Friday, August 27, 2010

Hey Boy

Continuing yesterday's look at TV westerns, here is Kam Tong who played Hey Boy on "Have Gun, Will Travel."  He was born in San Francisco in 1906. 

His first film was with Gary Cooper in 1936, The General Died at Dawn.  The next year he was in The Good Earth with Paul Muni.  He is playing houseboys and peasants.  The fact that he is Chinese/American doesn't matter much, he also plays Japanese and Phillipinos. 

His second film with Cooper is The Real Glory in 1939, and in 1940 he works with an acquaintance of mine, Henry Brandon in Drums of Fu Manchu.  Later in the 40's he worked with Humphrey Bogart in Across the Pacific, and in 1955 they worked together again in The Left Hand of God.

Some not so great movies are in there as well, plus he started making some TV appearances in 1952, beginning with "The Red Skelton Hour."  In 1961 he was in Flower Drum Song, and he worked with Elvis Presley in 1963's It Happened at the World's Fair

"Have Gun, Will Travel" ran from 1957 to 1963 and it was probably what Kam Tong is best remembered for.  That's a shame in a way.  He was a good actor and he appeared in many fine films, bringing style and color to them. 

After a total of more than 60 roles, he ends it all working on "The Big Valley" until his death in 1969...playing a house boy.


  1. What a fun post! Kam Tong also left HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL for a year to star in the TV series MR. GARLAND. For that year, Lisa Liu replaced him as Hey Girl. There are a couple of entertaining HAVE GUN episodes that spotlight Hey Boy.

  2. Thanks for the comment and kind words, Rick. I have never seen Mr. Garlund, which only lasted six episodes. I found it on Wikipedia and followed the link to Charles Quinlivan, and the link took me to his son! His son was a grip and never acted. The actor Quinlivan has only 15 roles on IMDb.

    But the point of my blog is to bring the Bit Players, like Kam Tong, back into the minds of classic movie fans. I think you agree!


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