Hollywood’s First Chinese Film Star
Anna May Wong was a fashionable, determined and talented beauty who managed to forge a career as a Chinese American in a less than tolerant decade (“miscegenation” laws, which banned interracial marriage and sex – barred her from even having on screen kisses with non-Chinese actors).
While she was often only playing stereotypical roles of dragon ladies or demure obedient women, off screen she was daring and non-shrinking violet. She was a stylish and sophisticated woman who was called “The World’s best-dressed woman” to the public’s shock by the Mayfair Mannequin Society of New York. She was good friends with other independent women like Marlene Dietrich and the controversial Leni Riefenstahl.
One of her most famous films, Piccadilly received new attention and praise when it was re-released after a restoration by the British Film Institute. This week’s website pick, Refinery 29 has a gallery of images.