1950) .... Mr. Sing
  • Woman on the Run (1950) .... Sammy Chung
  • Grounds for Marriage (1951) .... Oscar, Chris' valet
  • The Groom Wore Spurs (1951) .... Ignacio
  • Secrets of Monte Carlo (1951) .... Chinese clerk (uncredited)
  • Peking Express (1951) .... Chinese captain (uncredited)
  • The Law and the Lady (1951) .... Chinese Manager (uncredited)
  • Valley of Fire (1951) .... Laundryman Ching Moon (uncredited)
  • Hong Kong (1952) .... Mr. Howe (uncredited)
  • The Sniper (1952) .... Tom (uncredited)
  • Cripple Creek (1952) .... Chinese interpreter (uncredited)
  • Target Hong Kong (1953) .... Johnny Wing (uncredited)
  • The Blue Gardenia (1953) .... Waiter (uncredited)
  • Forbidden (1953) .... Allan Chung
  • Trader Tom of the China Seas (1954) .... Wang
  • Jubilee Trail (1954) .... Mickey-Chinese man (uncredited)
  • The Shanghai Story (1954) .... Sun Lee
  • Port of Hell (1954) .... Detonation Ship Radioman
  • Jump Into Hell (1955) .... Lt. Thatch (uncredited)
  • Soldier of Fortune (1955) .... Goldie - Hotel Waiter (uncredited)
  • The Left Hand of God (1955) .... John Wong
  • Blood Alley (1955) .... Cpl. Wang (uncredited)
  • The Rawhide Years (1955) .... Chang, steward (uncredited)
  • Flight to Hong Kong (1956) .... Airline Ticket Clerk (uncredited)
  • Accused of Murder (1956) .... Hank-Bayliss' houseboy (uncredited)
  • Men in War (1957) .... North Korean prisoner / sniper
  • She Demons (1958) .... Sammy Ching
  • Jet Attack (1958) .... Capt. Chon
  • The Hunters (1958) .... Korean farmer
  • The Saga of Hemp Brown (1958) .... Chang - Bartender (uncredited)
  • Flower Drum Song (1961) .... Frankie Wing
  • Confessions of an Opium Eater (1962) .... Wing Young
  • A Flea in Her Ear (1968) .... Oke Saki
  • The Hawaiians (1970) .... Chun Fat (uncredited)
  • The Killer Elite (1975) .... Wei Chi
  • The Man with Bogart's Face (1980) .... Mr. Wing (final film role)


  • Terry and the Pirates 2 episodes (Oriental in "Little Mandarin") (Taiwan in "The Randall Affair") (1953)
  • Adventures of Superman 1 episode (Harry Wong in "The Riddle of the Chinese Jade") (1953)
  • Chevron Theatre 1 episode (Yin Yun in "Black Lead") (1953)
  • Waterfront 1 episode (Cecil Imai in "Fog Bound") (1954)
  • Biff Baker, U.S.A. 1 episode (Yin Yun in "Black Lead") (1954)
  • Stories of the Century 1 episode (Chang (uncredited) in "Black Bart") (1954)
  • Your Favorite Story 1 episode ("The Man Trap") (1954)
  • Captain Midnight 1 episode (Ling in "The Lost Moon") (1954)
  • Medic 1 episode (Dr. Nagano in "Flash of Darkness") (1955) as Victor Sen-Yung
  • The Star and the Story 1 episode (Peng in "The Back to Beyond") (1955)
  • Crusader 1 episode (Lu Chen in "A Little Friend") (1956)
  • The Lone Ranger (ABC) 1 episode (Lee Po in "The Letter Bride") (1956) as Victor Sen Young
  • Crossroads 1 episode (Sam Lu in "Big Sombrero") (1957)
  • Richard Diamond, Private Detective 1 episode (Magan in "Chinese Honeymoon") (1958)
  • Navy Log 1 episode (Red Officer in "One Grand Marine") (1958)
  • Broken Arrow 1 episode (Ling Tang in "Courage of Ling Tang") (1958)
  • Death Valley Days 1 episode (Quon Lee in "Quon Lee") (1958)
  • Mike Hammer 1 episode ("The Last Aloha") (1959)
  • Yancy Derringer 1 episode (Hon Lee in "The Quiet Firecracker") (1959)
  • Man Without a Gun 1 episode (Ho Wang in "Daughter of the Dragon") (1959)
  • Bronco 1 episode (Mr. Fong in "Game at the Beacon Club") (1959)
  • Shotgun Slade 1 episode (Willy Sing - Tong man in "Sudden Death") (1960)
  • Thriller 1 episode (Bartender in "The Twisted Image") (1960)
  • Checkmate 1 episode (Han in "Terror From the East") (1961)
  • Hong Kong 2 episodes (Yang in "Blind Bargain") (1960) (Tung Poy in "Nightcry") (1961)
  • The Rifleman 1 episode (Wang Chi in "The Queue") (1961)
  • Perry Mason (CBS) 2 episodes (Mickey Fong in "The Case of the Garrulous Gambler") (1959) (Sheng in "The Case of the Malicious Mariner") (1961)
  • Bachelor Father 6 episodes (Cousin Charlie Fong/Lee) (1960–1961)
  • The Jack Benny Program 1 episode (Chinese cafeteria employee in "Jack Goes to Cafeteria") (1961)
  • Follow the Sun 1 episode (Wong in "Annie Beeler's Place") (1962)
  • Ensign O'Toole 1 episode (Shopkeeper in "Operation Kowana") (1962)
  • Hawaiian Eye 3 episodes (Archibald Chu Sin in "Secret of the Second Door") (1959) (Al in "Vanessa Vanishes") (1960) (Sam in "Blow Low, Blow Blue") (1963)
  • Mickey 1 episode (Fu Chu man in "The Way the Fortune Cookie Crumbles") (1964)
  • Kraft Suspense Theatre 1 episode (Captain Fong in "Jungle of Fear") (1965)
  • Mister Ed 1 episode (Waiter in "Coldfinger") (1965)
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 1 episode (Servant in "The Abominable Snowman Affair") (1966)
  • The F.B.I. 2 episodes (Joseph Sakanishi in "The Hiding Place") (1966) (Mayor Eto in "The Death Wind") (1966)
  • Gomer Pyle, USMC 1 episode (Businessman in "You Bet Your Won Ton") (1967)
  • I Spy 2 episodes (Li Wing in "Weight of the World") (1965) (Han in "Pinwheel") (1968)
  • The Wild Wild West 1 episode (Baron Kyosai in "The Night of the Camera" (1968)
  • Hawaii Five-O 1 episode (Dr. Leo Kuh in "Face of the Dragon") (1969)
  • Here's Lucy 2 episodes (Waiter in "Lucy's Birthday") (1968) (Murphy in "Lucy and the Generation Gap") (1969)
  • Get Smart 2 episodes (Yamasaki in "A Tale of Two Tails") (1968) (Abe Fu Yung in "I Am Curiously Yellow") (1970)
  • Night Gallery 1 episode (Joseph the butler in "Rare Objects") (1972)
  • Bonanza 106 episodes Hop Sing (1959–1973)
  • The Paul Lynde Show 1 episode (Mr. Fong in "Back Talk") (1973)
  • The Red Pony (TV movie) (Mr. Sing/Carni man/Mr.Green) (1973)
  • Kung Fu 7 episodes (1972–1974)
  • Police Woman 1 episode (Ah Choy in "Nothing Left to Lose") (1975)
  • Barbary Coast 1 episode (Soong in "Guns for a Queen") (1975)
  • Isis 1 episode (Mr. Chen in "Year of the Dragon") (1976)
  • How the West Was Won 1 episode (Hospital attendant in "China Girl") (1979)
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 13 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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