Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Warner Oland (born Johan Verner Ölund, October 3, 1879 – August 6, 1938) was a Swedish-American actor most remembered for playing several Chinese and Chinese-American characters: the Honolulu Police detective, Lieutenant Charlie Chan; Dr. Fu Manchu; and Henry Chang in Shanghai Express. His family emigrated to the United States when he was 13. He pursued a film career that would include time on Broadway and dozens of film appearances, including 16 Charlie Chan films. After several years in theater, including appearances on Broadway as Warner Oland, in 1912 he made his silent film debut in Pilgrim's Progress, a film based on the John Bunyan novel. As a result of his training as a Shakespearean actor and his easy adoption of a sinister look, he was much in demand as a villain and in ethnic roles. Over the next 15 years, he appeared in more than 30 films, including a major role in The Jazz Singer (1927), one of the first talkies produced. Oland's normal appearance fit the Hollywood expectation of caricatured Asianness of the time, despite his having no definitively proven Asian cultural background. Oland portrayed a variety of Asian characters in several movies before being offered the leading role in the 1929 film, The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu. It was the first onscreen portrayal of the Fu Manchu character in film. Oland continued to appear onscreen as an Asian, probably more often than any other white actor in the history of cinema. In Old San Francisco, Oland played an Asian unsuccessfully impersonating a white man.

Oland was the first actor to play a werewolf in a major Hollywood film, biting the protagonist, played by Henry Hull, in Werewolf of London (1935). Once again, Oland's character was Asian.

A box office success, The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu made Oland a star, and during the next two years he portrayed the evil Dr. Fu Manchu in three more films (although the second one was purely a cameo appearance). Firmly locked into such roles, he was cast as Charlie Chan in the international detective mystery film Charlie Chan Carries On (1931) and then in director Josef von Sternberg's 1932 classic film Shanghai Express opposite Marlene Dietrich and Anna May Wong.

The enormous worldwide box office success of his Charlie Chan film led to more, with Oland starring in 16 Chan films in total. The series, Jill Lepore later wrote, "kept Fox afloat" during the 1930s, while earning Oland $40,000 per movie. Oland took his role seriously, studying the Chinese language and calligraphy.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Warner Oland (born Johan Verner Ölund, October 3, 1879 – August 6, 1938) was a Swedish-American actor most remembered for playing several Chinese and Chinese-American characters: the Honolulu Police detective, Lieutenant Charlie Chan; Dr. Fu Manchu; and Henry Chang in Shanghai Express. His family emigrated to the United States when he was 13. He pursued a film career that would include time on Broadway and dozens of film appearances, including 16 Charlie Chan films. After several years in theater, including appearances on Broadway as Warner Oland, in 1912 he made his silent film debut in Pilgrim's Progress, a film based on the John Bunyan novel. As a result of his training as a Shakespearean actor and his easy adoption of a sinister look, he was much in demand as a villain and in ethnic roles. Over the next 15 years, he appeared in more than 30 films, including a major role in The Jazz Singer (1927), one of the first talkies produced. Oland's normal appearance fit the Hollywood expectation of caricatured Asianness of the time, despite his having no definitively proven Asian cultural background. Oland portrayed a variety of Asian characters in several movies before being offered the leading role in the 1929 film, The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu. It was the first onscreen portrayal of the Fu Manchu character in film. Oland continued to appear onscreen as an Asian, probably more often than any other white actor in the history of cinema. In Old San Francisco, Oland played an Asian unsuccessfully impersonating a white man.

Oland was the first actor to play a werewolf in a major Hollywood film, biting the protagonist, played by Henry Hull, in Werewolf of London (1935). Once again, Oland's character was Asian.

A box office success, The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu made Oland a star, and during the next two years he portrayed the evil Dr. Fu Manchu in three more films (although the second one was purely a cameo appearance). Firmly locked into such roles, he was cast as Charlie Chan in the international detective mystery film Charlie Chan Carries On (1931) and then in director Josef von Sternberg's 1932 classic film Shanghai Express opposite Marlene Dietrich and Anna May Wong.

The enormous worldwide box office success of his Charlie Chan film led to more, with Oland starring in 16 Chan films in total. The series, Jill Lepore later wrote, "kept Fox afloat" during the 1930s, while earning Oland $40,000 per movie. Oland took his role seriously, studying the Chinese language and calligraphy.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 74

Birthday 1879-10-03

Day of Death 1938-08-06

Place of Birth Nyby, Västerbottens län, Sweden

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Уорнер Оланд

Acting TV ShowsMovies

Destruction
2003 Complicated Women as Himself (archive footage)
1961 Days of Thrills and Laughter
1937 Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo as Charlie Chan
1937 Charlie Chan on Broadway as Charlie Chan
1937 Charlie Chan at the Olympics as Charlie Chan
1936 Charlie Chan at the Opera as Charlie Chan
1936 Charlie Chan at the Race Track as Charlie Chan
1936 Charlie Chan at the Circus as Charlie Chan
1936 Charlie Chan's Secret as Charlie Chan
1935 Charlie Chan in Shanghai as Charlie Chan
1935 Shanghai as Ambassador Lun Sing
1935 Charlie Chan in Egypt as Charlie Chan
1935 Werewolf of London as Dr. Yogami
1935 Charlie Chan in Paris as Charlie Chan
1935 Movies on Sundays as Charlie Chan (uncredited)
1934 The Painted Veil as General Yu
1934 Charlie Chan in London as Charlie Chan
1934 Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back as Prince Achmed
1934 Charlie Chan's Courage as Charlie Chan
1934 Mandalay as Nick
1933 Charlie Chan's Greatest Case as Charlie Chan
1933 Before Dawn as Dr. Paul Cornelius
1933 How to Break 90 #3: Hip Action as Himself
1932 The Son-Daughter as Fen Sha
1932 A Passport to Hell as Baron von Sydow, Police Commandant
1932 Shanghai Express as Mr. Henry Chang
1932 Charlie Chan's Chance as Charlie Chan
1931 The Big Gamble as Andrew North
1931 Daughter of the Dragon as Fu Manchu
1931 Charlie Chan in The Black Camel as Charlie Chan
1931 Charlie Chan Carries On as Charlie Chan
1931 Dishonored as Colonel von Hindau
1931 The Drums of Jeopardy as Dr. Boris Karlov
1930 The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu as Dr. Fu Manchu
1930 Paramount on Parade as Fu Manchu (Murder Will Out)
1930 The Vagabond King as Thibault
1930 Dangerous Paradise as Schomberg
1929 The Mighty as Sterky
1929 The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu as Dr. Fu Manchu
1929 The Studio Murder Mystery as Rupert Borka
1929 Chinatown Nights as Boston Charley
1929 The Faker
1928 Dream of Love as The Duke
1928 The Scarlet Lady as Zaneriff
1928 Stand and Deliver as Ghika - the Bandit Leader
1927 Good Time Charley as Good Time Charley Keene
1927 The Jazz Singer as Cantor Rabinowitz
1927 Old San Francisco as Chris Buckwell
1927 When a Man Loves as André Lescaut
1927 What Happened To Father as W. Bradberry, Father
1927 A Million Bid as Geoffrey Marsh
1926 Tell It to the Marines as Chinese Bandit Chief
1926 Twinkletoes as Roseleaf
1926 The Marriage Clause as Max Ravenal
1926 Don Juan as Cesare Borgia
1925 Infatuation
1925 Flower of Night as Luke Rand
1925 Don Q Son of Zorro as The Archduke Paul
1925 Riders of the Purple Sage as Lew Walters aka Judge Dyer
1924 Curlytop
1924 The Fighting Adventurer
1923 His Children's Children as Dr. Dahl
1922 The Pride of Palomar as Okada
1922 East Is West as Charley Yong
1921 Hurricane Hutch as Clifton Marlow
1919 The Twin Pawns as John Bent
1919 The Lightning Raider
1917 The Fatal Ring as Richard Carslake
1917 Patria as Baron Huroki
1916 The Rise of Susan as Sinclair La Salle
1916 Beatrice Fairfax as Detective
1916 The Eternal Question
1916 The Eternal Sapho as H. Coudal

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