Anna May Wong, a member of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, may soon be the first Asian American to feature on US currency. Wong is the first Chinese American actress in Hollywood and joins Maya Angelou, Sally Ride, Nina Otero-Warren, and Wilma Mankiller as featured actresses.
Anna May Won, a famous Asian-American actress, was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1905. Wong Liu Tsong was her birth name before she changed it.
Before getting the lead role in the silent drama The Toll of the Sea in 1922, she had her first role at the age of just 14 in The Red Lantern.
Her remarkable acting career spans more than 30 years in radio, television, theater, and cinema. She made an appearance in almost 60 films.
She played prominent roles in films like the 1932 romantic adventure Shanghai Express, the 1937 criminal drama Daughter of Shanghai, and the 1931 crime thriller Daughter of the Dragon.
Wong has had appearances in movies in English, French, and German. Actress Gemma Chan, who starred in the films Eternals and Don’t Worry, Darling, will play her in the upcoming biopic about her life and career.
Wong died on February 3, 1961, after a heart attack she had while sleeping. She passed away in her Santa Monica home at the age of 56.
Wong was supposed to play Madame Liang in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song before she passed away, but she was unable to do so because of health problems. The actress shot an episode of The Barbara Stanwyck Show two days before her passing.
Wong didn’t have any children but did have two siblings named Mary Wong and Lew Ying.
How did Anna May Wong Become Famous?
Wong is the fifth woman to be honored on US coin as part of the American Women Quarters Program, which will highlight influential women through 2025.
“A bold crusader who championed for more representation and more multi-dimensional parts for Asian American performers,” according to US Mint director Ventris Gibson, praised Wong’s work (via BBC News).
Gibson continued, “This quarter is intended to highlight the breadth and depth of Anna May Wong’s accomplishments, who surmounted difficulties and barriers throughout her existence.