This brief retrospective presents the career of Anna May Wong (1905–1961), the embodiment of Asian womanhood for a generation of American and European audiences. From her first starring role in The Toll of the Sea (1922) to her war-effort propaganda films following Pearl Harbor, the Los Angeles–born actress bridged two mutually suspicious cultures. That she succeeded in spite of racial prejudice is a considerable tribute to her fortitude and talent. Graham Russell Gao Hodges has written a new biography, Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend (Palgrave-Macmillan), in which he chronicles Wong’s life and career on four continents and her efforts to comprehend both her American compatriots and her Chinese roots.
Organized by Charles Silver, Associate Curator, Department of Film and Media.