Harry Shum Jr. was born on April 28th, 1982 in San José, Costa Rica. His family is originally from China, but his parents moved to Costa Rica before Harry and his two sisters were born. In 1988, the family moved to San Francisco, California.
Harry first got into dancing when he was in High School. He graduated in 2000 and enrolled at San Francisco State University for a year before he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a dancer.
In Los Angeles, Harry built up a career as a dancer and choreographer – going on tour with Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez. Around the same time, he started auditioning for acting jobs and got cast for smaller parts in a variety of movies and TV shows. In 2008, Harry was featured in Step Up 2: The Streets and later on Step Up 3, playing the part of Cable in both movies.
In 2009, Harry booked one of his biggest roles so far: he was cast as Mike Chang, a football player with a passion for dancing, on the FOX High School comedy Glee. The show became a worldwide success, resulting in several nominations and wins at the Emmys, Golden Globes and SAG Awards.
In May 2015, Freeform announced that Harry had been cast as Magnus Bane in their upcoming fantasy TV show Shadowhunters, which is based on the popular book series “The Mortal Instruments” by Cassandra Clare. Magnus Bane is an openly bisexual, very powerful and eccentric warlock and a fan-favorite character.
Ever since the pilot aired in January 2016, Shadowhunters has been very successful, getting compliments from critics and fans, especially in terms of representation of different ethnicities and the LGBTQ+ community.
In August 2016, the YouTube Red series Single by 30 was released in which Harry starred as Peter Ma – his performance earned him a nomination in the Acting in A Drama category at the Streamys Awards. The show itself being nominated in the Drama Series and Directing categories.
In between filming season 2 and 3 of Shadowhunters, Harry started working on another project; the movie adaptation of the novel Crazy Rich Asians. Parts of the filming happened in Singapore in summer 2017. The movie is expected to be released in 2018.
Harry Shum Jr. is married to fellow actress Shelby Rabara. They own a dog named Charlie and live in Los Angeles.