Anna May Wong


Anna May Wong was a trailblazing actress and a symbol of hope for the Asian American community in the early 20th century. She was the first Chinese American actress to gain international recognition, and her legacy continues to inspire generations of artists and activists today. In addition to her groundbreaking work in Hollywood, Wong is also known for her iconic quarter error, which has become a rare and valuable collector’s item in the world of numismatics.

Early Life and Career

Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong was born in Los Angeles in 1905, the second of seven children in a working-class Chinese American family. Despite facing discrimination and racism from a young age, Wong was determined to pursue a career in acting. She began performing in local theater productions and soon caught the attention of Hollywood producers.

Wong’s early film roles were often limited to stereotypical “exotic” characters, such as a slave girl or a dragon lady. However, she refused to be typecast and fought for more complex and nuanced roles. Her breakthrough came in 1929 when she starred in the film “Piccadilly,” which earned her critical acclaim and international fame. She went on to appear in over 50 films throughout her career, including “Shanghai Express” and “Daughter of the Dragon.”

Personal Life and Legacy

Despite her success, Wong faced numerous challenges as a Chinese American woman in Hollywood. She was often passed over for leading roles in favor of white actresses, and was forced to endure racist attitudes and stereotypes both on and off screen. Wong was also outspoken about the lack of opportunities for Asian American actors in the industry, and worked tirelessly to promote greater representation and diversity in film.

Wong’s legacy as a trailblazing actress and activist continues to inspire generations today. She has been honored with numerous awards and accolades, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition, her iconic quarter error has become a rare and valuable collector’s item, a testament to her enduring impact on American culture and history.


Anna May Wong was a true pioneer in the world of film and a symbol of hope for the Asian American community. Her groundbreaking work and tireless advocacy paved the way for future generations of actors and activists. Her iconic quarter error serves as a reminder of her enduring legacy and the importance of representation and diversity in all aspects of American culture.


Who is Anna May Wong?

Anna May Wong was an American actress who was the first Asian American female to gain international recognition as a Hollywood film star. She starred in over 50 films throughout her career, including “The Toll of the Sea” and “Shanghai Express.”

What made Anna May Wong a trailblazing actress?

Anna May Wong broke barriers and paved the way for Asian American representation in Hollywood. She challenged stereotypes and played complex roles that were not traditionally offered to Asian American actresses at the time.

What is the iconic quarter error associated with Anna May Wong?

The iconic quarter error is a 2020 quarter that features Anna May Wong on the back. However, due to a production error, some of the quarters were released without the inscription “In God We Trust.” These quarters have become highly sought after by collectors.

Why is Anna May Wong important to Asian American representation in media?

Anna May Wong was one of the first Asian American actresses to gain international recognition and break into Hollywood. Her success challenged stereotypes and paved the way for future generations of Asian American actors and actresses. She also used her platform to advocate for better representation and more nuanced roles for Asian Americans in media.

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