Roland Winters, the actor who played
Charlie Chan in Monogram Studios' last Chan pictures, was born in Boston, Mass., on December 22, 1904.
He began work in the theatre in 1928,
and by 1933 was a successful supporting player. He also did a fair amount of radio, including appearances on the "Kay Kyser Show," the "Kate Smith Show," and
Monogram Pictures chose him to
replace Sidney Toler after Toler's death in early 1947, and Winters made six Chans for the studio, the first being "The Chinese Ring," and the last, "The
Sky Dragon." Winters was the youngest of the big three that tackled the role of the great detective-- he was 44, but as Ken Hanke notes in his book, that
hardly made him a more energetic Chan. Of Oland's, Toler's and Winters' characterizations, Winters' Chan was the least likely to over-exert himself to
solve a case.
After his Monogram Chans, Winters did
TV work, including appearances as the boss on "Meet Millie" in the early 50s, and he was in the Smothers Brothers' 1965 sitcom (not the later variety series).
As far as other film work, he was in more than 80 films total, including "13 Rue Madeleine" in 1948 (with James Cagney), and "Blue Hawaii" in 1961 (as Elvis'
The late 60s marked a return to the
Broadway stage for the actor-- he appeared in the musical "Minnie's Boys."
Roland Winters died of a stroke at
the Actor's Fund Nursing Home in Englewood, N.J., on October 22, 1989. He was 84.