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Chinese Language Center

Famous Chinese Americans Entertainment: Acting

  Who What
Garrett Wang

b. 1968, Riverside, CA
After completing college at UCLA, Wang performed in a number of theater shows before auditioning for the role of Ensign Harry Kim in Star Trek Voyager. The show ran from 1995 to 2001. He's also appeared in Ivory Tower, The Auteur Theory, and Pinata: Survival Island, a horror film.
Ming-Na Wen

b. 1963, Macau
Wen obtained her fine arts degree at Carnegie Mellon. She first performed off-Broadway before landing a contract role for "As the World Turns", the first for an Asian American. Her breakthrough film was in The Joy Luck Club in 1993. She was the title voice of Disney's Mulan. Since 2000, she has played the role of Dr. Jing-Mei Chen in the hit TV series ER.
Anna May Wong

b. 1905, Los Angeles
d. 1961

Best known Asian American actress of the silent film and early talkies. Although beautiful and talented, Hollywood tended to limit her roles to those of Asian stereotypes. Still she shined in movies such as Toll of the Sea, Thief of Baghdad, and an early version of Peter Pan. In search of better roles, she went to Europe, where she acted for three years. After her return, she performed opposite Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express, It would be the height of her career. She continued to get minor roles but leading roles of Asian characters routinely went to white actresses in Asian makeup. She also briefly hosted her own TV show.

B.D. Wong

b. 1962, San Francisco

Stage, TV, and movie actor. He starred on Broadway in M. Butterfly, winning a Tony Award. TV movie.He was the voice of Captain Li Shang in Disney's Mulan. He had a supporting role on a number of movies and made appearances on several TV shows, most notably in Margaret Cho's All American Girl and Law and Order. Recently, he published a book titled Following Foo: The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man, where he recounts the painful experience he and his partner encountered on their way to parenthood (with the help of a surrogate).

Russell Wong

b. 1963, Troy, NY
TV and movie actor. He started his career dancing in music videos and acting in a couple of Hong Kong movies. He starred in Wayne Wang's Eat a Bowl of Tea and appeared The Joy Luck Club.  His breakthrough role came in a series of "Vanishing Son" TV movies. He also appeared in The Lost Empire mini-series. More recently, he appeared in Romeo Must Die, Prophecy II, and The Tracker.
  Victor Wong

b. 1927, San Francisco
d. 2001
An American character actor in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He often appeared in supporting roles in movies, including The Last Emperor. He was a news reporter for a San Francisco news station in the 1960’s before he started acting, when he was alrerady in his 50s.
Vivian Wu

b. 1966, Shanghai
Wu started her acting career in a number of Chinese movies before getting a minor role in The Last Emperor. She starred in The Pillow Book and had a leading role in The Soong Sisters. Other film credits include A Bright Shining Lie, 8 1/2 Women, and Dinner Rush. She's also made guest appearances on a number of TV shows.