Harry Shum Jr. Biography

(Actor Best Known for His Roles in the TV Series: 'Glee' and 'Shadowhunters')

Birthday: April 28, 1982 (Taurus)

Born In: Actor and Dancer Known for His Role as ‘Mike Chang’ on the Fox Television Series ‘Glee’

Harry Shum Jr. is a Chinese–American actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer, best known for his starring role in the successful musical series ‘Glee.’ Born in Costa Rica and raised in California, Harry devoted a lot of time to extracurricular activities while in school. He played football and performed in school plays. Harry made his on-screen debut as a dancer in the 2004 dance film ‘You Got Served.’ He then did a lot of minor roles as a dancer in films such as ‘Stomp the Yard’ and ‘Center Stage: Turn It Up.’ In 2009, he had a major career breakthrough when he bagged one of the main roles in the musical comedy-drama series ‘Glee.’ In the series, he played the role of ‘Mike Chang,’ a footballer who later discovers his talent in dance. He then played major roles in the series ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy’ and in the crime-drama film ‘Revenge of the Green Dragons.’ He has been actively involved with a few web series such as ‘Caper’ and ‘Single by 30.’

Quick Facts

Age: 42 Years, 42 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Shelby Rabara (m. 2015)

Born Country: Costa Rica

Actors Choreographers

Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males

Ancestry: Chinese Australian, Costa Rican American, Hong Kong American

Notable Alumni: Arroyo Grande High School

More Facts

education: San Francisco State University, Arroyo Grande High School

Childhood & Early Life

Harry Shum Jr. was born on April 28, 1982, in Puerto Limón, Costa Rica, into a rich Chinese business family. His mother is from Hong Kong, while his father is from Guangzhou, China. He was born the youngest of three children in the family. Harry learned Spanish as he grew up. He learned English and Chinese much later in life.

When Harry was 6 years old, his family moved to San Francisco, California. There, Harry got acquainted with a totally different lifestyle. Harry has admitted that he has not spoken a word of Spanish since he landed in California and that he missed Costa Rica badly for his first few years in the US.

Harry attended various schools in the San Luis Obispo region and was finally enrolled at the ‘Arroyo Grande High School.’ As a kid, Harry was mostly interested in acting and playing football. Dance did not fascinate him much. However, an incident that followed changed everything. He was dared by some of his friends in high school to audition for the school’s dance team.

Although Harry did not make it to the team, he found the passion that he wanted to follow in the future. He started taking dance classes. After graduating from high school in 2000, he joined the ‘San Francisco State University.’ His parents did not support his decision to become a dancer.

Not willing to give up on his dreams, Harry dropped out of college and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment world. Upon landing in Los Angeles, he was offered work as a dancer on the ‘BET’ comic show ‘Comic View.’ He then won a dance competition to appear in one of the early commercials for ‘iPod Nano.’ In 2003, he made his acting debut.

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Harry played a minor role in an episode of the series ‘Boston Public’ in 2003. The next year, he made his big-screen debut as a dancer in the film ‘You Got Served.’ He then played minor roles in the series ‘Zoey 101’ and ‘Viva Laughlin’ and in the film ‘Stomp the Yard.’

In 2008, he bagged the small role of ‘Cable’ in the film ‘Step Up 2: The Streets’ and then played a similar role in the film ‘Center Stage: Turn it Up.’ In 2008, he appeared as ‘Zack’ in an episode of ‘Rita Rocks,’ titled ‘Flirting with Disaster.’ It was the biggest role of his acting career at that time and helped him get noticed by key industry people. His dance skills were appreciated, too, and this brought him a lot of audition calls.

In 2008, he landed a small role in the ‘MTV’ made-for-television musical drama film ‘The American Mall.’ The film was made by the team behind the highly successful ‘High School Musical’ film series. However, 'The American Mall’ was not too successful. The same year, he appeared on three episodes of the comedy-drama series ‘Greek.’

2009 was a big year for Harry, as that year, he was selected to play one of the key roles in the series ‘Glee.’ The musical comedy-drama series premiered in May 2009 and narrated the story of a high-school glee club. Harry portrayed ‘Mike Chang,’ one of the key members of the club. After making his first appearance in the fourth episode of the first season of the series, Harry became a regular cast member.

Harry remained associated with the show till its last season and played Mike in 76 episodes. By the time the series ended, it had already become one of the most successful contemporary musical series of all time. Harry received several nominations for his performance in the series and earned a ‘Screen Actors Guild Award,’ too, as part of the entire cast of the series.

He earned an admirer in Wesley Chan of ‘Wong Fu Productions’ and appeared in several of their short films. In 2010, he appeared as ‘Cable’ in the dance film ‘Step Up 3D,’ and in the same year, he played the role of ‘Harry’ in the film ‘Our Family Wedding.’

He has starred in a few web series too, the most notable among them being ‘The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers,’ which featured him as a dancer and choreographer. In 2011, Harry played the lead role in the short action film ‘3 Minutes.’ Later, he bagged a major role in the second season of the web series ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy.’

In 2014, Harry was offered a major role in the film ‘Revenge of the Green Dragons.’ The film was produced by legendary director Martin Scorsese. Harry played ‘Paul Wong’ in the film. Despite earning rave reviews in various film festivals, the film turned out to be a critical and commercial debacle.

Harry then appeared as ‘Magnus Bane’ in the supernatural drama series ‘Shadowhunters.’ The series, which was based on the novel series ‘The Mortal Instruments,’ was appreciated by viewers but received average reviews.

In 2016, he appeared in the ‘Netflix’ American–Chinese martial arts film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.’ The film received very low ratings and did not even come close to the reception that its prequel, ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,’ had received earlier. The same year, he appeared in eight episodes of the web series ‘Single by 30.’

Harry next played the role of ‘Charlie Wu’ in the 2018 film ‘Crazy Rich Asians.’ The film received much praise from critics and earned a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In 2019, he starred in the John Herzfeld-directed direct-to-video action thriller ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors.’ The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. That same year, he was also seen in the comedy film ‘Burn’ written and directed by Mike Gan. The film received a 54% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes.

He next appeared in films like ‘All My Life’ (2020), ‘Broadcast Signal Intrusion’ (2021), and ‘Love Hard’ (2021). In 2022, he portrayed ‘Chad’ in the Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert-directed film ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once.’ The film saw critical acclaim upon release and was a major commercial success, grossing over $140.2 million on a $14.3–25 million budget. That same year, Harry also joined the cast of the medical drama television series ‘Grey's Anatomy’ as ‘Dr. Benson "Blue" Kwan.’

In 2023, he voiced ‘Brainiac 5’ in the animated superhero film ‘Legion of Super-Heroes’ directed by Jeff Wamester.

Personal Life

Harry Shum Jr. started dating Filipino–American actor and dancer Shelby Rabara in 2007. The couple got engaged in 2013. In November 2015, Harry and Shelby finally tied the knot. The couple has a daughter named Xia.

Harry Shum Jr. Movies

1. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)


2. White Frog (2012)

  (Drama, Romance)

3. Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)

  (Music, Drama, Romance)

4. The Onion Movie (2008)


5. Step Up 3D (2010)

  (Romance, Music, Drama)

6. Center Stage: Turn It Up (2008)

  (Drama, Music, Romance)

7. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)

  (Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Drama)

8. Burn (2018)


9. Moms' Night Out (2014)


10. Stomp the Yard (2007)

  (Romance, Music, Drama)


People's Choice Awards
2018 Favorite Male TV Star Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (2016)

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