Charlie Chan - Research Article from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 1 page of information about Charlie Chan.
This section contains 147 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)

The Chinese detective Charlie Chan remains author Earl Derr Biggers' (1884-1933) greatest legacy. Biggers based his fictional Asian sleuth on Chang Apana, a Chinese American police detective who lived in Honolulu. Biggers' introduced Chan in The House without a Key in 1925, the first of six Chan novels. Beginning in 1926, the Chan character hit the silver screen and was eventually featured in more than thirty films. Three different actors portrayed Chan in films: Warner Oland, Sidney Toler, and Roland Winters. While Chan's character was based on an Asian person, his resemblance to Chinese Americans was remote. White actors played Chan as a rotund, slow-moving detective who spoke pithy sentences made to sound like Confucian proverbs. In contrast to the evil Fu Manchu (another film character), Chan was a hero. But ultimately, his depiction created a new stereotype of Asian Americans as smart, yet inscrutable and inassimilable.

This section contains 147 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture
Charlie Chan from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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