ANNA MAE WONG — Four Ladies First To Receive Currency

Karen Kaye
3 min readOct 24, 2022
Coins featuring actress Anna May Wong will start shipping Oct. 24. Image courtesy of U.S. Mint

Who is Anna Mae Wong? She is one of the four lady's statues at the corner of La Brea and Hollywood and the first Asian American actress on the silver screen.

Four Ladies Hollywood & La Brea

Anna May Wong was an American actress, born Wong Liu Tsong, on January 3, 1905, in Los Angeles, CA. She was the first Chinese-American movie star in Hollywood, as well as the first Chinese-American actress to gain international recognition. Her varied career spanned silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio.

During her career, she appeared in over sixty movies which spanned starting with silent films, television, and on stage, Wong landed a role in one of the first movies made in Technicolor.

She starred in Shanghai Express in 1932, Daughter of the Dragon 1931The Toll of the Sea1922 Piccadilly 1929, Daughter of Shanghai in 1937, The Thief of Bagdad 1924 Daughter of the Dragon 1931, The Toll of the Sea1922 Piccadilly 1929Daughter of Shanghai 1937 The Thief of Bagdad1924.

During her four-decade career, she never won an Oscar and was famously passed over for the lead role of O-lan in the 1937 classic hit, The Good Earth. The Good Earth is a historical fiction novel by Pearl S. Buck published in 1931 that dramatizes family life in a Chinese village in the early 20th century. It is the first book in her House of Earth trilogy, continued in Sons (1932) and A House Divided (1935).

Aside from her acting talents, Wong also had a gift for languages. Throughout her life, she not only learned to speak English and the Taishan dialect but also spoke fluent German and French.

Wong said, “There seems little for me in Hollywood, because, rather than real Chinese, producers prefer Hungarians, Mexicans, and American Indians for Chinese roles.”

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Karen Kaye

Hollywood Happenings is an on-line community newspaper, created, copyrighted and trademarked in 2003. I am an award winning sports writer, Red Carpet interviews