Actress Anna May Wong to be the first Asian American on US currencytext_fields
Hollywood's first Asian American actress Anna May Wong will be making history as the first Asian American to feature on the US currency. The New York Times reported that the US Mint will start producing coins with Wong's face on Monday.
American sociologist tweeted: "Anna May Wong, one of the first Asian American Hollywood film stars will be the first Asian American featured on U.S. currency. The U.S. Mint on Monday (10/24) will begin producing quarters with her image."
The honour is not only to remember her career but also a tribute to the struggles she faced in an era of "yellowface" and anti-miscegenation laws. Wong started working in Hollywood during the silent era and struggled to get good roles. She worked in over 60 movies.
The late actor's image on the quarter will feature her iconic flapper-era bangs and pencil-thin eyebrows. The coin is also framed by dots representing marquee lights. "Many prominent actors from the 1920s and 1930s saw their name framed by lightbulbs on movie theatre marquees, so I thought it made sense to feature Anna May Wong in this way," said Emily Damstra who designed the coin.
It has the words 'quarter dollar' and the Latin phrase "E pluribus unum," which means "out of many, one." The US Mint is expected to create over 300 million Wong quarters.
"Along with the hard work, determination, and skill Anna May Wong brought to the profession of acting, I think it was her face and expressive gestures that really captivated movie audiences, so I included these elements next to her name," she added.
The Chinese American actress started her career at the age of 14 and became a fashion icon. In 1934, she was voted the world's best-dressed woman by the Mayfair Mannequin Society of New York. In 1928, she was frustrated with playing stereotypical roles in Hollywood and left for Europe.
In the later part of her career, she visited China and spent time in her family's ancestral village. She also studied Chinese culture and documented the experience on film. During World War II, she devoted time and money to helping the Chinese cause against Japan. She returned to the screen in 1951 with the TV show 'The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong' - the first-ever US TV show starring an Asian American as the lead.