Anna May Wong was the first Asian-American celebrity. There were other Asian-American film stars, but Anna May was the first Asian-American actress to be followed and worshiped by the public. A third generation Chinese-American, Wong got her start as a mode at age ten. At age 14, she got her first film role in The Red Lantern. She starred in many films and destroyed the “submissive Asian woman” stereotype in her personal life with her sass and independence. She was regarded as one of the most beautiful stars of the time, but she proved that she had talent as well as looks. Wong starred in a European operetta for 10 months.While abroad, she translated Chinese poetry to English for publication, showing off her language skills to the public, as she was fluent in in French, German, Chinese and English. After proving that she was more than just a pretty face, Wong returned to the United States in 1930 and was offered a role in Edgar Wallace’s On the Spot. She accepted the role and starred on Broadway while simultaneously making movies such as King of Chinatown, Daughter of Shanghai, and the very popular Shanghai Express.
Anna May Wong is an important woman in film history, as well as Asian-American history. This American Girl deserves recognition!