Anna May Wong, a movie icon from the silent period, is currently a different kind of star. Her portrait will start appearing on new quarters on Monday, making her the first Asian American person to ever have their likeness featured on a piece of US currency.
The American Women Quarters Program, which highlights influential women in the United States, has included Wong as the sixth new face to appear on currency as part of the programme. Maya Angelou, a poet and activist, Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, Wilma Mankiller, a leader of the Cherokee Nation, and Nina Otero-Warren, a suffragist, are depicted on the other four quarters that were produced this year. The latter two, as well as Wong, were chosen based on the feedback received from the general population.
Wong had a career spanning four decades in film, theatre, and radio before he his away in 1961. She shared the screen with the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, and Laurence Olivier, and she also performed on stage in both London and New York.
Wong began her acting career when she was only 14 years old and won her first film starring part three years later in “The Toll of the Sea,” which premiered in 1922. Wong was born in Los Angeles.
Wong’s films included one called Shanghai Express, which was released in 1932 and starred Marlene Dietrich as a notorious courtesan who embarks on a train voyage through China during the Chinese Civil War and is kept captive on board. The picture was directed by Wong. Wong gave the performance of a first-class travel companion.
In 1960, the year before her death in 1960 at the age of 56, she was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Gemma Chan is set to star in the upcoming biography of the actor, which will be based on his life (Crazy Rich Asians).