Barbara Jean Wong
Barbara Jean Wong
Barbara Jean Wong in 1942.
|Born||March 3, 1924|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||November 13, 1999 (aged 75)|
Tarzana, California, U.S.
|Other names||Barbara Jean Lee|
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Spouse(s)||Robert Wah Lee (? - 1988, his death)|
Early life and careerEdit
She began her performance career at the age of five, as she could read and had a clear voice, and was soon dubbed the Chinese-American Shirley Temple because of her long black hair curled into ringlets and her charming persona.
Wong appeared in films as early as 1934, when she had "a featured bit" in The Painted Veil. In 1937, as a voice actress, she began performing in programs for CBS. She played Judy Barton, one of the twins in the children's Christmas old time radio show The Cinnamon Bear. She was heard on several episodes of the Lux Radio Theatre, Hallmark Playhouse, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Cavalcade of America, Three Thirds of a Nation, and many other shows.
Her biggest radio role was on the comedy show Amos 'n' Andy, in which she played Amos' daughter Arbadella. In October 1938, she began portraying the detective's oldest daughter in a new Charlie Chan radio series. She also played P.Y., a Chinese character, in I Love a Mystery on radio.
She attended the University of Southern California, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in speech and drama, and Columbia University, where she gained a master of arts degree. After college, Jean (she used her middle name) began working in the movies and worked in 20 films, including The Good Earth, The Man from Button Willow, and Charlie Chan in Honolulu, in which she played the part of Charlie Chan's Number Three daughter. Wong also played a key supporting role in The Trap in 1946 which was the last Charlie Chan movie that featured Sidney Toler. Her last role was uncredited, a nurse in the motion picture Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing. Her featured-part movie career lasted from 1938 to 1955. In most of her movies, she was a backdrop, serving only as part of the scenery.
After Wong married, she retired from acting and earned her teaching credentials from Cal State Los Angeles. For 23 years, she taught elementary school before retiring in 1992.
Wong was married to Robert Wah Lee, who died in 1988. They had four children.
|1938||Charlie Chan in Honolulu||Chan Daughter||Uncredited|
|1943||Behind the Rising Sun||Chinese Girl Given Opium||Uncredited|
|1944||Babes on Swing Street||Chinese Girl||Uncredited|
|1945||God Is My Co-Pilot||Chinese Nurse||Uncredited|
|1945||The Red Dragon||Iris Ling|
|1946||The Trap||San Toy|
|1946||That Brennan Girl||Nightclub Singer||Uncredited|
|1947||Calcutta||Mrs. Smith's Manicurist||Uncredited|
|1947||The Chinese Ring||Princess Mei Ling|
|1948||The Golden Eye||Minor Role||(scenes deleted)|
|1949||Chinatown at Midnight||Betty Chang|
|1955||Soldier of Fortune||Haka Girl||Uncredited|
|1955||Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing||Nurse||Uncredited|
|1965||The Man from Button Willow||Stormy||Voice, animated film|
- "Radio Recording Device Installed". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. March 11, 1934. p. 44. Retrieved February 1, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- Lentz, Harris M. III (2000). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1999: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 238. ISBN 9780786452040. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Sorority Women Plan Charity Bridge Party". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. November 13, 1932. p. 30. Retrieved February 1, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Hollywood Club To Give Chinese Costume Party". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. March 11, 1935. p. 29. Retrieved February 1, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- "New Routines in Dance Offered". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. September 10, 1934. p. 13. Retrieved February 1, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
- American Women
- McLeod, Elizabeth (2013). The Original Amos ’n’ Andy: Freeman Gosden, Charles Correll and the 1928–1943 Radio Serial. McFarland. p. 195. ISBN 9781476609713. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Charlie Chan In New Series". The Honolulu Advertiser. Hawaii, Honolulu. October 2, 1938. p. 28. Retrieved February 1, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- "(photo caption)". The Anniston Star. Alabama, Anniston. June 21, 1942. p. 2. Retrieved February 1, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- "'Charlie Chan' Has Reunion At Studio". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Hawaii, Honolulu. September 11, 1946. p. 10. Retrieved February 3, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Chinese Actress Engaged to Wed UCLA Student". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. July 3, 1950. p. 14. Retrieved February 3, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- The Who's Who of Charlie Chan's Family Archived October 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Complete Cast List - 'W'
- Barbara Jean Wong Filmography (NY Times)
- "Barbara Jean Wong; Movie Actress, Teacher". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. November 22, 1999. p. 20. Retrieved February 3, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Lee, Barbara Jean (Wong)". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. November 21, 1999. p. 43. Retrieved February 3, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.