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Sammee Tong
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    (April 21, 1901-October 27, 1964)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    Birth name was Sammy Tong
    Best known for his role as John Forsythe's houseboy, Peter Tong, in Bachelor Father (1957-1962)
    Acted in 'The Captain Hates the Sea,' 'Charlie Chan in Shangai,' 'Daughter of Shanghai,' 'Think Fast Mr. Moto,' 'Youth on Parole,' 'Spin and Marty: The Movie,' 'Suicide Battalion,' 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,' 'For Those Who Think Young,' and 'Fluffy'
    Had a recurring role as George/Sam the Cook in Disney's TV series 'The Adventures of Spin and Marty'
    Provided the voice for Dr. Yamane in 'Godzilla, King of the Monsters!'
    Portrayed Sammy Ling in the short-lived sitcom, 'Mickey' (1964-1965)
    Died of an apparent suicide via barbiturate overdose at the age of 63 (1964)
    He changed the spelling of his name to 'Sammee' because it looked better in print.
    He made his film debut in a Three Stooges comedy.
    He was typecast in ethnic roles, usually domestics and often going uncredited in bit parts.
    His big break came in his mid-fifties playing a cook in the 'Spin & Marty' segments of 'The Mickey Mouse Club.'
    The only remaining snippet of his talent as a 'stage comedian' survives in a Shirley Temple Black movie, 'Stowaway.'
    He starred in Bachelor Father , the only television show to change to three different networks in three consecutive years.
    His character of Peter Tong was accused of reinforcing demeaning stereotypes of Asian-Americans (speaking in a broken English for comic relief).
    Mickey Rooney claimed he committed suicide after he found out their TV sitcom, 'Mickey,' was cancelled.
    Rooney would also claim that Tong owed money to the Mafia and killed himself because he realized had no way to pay them back.
    He was a friend and colleague of Harry Haw and Anna May Wong.
    He was a veteran of the Chinese vaudeville/nightclub circuit, where he had a national following.
    He had a famous Vaudeville routine doing a hilarious imitation of Bing Crosby.
    He was the master of ceremonies at Oakland herbalist Fong Wan's New Shanghai Café in the 40s, billed as 'Chinatown's Playboy Songster.'
    He left a chillingly polite suicide note, reading 'I have taken my own life. No one is to blame.'
    Rooney's version of events has been questioned because it was known that Tong's popular following was the only thing keeping his show afloat. 'Mickey' was subsequently canceled two months after Tong's suicide (envy much?)
    He was forced to accept a bit role in the Chinese drama, 'The Good Earth,' while the leads were played by white actors in 'yellow-face.'
    Like Hattie McDaniel, he did his best with what he was given, finding ways to assert agency in subservient roles.
    On his role in 'Bachelor Father,' he said 'houseboys in movies and the theater always bow low, mutter a few sing song words and disappear, but not on this show. I get dialogue and laughs.'
    His reputation as one of the early 'stand-up comedians' led to Forsythe recommending he be cast as a major character in 'Bachelor Father.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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