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Anna May Wong

"I want to become mentally and spiritually all that is possible for me to be."

-ANNA MAY WONG

"Cut!" yelled director Lee Ephraim. His leading lady, Anna May Wong, was walking all wrong. Anna May was playing the role of a Chinese girl named Min Lee and Ephraim wanted her to walk with the "short, hesitant steps" of a geisha girl (female hostesses who entertained men with songs, instruments, dances, and conversation). A geisha girl was required to be gentle, charming, and always demur. Only one problem: geishas were Japanese, not Chinese. Anna May had to delicately explain to Ephraim that Chinese girls took normal steps when they walked. It wouldn't be the last time she would have to educate directors about her Chinese culture.

Anna May Wong was born on January 3, 1905, on the outskirts of Los Angeles'
Chinatown. As a young girl, Anna May spent long days in her father's laundry business,
lifting an eight-pound iron to press clothes and trying not to fall on the wet, slippery floor. Read More>>

 

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