Interred at Forest Lawn (Glendale), Glendale, California, USA, in the Court of Freedom.
A close friend of Mickey Rooney, Tong was Rooney's co-star on the TV series Mickey (1964) at the time of his death. A heavy gambler, and deeply in debt because of it, Tong had no way of repaying his debts once "Mickey" was canceled midway through the 1964-1965 TV season, and committed suicide by drug overdose rather than face the consequences.
Raised and educated in California and Honolulu.
Performed in Chinese nightclubs in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco where he sang and did comedy routines.
Changed the spelling of his name to "Sammee" because he said it "looked better in print."[.
Buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
In his 1991 autobiography, "Life Is Too Short", Mickey Rooney wrote that Tong was devastated by the cancellation of the TV show Mickey (1964) in which he was featured. According to Rooney, Tong was a compulsive gambler and owed money to the Mafia. Facing the fact that he now couldn't pay off his debts, Tong committed suicide, leaving a note stating, "I have taken my own life. No one is to blame".