1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

Anna May Wong

Beautiful Chinese actress began her career as an extra at the age of 14 and played several supporting roles before being cast as the lead in ‘The Toll of the Sea.’ She was the first Asian-American actress to become an international celebrity and appeared in over 50 films, making the transition from silents to talkies. Her career was sidelined by Hollywood’s discriminatory codes of the period, which would not permit an Asian woman to kiss a Caucasian man on screen. She was not allowed to play female leads but was channeled into parts as servants, secondary parts where she was an innocent native girl who was usually murdered before the film was over. Under then-American law she was not even permitted to marry, as racial intermarriage was illegal in California and she was rejected by her own family and culture because of her film roles.’ Her other credits include: ‘The Thief of Baghdad,’ with Douglas Fairbanks. Anna was a remarkable individual who tried so hard to break out of her Hollywood confines. She made $6,000 for the movie ‘Shanghai Express’ compared to Marlene Dietrich’s $78,000 for the same movie. Anna gave the entire $6,000 to the relief effort for China (this was during the WW2 Japanese occupation of China). Anna may have been a Hollywood bad girl but she showed so much class as a real person. Buried with her mother, Lee Toy Wong, Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles.