Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Anna May Wong | Google Doodle

Anna May Wong (Photo © Edward Steichen. Colorized by Miko2660) 
On January 22, Google Doodle (the special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google's homepages intended to commemorate holidays, events, achievements, and notable historical figures) celebrated Anna May Wong (1905–1961), considered to be the first Chinese-American Hollywood movie star. The date marks 97 years since the release of The Toll of the Sea, the movie in which Wong had her first leading role.

Wong was born in Los Angeles, California, as Wong Liu Tsong on January 3, 1905. Wong's family was from Taishan, China, and she grew up speaking both English and Cantonese. Deciding she wanted to be a movie star, Wong chose Anna May Wong as her stage name when she was just 11.

She was on the big screen from the 1920s to the 1960s. Though she was cast in mostly narrow, stereotypical roles early in her career in the US, she moved to Europe in the late 1920s where she worked with some of the biggest names of the day like Laurence Olivier and Marlene Dietrich. Her move to Europe -where she became a sensation- was because she was tired of being both typecast and being passed over for lead Asian character roles in favor of non-Asian actresses.

Enticed by the promise of lead roles and top billing, she returned to the United States, and starred in a number of films. In both America and Europe, Wong had been seen as a fashion icon for over a decade. 

Through her films, public appearances and prominent magazine features, she helped to humanize Chinese Americans to white audiences during a period of intense racism and discrimination.

One of the Google Doodle:

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