Duke Kahanamoku as "Jaffir" in The Rescue • 1929
Duke Kahanamoku became internationally famous as an Olympic swimming champion in 1912.
In 1922, he moved from Hawaii to Hollywood, where he appeared in small roles in a number of films, playing non-white men like Native Americans, Persians, or even Polynesians.
In this photo, as the character “Jaffir”, he’s interacting with star Ronald Coleman (left) in “The Rescue”, released in January 1929. He left California and returned to Hawaii the same year. After that he was seen only in two other Hollywood films, “Wake of the Red Witch” in 1948 and “Mister Roberts” in 1955.