Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 461-462. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Buried in Southborough Rural Cemetery, Southborough, Massachusetts. His gravestone, a rough oval, was made from one of the steps of his beloved home in this town.
He didn't need make-up when he played Charlie Chan; all he would do is curl down his moustache and curl up his eyebrows. In fact, the Chinese often mistook him for one of their own countrymen. He attributed this to the fact that his Russian grandmother was of Mongolian descent.
Oland got a big break when the actress Alla Nazimova spotted him performing Shakespeare and signed him to her 1906 touring company of Ibsen's plays.
Soon after his last film, another Chan entry titled Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo (1937), which was completed in the fall of 1937, Oland began experiencing symptoms of dementia. He was apprehended walking outside his neighborhood in his underwear in the company of his prized miniature schnauzer completely disoriented. He returned to Sweden and sadly, Oland died the following August after a brief bout with pneumonia.