Richard Loo Biography
Richard Loo was a renowned film actor, who left a lasting impact on American cinema with his versatile acting skills and memorable performances. Born in Hawaii on 1 October 1903 to Chinese parents, Loo spent his childhood in the island state before moving to California as a teenager.
Loo received a degree from the University of California at Berkeley and initially pursued a career in business, but the stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent economic depression forced him to start over.
Richard Loo discovered his talent for acting and made his first film appearance in 1931. Despite being an Asian actor in a predominantly non-Asian country, he rose to prominence quickly, appearing in over 120 films throughout his career. His stern features often led to typecasting as a movie villain, especially during World War II, where he played vicious Japanese soldiers in successful films such as The Purple Heart and God Is My Co-Pilot.
Loo’s range as an actor extended beyond stereotypical roles, as he demonstrated his talent in various genres and mediums. In 1974, he appeared as the Thai billionaire tycoon, Hai Fat, in the James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun, his last ever film.
Richard Loo had just as extensive TV portfoli as his filmography. He starred in many shows including Perry Mason, The Man from UNCLE, Hawaii Five-O, Bewitched. he also had a recurring role as a teacher of Shaolin monks in the hit TV series Kung Fu, and Loo’s last acting credit was in The Incredible Hulk TV series in 1981.
Aside from his successful acting career, Richard Loo was also a loving family man. He was first married to Bessie Sue, a well-known Hollywood agent, and they had twin daughters, Angela Marie and Beverly Jane. Loo later remarried and remained with his second wife, Hope, until his death in 1983. He was 80 years old when he passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage, but his legacy as one of the most familiar Asian character actors in American films continues to live on.