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Charlie Chan

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Charlie Chan is a fictional Chinese-American detective created by Earl Derr Biggers, reportedly inspired by the career of Honolulu policeman Chang Apana. Chan is the hero of a number of books and dozens of movies. A detective in the Honolulu Police Department, he and his wife have a very large family of children and live in a house on Punchbowl Hill. He is a large man but moves gracefully, and is known when asked in the Warner Oland films, to not have a strong drink, but a sarsaparilla instead.

Chan was born in China and immigrated to Hawaii when very young. He is a faithful husband and proud patriarch of a "multitudinous family" of fourteen children. His character is portrayed as kindly, insightful and wise, as well as a dispenser of appropriate aphorisms, such as "Ancient Chinese philosopher say, 'Hope is sunshine which illuminate darkest path'" . Identified in early stories as a sergeant, he was quickly promoted and known afterward as Lieutenant or Inspector. In later films, he is often seen working as a special agent for the U.S. government, and toward the end of the run is portrayed as being in private practice based in San Francisco. During the course of the series he traveled to over two dozen cities and five continents and is mentioned as having worked on a case in Australia.

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