A crowd of Filipino men line up for a casting call at MGM Studios in 1929 for the black-and-white movie entitled The Pagan. The movie was about a son, born to a white father and a native mother, who inherited land. The casting call was looking for a short “native” types, and this photograph shows a 5-foot measuring stick used to measure their height. For decades, Filipinos were often slated for native-type and service-type roles, and were often cast as uncredited extras despite some actors being widely known in the film community. One such actor was Leon Lontoc, who was cast in more than 50 roles (Chinese boatman, steward, native, and slave) during his acting career, beginning in 1943. In the 1970s, Lontoc was cast in some popular television shows in credited roles but still as a native, aide, assistant, houseboy, and servant.
during my viewership of singin’ in the rain tonight, i noticed an asian actor (leon lontoc) playing the butler who directs kathy seldon (debbie reynolds) to the hollywood party where she pops out of a cake.
this is what imdb had to say about him:
A barber by day, a waiter by night and a movie actor whenever he got the opportunity. Whenever he got an acting job, he would close his barber shop and put a Gone To Act sign on the door.