[[quoteright:242:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/FuManchu_5073.png]]

->''"Imagine a person, tall, lean, and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Creator/{{Shakespeare}} and a face like {{Satan}}, [[BaldOfEvil a close-shaven skull]], and long, magnetic eyes of the true cat-green. Invest him with all the cruel cunning of an entire Eastern race, accumulated in [[DiabolicalMastermind one giant intellect]], with all the resources, if you will, [[FictionFiveHundred of a wealthy government]]--which, however, already has denied all knowledge of his existence. Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the {{yellow peril}} incarnate in one man."''
-->-- ''The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu'' (1913)

The villain of various novels by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sax_Rohmer Sax Rohmer]], this DiabolicalMastermind is the archetypical YellowPeril villain. He has made his way into many media, including film, radio, TV, and comics.

Fu Manchu has a long [[GoodHairEvilHair Evil Moustache]] in the famous [[ShapedLikeItself "Fu Manchu" style]]. [[note]]The Moustache is a bit of a BeamMeUpScotty -- in the original books he was clean-shaven.[[/note]] He has squinty eyes: pure YellowPeril. He is a {{Chessmaster}} setting up ThePlan and he's as much of a KarmaHoudini as the codes of production allow.

Fu Manchu's arch-nemeses are Denis Nayland Smith, an agent of the British government, and Dr. Petrie, Smith's [[TheWatson Watson]]. Likely [[FollowTheLeader inspired by]] the ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' series, Sax Rohmer had Petrie narrate each of the novels as Smith combated Fu Manchu's latest evil plot.

His actual public domain status is complicated. The first three Fu Manchu [[note]]so spelled in every novel after the first one[[/note]] books were published prior to 1922 and are public domain in the USA; however, some characters are not public domain since they were introduced later, particularly his daughter Fah Lo Suee, who was only named in a later book. This has caused problems for Creator/MarvelComics, who cannot reprint ''Master of Kung Fu'', which uses not only Fu Manchu but other characters from the series. Also, Fu Manchu is not in public domain in Europe (Rohmer died in 1959), and Creator/AlanMoore could not name him in ''ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''.

He has been played in over forty films by over a dozen different actors, including H. Agar Lyons (an Irishman), Warner Oland (a Swede, appearing in the page image), Creator/BorisKarloff (an Englishman, with Irish-American Myrna Loy as his daughter, here called Fah Lo), Creator/ChristopherLee (an Englishman with a bit of Italian in him), and Creator/PeterSellers (also English) -- but [[{{Yellowface}} never yet by an actual Asian]] actor, although the daughter of Lee's version was played by Tsai Chin, an actual Chinese actress. In fact Sellers' take, ''Film/TheFiendishPlotOfDrFuManchu'' (1980), is the last movie centered around the character to date, and a parody at that.

His first appearance on radio was on a show called ''The Collier Hour'', which presented adaptations of various popular works. This was followed by the short-lived ''Fu Manchu'' radio series, which lasted from 1932-1933. There was also a ''Fu Manchu'' newspaper comic which ran from 1931 to 1933.

There was a brief television series entitled ''The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu'' airing in 1956. The show can be considered FairForItsDay as it contains some sympathetic, peace-loving Asian characters as well as some villainous Western characters. However, Fu Manchu is still played by a white man (Glen Gordon) in YellowFace and it contains the same over-the-top exoticism, so it can still be a little cringe-worthy.

Of course, Fu Manchu also made [[OneSceneWonder a notable cameo]] in the ''Film/{{Grindhouse}}'' [[RealTrailerFakeMovie fake trailer]] ''Werewolf Women of the S.S.'' where he was played by none other than [[spoiler:Creator/NicolasCage.]]

He probably bears direct responsibility for killing off an entire facial moustache style among the East Asian peoples of the world, a feat only matched by AdolfHitler.

[[folder:Novels by Sax Rohmer]]
* ''The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu'' (1913). A number of 1912 stories were combined into this novel.
* ''The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu'' (1916).
* ''The Hand of Fu Manchu'' (1917).
* ''Daughter of Fu Manchu'' (1931).
* ''The Mask of Fu Manchu'' (1932).
* ''The Bride of Fu Manchu'' (1933).
* ''The Trail of Fu Manchu'' (1934).
* ''President Fu Manchu'' (1936).
* ''The Drums of Fu Manchu'' (1939).
* ''The Island of Fu Manchu'' (1940).
* ''The Shadow of Fu Manchu'' (1948).
* ''Re-Enter:Fu Manchu'' (1957).
* ''Emperor Fu Manchu'' (1959).
* ''The Wrath of Fu Manchu'' (1973). Actually a combination of the previously published stories:
** ''The Wrath of Fu Manchu'' (1952)
** ''The Eyes of Fu Manchu'' (1957)
** ''The Word of Fu Manchu'' (1958)
** ''The Mind of Fu Manchu'' (1959)
[[/folder]]
----
!!Related tropes:
* AffablyEvil: Fu Manchu, who, despite using underhanded tactics, is a man of his word and even gifts his nemesis when said nemesis is married.
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: In VideoGame/TeamFortress2, Fu Manchu was the 1850's version of the Spy.
* BigBad
* [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork Big Damn Villains]]: "Daughter of Fu Manchu" features a climax where the eponymous character, having dug up her father's stash of superweapons and reformed the Si Fan, has captured both our narrator Shan and series hero Nayland Smith, evades a possible last minute rescue, and is preparing to make the former victim of a gender reversal of the ScarpiaUltimatum, when Fu Manchu simply walks in the room and immediately takes over the resurgent Si Fan and release the prisoners. A rare case where TheBadGuyWins, so long as we consider Fu Manchu the BigBad of the series, is also a happy ending.
* {{Brainwashed}}: Fu often uses his mental powers on his victims.
* CensorshipBureau: The production of Fu Manchu movies was halted during WorldWarII at the request of the US State Department as China was an ally against Japan. Rohmer's publisher also voluntarily stopped publishing Fu Manchu novels during the war.
* CharacterDevelopment: Fu starts out as an extreme Nationalist seeking the sovereignty of China and developed into one who seeks personal world domination. Moreover, as the series progresses Fu becomes more and more the NobleDemon type of character, a [[IGaveMyWord Man of Honor]] who occasionally even [[EnemyMine joins the heroes]] (as in ''The Island of Fu Manchu'') to fight a [[EvenEvilHasStandards greater evil]].
* {{Chessmaster}}: Fu Manchu
* DaddysLittleVillain: Fah Lo Suee
* DeathTrap: Quite a few of the novels begin with someone being murdered in a mysterious and gruesome manner (often with the victim gasping out a cryptic DyingClue), and the hero(es) later being attacked by the cause (very often some hideous reptilian/arthropodian horror). Rohmer claimed that every method he devised was based on actual scientific fact.
* DiabolicalMastermind: Fu Manchu himself.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Starting with Dr. Petrie, most of the series' narrators find themselves DatingCatwoman and occasionally suffering from lapses in judgement thanks to a brief moment of eye contact with any of Fu Manchu's beautiful henchwomen.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: In ''President Fu Manchu'' the assassination of a populist political candidate recalls that of Huey Long.
* DragonLady: Fah Lo Suee.
* TheEndOrIsIt: The '60s film series (produced by Harry Alan Towers and starring ChristopherLee) would always end with Fu Manchu saying "The world shall hear from me again".
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Fu Manchu never breaks his word, with the exception of all the times he promises his daughter "YouHaveFailedMe for the last time" and "kills" her. She's the only real affiliate of his to never complete a HeelFaceTurn and still survive the entire book series.
* EvenEvilHasStandards / NobleDemon: Fu, despite his willingness to mind-control, murder, and torture to gain his ends, nevertheless refuses in indulge in ''unnecessary'' cruelty and is always scrupulously a [[IGaveMyWord man of his word]]. He gives Naylor wedding presents and a sincere congratulations in the epilogue of ''The Drums of Fu Manchu''.
* FemmeFatale: Zarmi and Fah Lo Suee.
%%* GambitRoulette
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: "Fah Lo," as she is called in the film of ''The Mask of Fu Manchu,'' is ''clearly'' getting off on beating the hell out of Terry ("Shan" in the novel), and it's all but stated that the only reason she doesn't rape him outright is because her father would rather use him as a bargaining chip. According to one story, her actress, Myrna Loy, responded to seeing the finished footage with "Say -- this is ''obscene!''" The year ''Mask of Fu Manchu'' was made? ''1932''. Before UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode. The Spirit of TheRoaringTwenties was still -barely- breathing.
* GoodHairEvilHair: You will never, ever see a good character with a Fu Manchu mustache. Unless he's a [[Franchise/StarTrek Klingon]].
* GreenEyes: Both Fu and Fah Lo Suee have 'em -- somewhat improbably.
* HighHeelFaceTurn: Karamaneh
* IGaveMyWord: Both Fu Manchu and Nayland Smith both believe a man should keep his word even to an enemy.
-->'''Nayland Smith''': A servant of the crown in the East makes his motto: "Keep your word though it break your neck!"
* KarmaHoudini: Fu Manchu -- which made him a problem character under UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Endemic to the series in pretty much every single romantic subplot. Even Fu Manchu's daughter claims to have developed a case of this when she first saw Nayland Smith. [[FoeYay When he was pointing a gun to her head and she left him to die of thirst in a prison cell.]]
* MajoredInWesternHypocrisy: Fu Manchu was an early character of this type.
* MasterPoisoner: Fu Manchu is a master of many insidious and undetectable Oriental poisons.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: In ''The Drums of Fu Manchu'' "Marcel Delibes" represents Leon Blum, "Monaghani" is Mussolini, and "Rudolph Adlon" is a [[ValuesDissonance creepily sympathetic]] portrait of [[AdolfHitler that other guy with a moustache]]. In ''President Fu Manchu'', Huey Long and "radio priest" Father Coughlin appear as "Harvey Bragg" and "Abbot Patrick Donegal".
* NotDistractedByTheSexy: Nayland Smith is portrayed as a hyperactive, tireless agent of the crown and its interests, and alone among all the protagonists, never gets put off course by anyone of the Doctor's beautiful henchmen. The one person who comes close is [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter Fah Lo Suee]], and that's only after she's grabbed him for two [[NowOrNeverKiss last chance snogs]] and survived a FateWorseThanDeath with LaserGuidedAmnesia, and he still remains in control, though she does manage to prove that he's NotSoStoic.
* TheTriadsAndTheTongs: Fu Manchu is often depicted as controlling or at least working with these groups.
* ThinkingTic: Sir Denis Nayland Smith tugs on an earlobe when thinking—even if he's in disguise at the time.
* VillainBasedFranchise: There's a reason why the titles of nearly every novel, film, and show in the franchise contain the name "Fu Manchu" instead of "Nayland Smith."
* ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend: Karameneh asserts her credentials as an ActionGirl by shooting two of Fu Manchu's assassin's when they are about to catch Petrie and Nayland Smith. Later, Fu Manchu uses LaserGuidedAmnesia to subdue her back into his service. She regains her memory just in time to realize that her master is psychologically torturing Petrie in the next room. [[BoomHeadshot She doesn't like that.]] And if it weren't for JokerImmunity, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard that]] would have been the end of Dr. Fu Manchu.
* WickedCultured: Fu Manchu.
* YellowFace: Every onscreen incarnation of Fu Manchu has been played by a white man.
* YellowPeril: The TropeCodifier.
----