Anna May Wong
“With every passing year I feel myself more Chinese; it is as though I were taking up the heritage of my race. Yet I have never seen China.”
Although her family had lived in California since 1855, as a Chinese American Wong was viewed as “exotic” and "foreign". Wong's career was particularly affected by the anti-miscegenation rules of the Hays Code that existed in Hollywood from 1930 until 1948, which prevented her from playing romantic roles with non-Asian actors.
Despite the discrimination which limited and defined her career, Anna May Wong had a number of significant film roles. Her first starring role was in Hollywood's first film in color, The Toll of the Sea (1921), opposite actor Kenneth Harlan. Hoping to escape some of the constrictions of Hollywood, she lived for a time in Europe, and was one of the leads in the British film Piccadilly (1929).
She also made films in Germany and France, but facing similar cinematic stereotypes, she returned to the U.S. In the early 1950s, Wong starred in her own television series, The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong.
To honor her contributions to the film industry, in 1960 Anna May Wong was given a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame. 51