Birth: April 28, 1874 Warrensburg, Missiouri)
Death: February 12, 1947 (Beverly Hills, California)

Sidney Toler was cast to replace Warner Oland as the new Charlie Chan in 1938. Toler was already in his mid sixties when he took on the role. Like Warner Oland, Sidney Toler had slightly Oriental features, so he required only minor make-up. Toler developed into a very credible Chan slightly more emotional in his character than Oland. In some ways he was closer to the Chan of the novels. Sidney Toler presented a more quick-witted and much funnier Chan than the Warner Oland version of the character.

The son of a horse breeder and graduate of Kansas University, Sidney Toler had fifty films under his belt before he first played Charlie Chan for Fox. He also had much success on Broadway, where he not only appeared on the stage, he wrote for it. He was an accomplished baritone opera singer as well.

With the second round of Chan films, the Birmingham Brown character was added and various Chan offspring. Another change in formula was that Chan was no longer working for the Honolulu police. He became a government agent, therefore, his frequent absences from Hawaii did not have to be explained.

Toler took on the role of Chan through 22 films from 1938 to 1947. He was in his seventies and slowed down considerably in later episodes.

Toler was so ill during the making of his last Chan films that he could barely walk. On Wednesday, February 12, 1947, he died at home in Hollywood, of intestinal cancer. He is buried at Highland Cemetery in Wichita, KS.