Ethel Longenecker: Meet Keye Luke’s Daughter

Ethel Longenecker is a celebrity child, famous as the daughter of Chinese-born American actor Keye Luke. Ethel’s father was popular for playing Lee Chan, the “Number One Son” in the Charlie Chan films, Brak in the 1960s Space Ghost Cartoons, Mr. Wing in the Gremlins films, and Master Po in the TV series Kung Fu. Keye Luke is recognized as one of the most prominent Asian actors in American cinema in the mid-20th century. Please keep reading to get more details about Keye Luke and his daughter, Ethel Longenecker.

Ethel Longenecker Bio

Ethel luke Longenecker is the daughter of Ethel Davis Blaney, whom Keye Luke legally adopted after she died in 1979. Ethel’s parents married in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the early ‘40s, a union that lasted until Blaney died in 1979. Ethel had a brother named John, who was a year older than her. She maintained a low profile throughout her life; hence there is little to gather about her personal or career life.

Ethel Longenecker’s Father

Keye Luke was born on 18 June 1904 in Guangzhou, China. His father owned an art shop and had four siblings who all emigrated from China to California during the Great Depression. Keye’s younger brother Edwin Luke also became an actor in the Charlie Chan series. Keye attended Franklin High School and contributed illustrations and cartoons to the school’s publications.

He began his career as an artist in Seattle and later Hollywood, working on several murals inside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. In 1933, he did some original artwork for the original King Kong press book. In 1941, he painted a mural for the casino set in The Shanghai Gesture. His other paintings include pen and ink drawings of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, illustrations for Frank Scully’s books, and the dust jackets for books published in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Keye Luke’s debut acting role was in The Painted Veil in 1934. He earned his first significant role in Charlie Chan in Paris as Lee Chan, Charlie Chan’s eldest son. He appeared as Lee Chan seven times in the series and left in 1938. Luke continued to work in Hollywood at several studios, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he had a recurring role in its film series Doctor Kildare. At Monogram pictures, Luke was featured in the Frankie Darro comedies and starred as Mr. Wong in Phantom of Chinatown.

He got more roles from RKO Radio Pictures in its Falcon Series, Mexican Spitfire, and at Universal Pictures, playing chauffeur Kato in the Green Hornet serials. He also appeared in The Chairman (1969), Enter the Dragon (1973), and Alice (1990). He had numerous guest appearances in television series like The F.B.I., Anna and the King, Sidekicks, Dragnetv1967, Kung Fu, General Hospital, and The Golden Girls.

Luke was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986 and honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Timothy Tau wrote, produced, and directed a short film, Keye Luke, about Luke’s earlier life and work that premiered at the 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Keye Luke died of a stroke on 12 January 1991, aged 86.

Wrapping Up

Ethel Longenecker keeps away from the spotlight despite her father’s fame; hence little is known about her whereabouts.