Anna May Wong

Foto: Jack Freulich (1878-1936)

1905 - 1961

The actress Anna May Wong was born as Wong Liu Tsong in Los Angeles. Still at school she became a model for a photographer. She was early interested in the film business, and since she grew up in the centre of the film industry she was able to do her first step to this medium soon.
Her cousin, the actor James Wong showed a picture of Anna May Wong to a producer and as a result she got a small part in the today no longer existing movie "Dinty" (18). Three years later followed to more appearances in the movies "Shame" (21) and "Bits of Life" (21). 

In the following years she went up the leader of success step by step with "The Toll of the Sea" (22), "Drifting" (23) and "Lilies of the Field" (24). When she impersonated a slave girl in the movie "The Thief of Bagdad" (24), the audience became aware of her. With this movie she became the first Chinese-American star of box-office hits.
Other movies followed like "Peter Pan" (24), "The Alaskan" (24), "His Supreme Moment" (25), the hit "A Trip to Chinatown" (26), "Old San Francisco" (27), "The Devil Dancer" (27), "Across to Singapore" (28) and "The Crimson Tide" (28).

She managed the transition to the sound film era smoothly and worked in the USA as well in Europe in the following years. To her well-known talkies belong "The Flame of Love" (30), "Der Weg zur Schande" (30), the classic "Shanghai Express" (32) with Marlene Dietrich, "Tiger Bay" (34) and "Dangerous to Know" (38).

The career of Anna May Wong stagneted in the 40's. Her melodramatic performances weren't much in demand longer and the arising racism in the USA also had a part of the dwindling demand. She appeared in this decade only in few movies - "Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery" (41), "Bombs Over Burma" (43), "Lady from Chungking" (43) and "Impact" (49). 
It lasted ten years before she could make a comeback on the big screen with "The Voodoo Factor" (59), "The Savage Innocents" (59) and "Portrait in Black" (60).
During this time she got to know about her heart problems combined wit a cirrhosis. Anna May Wong dies of a heart attack in 1961.

Other movies with Anna May Wong:
The First Born (21) Thundering Dawn (23) The Fortieth Door (24) Forty Winks (25) Fifth Avenue (26) The Silk Bouquet (26) The Desert's Toll (26) Driven From Home (27) Mr. Wu (27) The Honorable Mr. Buggs (27) The Chinese Parrot (27) Streets of Shanghai (27) Chinatown Charlie (28) Schmutziges Geld (28) Song (28) Grossstadtschmetterling (29) Piccadilly (29) Hai-Tang (30) Elstree Calling (30) Daughter of the Dragon (31) A Study in Scarlet (33) Limehouse Blues (34) Java Head (34) Chu Chin Chow (34) Daughter of Shanghai (37) When Were You Born (38) King of Chinatown (39) Island of Lost Men (39) Serie "Producers' Showcase: The Letter" (56) Serie "Adventures in Paradise: The Lady From South Chicago" (59) Just Joe (60)