George Kuwa

George Kuwa (born Keichii Kuwahara) was a Japanese and American Issei (Japanese immigrant) film actor of the silent era. He appeared in more than 50 films between 1916 and 1931. He was the first actor to portray Charlie Chan on-screen in the 1926 film serial The House Without a Key.[1]

George Kuwa
Scene from Daddy 5.jpg
Kuwa with Jackie Coogan in the 1923 film Daddy
Keiichi Kuwahara

(1885-04-07)7 April 1885
Hiroshima, Japan
Died13 October 1931(1931-10-13) (aged 46)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Years active1916–1931


According to contemporaneous reports, Kuwa was born in Hiroshima, Japan. His father was a judge and wanted George to follow suit.[2][3] Kuwa moved to the U.S. around 1916 or 1917 and began a career in Hollywood. Like many Japanese actors of the era, he often played Chinese characters. He made several films in Japan as well before returning to the U.S.; he died in Los Angeles in 1931 at the age of 46.[4]

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Hanke (1989), xii.
  2. ^ "At the Theatres". Times Colonist. 28 August 1928. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  3. ^ "George Kuwa Is Martyr to Drama". The Billings Gazette. 18 January 1925. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Screen Gossip". The Times. 27 May 1930. Retrieved 28 March 2021.

External linksEdit