Public Figure Profiles

Anna May Wong

Wong Liu-tsong (January 3, 1905 – February 3, 1961), known professionally as Anna May Wong, was an American actress, considered the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star, as well as the first Chinese American actress to gain international recognition. Her varied career spanned silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio. As one of the first women depicted on the reverse of the quarter in the 2022-2025 American Women quarters series, she will also be the first Asian American to appear on US currency.Born in Los Angeles to second-generation Taishanese Chinese-American parents, Wong became infatuated with films and began acting in films at an early age. During the silent film era, she acted in The Toll of the Sea (1922), one of the first films made in color, and in Douglas Fairbanks' The Thief of Bagdad (1924). Wong became a fashion icon and had achieved international stardom in 1924. Wong had been one of the first to embrace the flapper look. In 1934, the Mayfair Mannequin Society of New York voted her the "world's best dressed woman." In the 1920s and 1930s, Wong was acclaimed as one of the top fashion icons.

Frustrated by the stereotypical supporting roles she reluctantly played in Hollywood, Wong left for Europe in March 1928, where she starred in several notable plays and films, among them Piccadilly (1929). She spent the first half of the 1930s traveling between the United States and Europe for film and stage work. Wong was featured in films of the early sound era, such as Daughter of the Dragon (1931), Java Head (1934), Daughter of Shanghai (1937), and with Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg's Shanghai Express (1932).In 1935, Wong was dealt the most severe disappointment of her career, when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer refused to consider her for the leading role of the Chinese character O-Lan in the film version of Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth. MGM instead cast Luise Rainer to play the leading role in yellowface. One biographer believes that the choice was due to the Hays Code anti-miscegenation rules requiring the wife of a white actor, Paul Muni (ironically playing a Chinese character in yellowface) to be played by a white actress. But the 1930-1934 Hays Code of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America insisted only that "miscegenation (sex relationship between the white and black races) was forbidden" and said nothing about Asian/white intermarriages. Other biographers have not corroborated this theory, including historian Shirley Jennifer Lim's Anna May Wong: Performing the Modern. MGM offered Wong a supporting role of Lotus, the seductress, but she refused on principle.Wong spent the next year touring China, visiting her family's ancestral village, studying Chinese culture, and documenting the experience on film at a time when prominent female directors in Hollywood were few.In the late 1930s, she starred in several B movies for Paramount Pictures, portraying Chinese and Chinese Americans in a positive light.

She paid less attention to her film career during World War II, when she devoted her time and money to help the Chinese cause against Japan. Wong returned to the public eye in the 1950s in several television appearances.

In 1951, Wong made history with her television show The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, the first-ever U.S. television show starring an Asian American series lead. She had been planning to return to film in Flower Drum Song when she died in 1961, at the age of 56, from a heart attack. For decades after her death, Wong was remembered principally for the stereotypical "Dragon Lady" and demure "Butterfly" roles that she was often given. Her life and career were re-evaluated in the years around the centennial of her birth, in three major literary works and film retrospectives.

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Some of their strengths

Anna May Wong has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Generous, Smart, Independent, Energetic, Intellectual, Analytical, and Confident.

Smart and Hardworking

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, Anna May Wong is someone who is a smart, hardworking, reliable, and loyal person, who is detail-oriented and orderly, but also generous and optimistic. A person who is a bit of a "lone wolf".

Adventurous and Free

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know Anna May Wong well know them as someone who can be talented, wayward and free, like a big river or the ocean.

Organized and Achievement-oriented

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe Anna May Wong as someone who is organized, goal-oriented, practical, and persevering.

Who is hardworking, intellectual, and easygoing, who loves higher education and learning and sharing ideas with others, and who loves healthy competition.

Emotionally Intelligent and Intuitive

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, Anna May Wong is someone who tends to have strong emotional intelligence and intuition, and who can be a catalyst of change for others.

They are also someone who is charismatic, compassionate, and understanding, and who is interested in expressing themselves through writing, public speaking, or teaching.

Patient and Perseverent

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, Anna May Wong tends to be someone who is patient, faithful, hardworking and persistent, and who wants to achieve a lot in life. Who tends to be rather private when it comes to expressing feelings, enjoys being independent and self-sufficient, and who is not afraid of any obstacle.

Some of Anna May Wong's challenges

While Anna May Wong has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, Anna May Wong can be Rebellious, Unrealistic, Suspicious, Stubborn, Impulsive, Careless, and Emotionally Distant.

Suspicious and Stubborn

One of Anna May Wong's key challenges is that they are someone who can be suspicious and stubborn.

Anna May Wong must also exercise caution as they can be excessive and unrealistic.

Callous and Selfish

Anna May Wong is someone who can be standoffish, pessimistic, and ruthless, who can have difficulty concentrating and be impatient, can have difficulty discovering the keys to personal contentment, and who can have a tendency to overwork and hoard wealth and possessions.

Callous and Stubborn

Finally, Anna May Wong also can come across as cold and unemotional, be too dismissive of others' opinions, and be overly suspicious, selfish and crafty.

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