Robert Ya Fu Lee

  (Redirected from Robert Lee (actor, born 1914))

Robert Ya Fu Lee (1913 – 1 December 1986) was a Chinese actor based in the United Kingdom.

Robert Lee
Robert Ya Fu Lee

1913 (1913)
Died1 December 1986 (aged 73)
Years active1944–1986


Born in Tianjin, he arrived in England as an international student, attaining a BA in history from Trinity College, Cambridge. He then worked at a Chinese restaurant and a Japanese restaurant before being encouraged by friends to become an actor. Lee played supporting roles in many films and television programmes throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, and was frequently called upon whenever a production required an East Asian character. His film appearances include You Only Live Twice (1967) and Half Moon Street (1986), and his television appearances include The Avengers, The Chinese Detective and The Bill, but his best known role is as Tarō Nagazumi, the Japanese business executive and English language student, in the sitcom Mind Your Language from 1977 to 1979. He never married, citing marriage in a 1984 interview as "Too much responsibility", and lived in a flat in Hampstead, north London, where he died after two years of ill health on 1 December 1986, aged 73.[1]

TV and filmographyEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1944 Dragon Seed Young Farmer Uncredited
1951 Outcast of the Islands Extra in Snooker Room scenes Uncredited
1954 The Desperate Women Publisher
1960 The World of Suzie Wong Barman Uncredited
1961 Visa to Canton (also known as Passport to China in the USA) Chinese Officer
1961 The Sinister Man Nam Lee
1962 Satan Never Sleeps Chung Ren
1967 You Only Live Twice 2nd Chinese VIP Uncredited
1967 The Mini-Affair Manager - Chinese Restaurant
1967 Jackanory Narrator TV Series, 5 episodes - Narrating traditional Chinese tales
1968 Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River Bruce
1969 The Chairman Hotel Night Manager
1969 Moon Zero Two Hotel Employee Uncredited
1971 The Projectionist Usher / Henchman
1974-1979 Hawaii Five-O Airport Guard / Kauai Police Captain / Capt. Tanaka / Lew Kameka / Tas TV Series, 5 episodes
1975 Bakit May Bilanggo Sa Anak Ni Eba
1975 Rollerball Executive Uncredited
1976-1978 It Ain't Half Hot Mum Bandit / Chung Soo TV Series, 2 episodes
1977-1979 Mind Your Language Tarō Nagazumi TV Series, 29 episodes
1979 Porridge Tinkler
1980 The Professionals Shusai TV Series, 1 episode
1981 The Chinese Detective Joe Ho TV Series, 4 episodes
1982 Tout feu, tout flamme aka All Fired Up Tout feu tout flamme (France: DVD title)
1982 Britannia Hospital Mr. Banzai
1983 High Road to China Zura
1983 Reilly: Ace of Spies Admiral Togo TV Mini-Series, 1 episode
1984 Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense Chong Woy TV Series, 1 episode
1984 The Bill Chinese Restaurateur TV Series, 1 episode
1984 Tenko Mr. Ling TV Series, 1 episode
1985 John and Yoko: A Love Story Eisuke Ono TV movie
1986 Half Moon Street Chinese Ambassador
1987 A Cor do seu Destino The Officer
1987 Ping Pong Mr. Chen (final film role)


  1. ^ Ooi, Teresa (19 February 1984). "Friends told him to act". The Straits Times. p. 15. Retrieved 8 March 2016 – via NewspaperSG.

External linksEdit