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Portrait of Wong, on April 20, 1932, according to a photograph by Carl Van Vechten.
Granddaughter of Chinese immigrants and daughter of Wong Sam Sing and Lee Gon Toy, a humble family in charge of a laundry in Los Angeles, was called Anna May Wong since she was a child by her parents to better adapt to the country in which they lived. His birth name was Liu Tsong (Chinese: 黃 柳 霜; pinyin: Huáng Liǔshuāng). Against the wishes of her parents, Anna May soon became a great cinephile and decided to act in films that were shot very close to her home.
His first appearance was as an extra in The Red Lantern, in 1919, by Alla Nazimova, shot in the Chinatown where Anna May was born. Always with the strict care of her father, who ordered that she be locked alone in a room between scenes if she was the only Asian on the set. Anna May, with an adult appearance despite being a teenager, continued filming as a secondary in films like Dinty or Bits of Life, from 1920 and 1921.
She also starred in the first Technicolor film in history, The Toll of the Sea, in which Anna May got her first leading role, which would be a novelty in film history & nbsp ;: She was the first Asian actress to get it , since until then they were Caucasian actresses who, properly made-up, made leading roles in Asians.
It was a success, but her racial character meant that for the rest of her career she was always relegated to small supporting roles, many of them uncredited.
The first stage of his film career ended with Impact, in 1949, only succeeded by a few minor roles. In 1951 he tried his luck with television, in which he continued to appear throughout the 1950s. His last films, Portrait in Black and The Savage Innocents, both shot in 1959 and 1960, when Anna May was already affected by cirrhosis and alcoholism, they were not successful.
She was considered one of the best-dressed women, and was famous for her beauty and for having, for many critics, the prettiest hands on the screen.
He never married; perhaps because the law did not allow mixed marriages to Asians, since she was linked to director Marshall Neilan.
In 1961, Anna May Wong died of a heart attack, barely fifty-six years old.
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