Harry Shum Jr. (born April 28, 1982) is a Costa Rican-American actor, dancer, singer, and choreographer. He is best known for his roles as Mike Chang on the Fox comedy-drama television series Glee and as Magnus Bane on the Freeform fantasy television series Shadowhunters.
He has appeared in the films Step Up 2: The Streets (2008), Step Up 3D (2010), White Frog (2012), Revenge of the Green Dragons (2014), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), the Hulu web series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (2010–2011) and the YouTube Red series “Single By 30” (2016).
Shum was born in Limón, Costa Rica. His mother is a native of Hong Kong, and his father is from Guangzhou, China. They relocated to Costa Rica, where Shum and his two older sisters were born. When Shum was six years old, the family moved to San Francisco, California. He stated: “I feel I have the best of so many worlds. I speak Cantonese and Spanish. Spanish is actually my first language before I learned Cantonese and English.” In an interview, he said that his earliest motivations to dance were from watching Ginuwine, Dru Hill, and Usher, before becoming influenced by iconic dancers like Gene Kelly and Michael Jackson.
Shum has stated that he identifies as being somewhat Latino. The actor was quoted saying: “It’s strange that I am full Chinese and born in a Latin country, but I love the fact that I was immersed in that culture at birth while maintaining my Chinese roots,” and added: “I think the cultures share a lot of similarities as far as family values and the love for flavor in their foods. I do consider myself somewhat Latin.”
Shum launched his career as the only male dancer on BET’s Comic View in 2002, and has continued his dancing career from there. He was also one of the lead dancers for stars such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, and Jessica Simpson. He won a dance competition to dance in an iPod commercial.
From 2009 until 2015, he portrayed the role of Mike Chang, a dancer who joins the glee club, on the Fox musical comedy-drama series Glee. Known for a while as “Other Asian” on Glee, with very few lines during the show’s first season, Shum’s character was given storylines in the second season, mostly involving his relationship with fellow glee club member Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz). He subsequently gave performances of “Make ‘Em Laugh” in “The Substitute”, “Sing” from A Chorus Line in “Duets”, “Valerie” in “Special Education”, and the show’s first dance solo in “A Night of Neglect”. He was promoted from guest star to series regular for the third season. He was given a major storyline in the third episode of the season, “Asian F”, and performed “Cool” from West Side Story, his first solo song. On June 28, 2013, it was reported that Shum would not return as regular on Glee’s fifth season, but would be a recurring guest star.
Shum has been featured in many productions done by Wong Fu Productions. In 2010, he appeared in Step Up 3-D as Cable. He is also a dancer and choreographer for the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. In 2011, Shum completed a short action film, 3 Minutes, directed Ross Ching and produced by Don Le and George Wang.
Shum was cast in the role of the Kuai Liang (the younger Sub-Zero) in the second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. In 2014, he had a major role in crime drama film Revenge of the Green Dragons, which was executive produced by Martin Scorsese. Shum was cast as the warlock Magnus Bane in the Freeform fantasy series Shadowhunters, based on The Mortal Instruments series of novels by Cassandra Clare. In 2016, he appeared as the character Wei-Fang in the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, titled Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny.
Shum began a relationship with Filipino-American dancer Shelby Rabara in 2007. The two became engaged in October 2013 while on vacation in Hawaii, and were married on November 22, 2015 in Costa Rica. On November 11, 2018, the couple announced via social media that they will be expecting their first child, a baby girl.
Through the years