Harry Lowe Jr.

born: 19 January 1929
New York City, New York,
United States of America
died: 16 December 1992
Riverside, California,
United States of America
(age 63)

American child actor. Some sources give his name as Harry SHAR LOW.
His parents were Harry Shaw Lowe Sr. (1902-1963), born in San Francisco and Lillian Lowe, no relation (1909- after 2003) who was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Harry Sr. was a movie bit actor in Los Angeles and Lillian, known as Kee Kee, was a talented dancer. They successfully danced as a team in vaudeville (various names). They married in Detroit in April of 1927. In 1928, they left Fanchon and Marco in CA for NYC with a new Chinese dance company which became very successful in vaudeville with names such as Chinese Whoopee and Mr. Wu and His Chinese Collegians. The troupe even played in Europe.
In 1933, while in Los Angeles. 4 year-old "Harry Shar Low Jr. " (sic) interviewed and impressed the man who handled the casting of Chinese actors and extras for all the major film studios. He was hired on the spot and given small roles and a contract. He "stole" the highly successful film for MGM was "Sequoia" in 1934 (working title "Malibu"). It was said that with his winning personality he was loved by all the actors who worked with him.
By 1935, the parents were back performing as a team on the vaudeville circuit. In the 1940 Census, the family was living in NYC again. In 1947, Harry Jr. was working for Chase Manhattan Bank as a clerk when he registered for the "Young Men's Draft" just after WWII. At some point, the family broke apart. In 1950, Harry Sr. married a Caucasian woman and they had a son. He continued acting in stage plays and was always in demand when Asian parts were called for. He did television roles and the Broadway production of "Flower Drum Song". It seems that Harry Jr. and his Mom went into the restaurant business. The Mom's sister, Betty, who had also been a dancer on stage, owned an upscale Chinese restaurant in Manhattan.
In San Francisco in 1959, Harry Jr. married Julia Lum and in 1960, they had a son, Kalen. When he died in 1992, Harry had been the food and beverage manager of the Spa Hotel in Palm Springs, CA for 30 years.

If you look at the Harry Lowe Jr. in "Washee-Ironee" (rel. 29 Sep. 1934), he looks too old to have been born on 12 March of 1931 as currently stated by all sources.This Harry Lowe Jr. left for China on 08 June 1932 with his family. The Dad was planning to set up a paint factory and live in China permanently. Probably due to the Japanese invasion and the turmoil, the family (without the father who returned later) left Hong Kong, China on 16 June 1941 to return to the USA. They came close to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941!
Real name: Harry Shaw Lowe, Jr.
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Washee Ironee
Boy from laundromat

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements & sources:
Newspaper - August 12, 1933 LA discovery (clipping 1)
Newspaper - August 15, 1933 LA discovery (clipping 2)
https://archive.org/stream/variety91-1928-07#page/n35/mode/1up/search/%22kee+kee%22 (1928 Jul: Mom is dancer KeeKee Lowe in vaudeville)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=7488&h=2011291789&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=5180 (1929 Sep: NYC: parents ship passengers)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=3307&h=14719&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=WGW109&_phstart=successSource (1929 Sep: parents in "Chinese Exclusion Files")
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=61457&h=4956431&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=1788 (1929 Jan: NYC Birth Record)
https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=q&hs=1&r=1&results=1&txf=txIN&txq=%22harry+shar+low%22&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1 (1933 Aug. LA: discovered)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/523802331/?terms=%22HONORABLE%2BWU%22&match=2 (1933 Aug: parents on stage)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/299365854/?terms=%22kee%2Bkee%2Bshaw%22 (1935 Jan: Parents performing vaudeville)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KQT7-66L (1940 Census NYC: Lowe family)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=2238&h=194948144&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=60901 (1947 Jan: WWII Draft:bank clerk: NYC w/Mom)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/458199641/?terms=lowe (1959 Jun: marries Julia Lum: San Francisco)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VGXP-19T (1960 Nov: son Kalen born San Francisco)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/460085689/?terms=%22BETTY%2BLOWE%22 (1964 Mar: Aunt Betty owns NYC restaurant)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=60901&h=35568172&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=5180 (1992 Dec: Mom Lillian Lowe)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/246778820/?terms=%22harry%2Bshaw%2Blowe%22 (1992 Dec: Obit Palm Springs)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPSM-R25 (1992 Dec: Death: CADI)
https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=CC19310314.2.46&srpos=8&e=-------en--20-CC-1-byDA-txt-txIN-%22harry+lowe%22-------1 (1931 Mar. 12: Harry Lowe Jr. born Calexico)
https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=CC19320602.2.44&srpos=6&e=------193-en--20-CC-1-byDA-txt-txIN-%22harry+lowe%22-------1 (1932 June: Lowe family leaves for China)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=7949&h=2800453&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=qGX84&_phstart=successSource (1941 Jul: Lowe family arrives LA from China)
Jim Jarvis (research)

This page was last updated on: 05 July 2020