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Anna May Wong
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Birth name: Wong Liu Tsong
Birthday: 03-January-1905 Los Angeles, California, USA
Height: 5' 7" 1.70 m
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Cousin of cinematographer James Wong Howe.
She was more often cast in "sinister oriental" roles only after actresses like Nita Naldi were forced out of motion pictures owing to the coming of sound.
In 1956 Anna received a long-deferred chance to play a role she lost out on in 1940s Hollywood. Playing the Asian blackmailer in W. Somerset Maugham's "The Letter" on TV, the director of the show was none other than William Wyler, who had originally nixed the idea of her playing the role in the Bette Davis classic film version of The Letter (1940). The part instead went to non-Asian Gale Sondergaard.
Anna once had an affair with noted silent film director Marshall Neilan. Most of her romances tended towards Caucasian men, as many Chinese men looked down on actresses as prostitutes.
In 1960, actor Anthony Quinn co-starred with Anna in her last film, Portrait in Black (1960). Quinn also starred as an Inuit in Nicholas Ray's The Savage Innocents (1960). Co-starring with him was actress Marie Yang, who in this film was for some reason billed as Anna May Wong! It may be the only instance ever of an actor appearing with two actresses of the same name in the same year.
Was thought to be buried in an unmarked grave in Angelus Rosedale Cemetary in Los Angeles. However it turns out she was buried under her Chinese name beside her mother and sister in a family plot.
Producer Ross Hunter cast her in the film version of Flower Drum Song (1961). However, she became ill in December of 1960 and was replaced by Juanita Hall.
The second of seven children, her siblings were Richard, Lulu, James, Frank, Roger and Mary. Mary once served as Anna's film understudy but died suddenly in early adulthood. Her father disapproved of Anna's acting career, which caused a severe strain in their relationship. Following Anna's mother's death in a car accident in 1931, they grew even further apart. Anna's will disinherited her father.
Spoke fluent French and German along with her native English and Chinese.
Her younger sister Mary Wong committed suicide by hanging herself in her garage in Los Angeles on July 15, 1940 at age 30. She had a bit part in the film The Good Earth (1937).


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