In this episode Laszlo focuses on the history of Chinese Americans in the early years of Hollywood. The period will focus on the 1920's to the 1950's. During those years Asian Americans had a rough time in Hollywood trying to break away from stereotypical roles. American laws and attitudes stacked the deck against them but through their sacrifices and perseverance they blazed the trail for today's generation of Chinese-American movie, theater and TV artists. CHP-159 looks at the lives of Anna May Wong and Jadin Wong as a window into these times. Below are the terms from this episode as well as some resources about Chinese Hollywood and Chinatowns.
Terms from this Episode
Marion Wong 黄女娣 Young film pioneer, established Mandarin Film Co. in 1916
Esther Eng 伍锦霞 Producer, Director of Chinese language films in the US
James B. Leong Chinese American actor between 1923-1960, directed Lotus Blossom in 1921.
Joseph Sunn Jue The Darryl Zanuck of Chinatown, director and producer
Wong Chin Foo 王清福 Subject of Scott Seligman's book "The First Chinese American."
Anna May Wong 黄柳霜 1905-1961 American actress of the early days of Hollywood
Wong Sam Sing 黄善兴 Anna May Wong's father
Lee Gon Toy Anna May Wong's mother
Taishan 台山 Historic town in the Pearl River delta region
Chang On 长安 Anna May Wong's father's ancestral village
Jadin Wong 黄玉美 Chinese American entertainer and later agent
Bok Kai Temple 北溪庙 Temple in Marysville, CA
Charlie Low He built the Forbidden City nightclub in San Francisco
Arthur Dong 曾奕田 Documentary film maker, founder of Deep Focus Productions
Noel Toy The Chinese Sally Rand, early Forbidden City club performer of risque dances
Coby Yee Entertainer and later owner of the Forbidden City
Haing S. Ngor吴汉润 Winner of the 1985 Oscar for Best Supporting actor for his unforgettable performance in the Killing Fields, gunned down in Chinatown in 1996.
Bessie Loo Early Hollywood agent who specialized in roles for Asian American artists
John Lone 尊龙 Actor who played Pu Yi in Bertolucci's The Last Emperor
Joan Chen 陈冲 Actress who played in many roles in the 80's and 90's
Lucy Liu 刘玉玲 Reigning queen of Hollywood martial arts action films
Bai Ling 白灵 Actress who was also a client of Jadin Wong
David Henry Hwang 黄哲伦 Multi-talented artist best known for his play and film M. Butterfly
Larry Ching The Chinese Sinatra, and a future CHP topic one day.
The Kim Loo Sisters known as The Chinese Andrews Sisters
Dorothy Fong Toy known as The Chinese Ginger Rogers
You Yat Mar The Chinese Sophie Tucker
Chai Hong The Chinese Chaplin
Barbara Jean Wong The Chinese Shirley Temple
Nancy Kwan 关家蒨 Famous for her roles in The World of Suzie Wong and The Flower Drum Song
Keye Luke 陆锡麟 Best known for his role as Charlie Chan's Number One Son, Keye Luke had a very prolific and successful career in Hollywood.
Victor Sen Yung 杨森 Best known for his role as Hop Sing on Bonanza
Benson Fong 邝炳雄 Famous for many roles and for his Ah Fong's restaurants
Sammee Tong Played John Forsyth's houseboy Peter Tong in The Bachelor Father TV series
Kam Fong Most famous for his role as Chin Ho Kelly in the old Hawaii Five-0 series.
Tsai Chin 周采芹 Had a rich career on stage and on screen. Unforgettable in You Only Live Twice and The Joy Luck Club
Lisa Lu 卢燕 Three time Golden Horse Award winner. Still active in the movies and on TV since 1958. Played the dying Empress Dowager Cixi in The Last Emperor.
James Wong Howe 黄宗霑 The immortal Hollywood cinematographer. Did over 130 films. Famous for Deep Focus cinematography. Nominated for ten Oscars, won two. His own life was like a movie.
James Hong 吴汉章 One of the best known faces in Hollywood in over 500 roles on TV and in the movies. Played Lo Pan in John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China and Kahn, the butler in Chinatown.
Suggested Links for Further Study:
Arthur Dong: Deep Focus Productions
Anna May Wong's IMDb Page
The Chinese American Museum, Los Angeles
The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California
Asian American Arts Alliance - Jadin Wong Award
Forbidden City USA - Book of the Arthur Dong documentary
"Anna May Wong: From Laundryman's Daughter to Hollywood Legend", Graham Russell Gao Hodges"
Scott Seligman amazon page
Jenny Cho amazon page
Peter Kwong amazon page
Bonnie Tsui amazon page
Edward Said: Orientalism
Forbidden City USA DVD
Hollywood Chinese - Arthur Dong documentary
Danwei TV Video on Anna May Wong with Sufei
Anna May Wong in The Toll of the Sea (YouTube)
Anna May Wong in Bombs Over Burma (YouTube)