Anna May Wong was a native Los Angeleno and the first Chinese-American movie star. She landed her first film at 17 years old in the silent The Toll of the Sea and later appeared opposite Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express.
Though she was a talented actress, she struggled to avoid being typecast. What’s worse, she occasionally was passed over for Asian roles when producers hired Europeans instead of her.
In 1951 Wong became the first Asian lead in a U.S. television show when she starred in “The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong”.