Anna May Wong

Who is Anna May Wong and How Did She Get Famous?

Fans are always eager to know more about their favorite celebrities. In this article, we are discussing the famous American actress Anna May Wong. In this post, we are updating you on all the details related to Anna May Wong. Who is Anna May Wong and how did she get famous? 

The name Anna May Wong is Wong Lau Soeng but she is known by her professional name. She was born on January 3, 1905, in Los Angeles to Chinese American parents and died on February 3, 1961.

Anna was an American actress considered the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star. Anna began acting in films at an early age and did silent films, sound films, television, stage, and radio in her career. she is also the first Asian American to appear on U.S. currency.

Who are the parents of Anna May Wong?

Anna’s family first lives in Los Angeles, one block north of Chinatown in a community of Chinese, German and Japanese residents. Anna’s parents were second-generation Chinese Americans. She is the second child of her parents. Anna May’s father spent his youth traveling between the U.S. and China, where he married his first wife and his wife gave birth to a son in 1890.

In 1890 he returned to the U.S. and in 1901 he married a second wife who is the mother of Anna and in1910, her family moved to a neighborhood on Figueroa Street where they were the only Chinese people on their block living alongside Mexican and Eastern European families.

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How Anna May Wong Started her Film Career?

At first, Anna attended public school with her older sister. But due to the racial taunts from other students, they moved to Presbyterian Chinese School. Wong attended Chinese language School in the afternoon and on Saturday.

At the same time, U.S. motion picture production began to relocate from the East Coast to the Los Angeles area. Movies were shot constantly in and around her neighborhood. She began to bunk the school and used lunch money to attend the cinema. Anna’s father was not happy with her interest in films.

But Wong decided to pursue a film career regardless.

She begged filmmakers to give her roles at the age of 9 and she earned the nickname Curious Chinese Child. In 1919 Metro Pictures needed 300 extras female to appear in Alla Nazimova’s film “The Red Lantern”. Anna’s friend had a movie connection and he helped her to be cast in this film. Wong worked for the next two years as an extra in various movies including Priscilla Dean and Colleen Moore.

How did Anna May Wong get Famous?

In 1924, at the age of 19 Wong was cast in a supporting role as a scheming Mongol in the Douglas Fairbanks picture “The Thief of Bagdad”. In the film, she played a “Dragon Lady” role, and her screen appearance caught the attention of the audience. The film helped Wong to introduce herself in public and crossed $2 million.

In March 1924, planning to make films about Chinese Myths she signed a deal to create Anna May Wong Productions but her business partner was found to be dishonest, Anna brought a lawful action against him and the company was dissolved.

Wong continued to be offered supporting roles that followed the rising “Vamp” in cinema. She played native girls in 1924 films. Then she returned to Los Angeles to perform the part of the princess in Peter Pan and it was the hit of the Christmas season. In early 1925, she joined a group of serial stars on a tour of the Vaudeville Circuits, when the tour proved to be a failure Wong and the rest of the group returned to Hollywood.

In 1927, Wong starred in The Silk Bouquet. Re-titled The Dragon Horse in 1927 and the film was one of the first U.S. films to be produced with Chinese backing provided by San Francisco. Wong continued to be assigned supporting roles. In 1930, Wong offered a contract with Paramount Studios. Enticed by the promise of lead roles, she returned to the United States.

Did Anna May Wong ever get married?

In her personal life, Anna May Wong never gets married. Around her stardom time, Anna had a relationship with Tod Browning who had directed her in Drifting a year earlier. There are rumors that Anna was romantically involved with Dietrich and White men.

Why did Anna May Wong leave Hollywood?

Wong left Hollywood in 1928 for Europe due to the constant discrimination and yellow face and moved to Europe where she starred in several films. In her interview in 1933, Wong complaint about her Hollywood roles. She said, “I was so tired of the parts I had to play.

In Europe Wong became a sensation star in notable films. The New York Times reported that Wong was acclaimed not only as an actress of transcendent talent but as a great beauty.

Where is Anna Wong Buried?

Anna May Wong has been a Hollywood star. She was such a very nice person in her personal life. She died on February 3, 1961. After her death, she was buried with her mother Lee Toy Wong in Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, in Los Angeles.

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