Actor Anna May Wong will be first Asian American featured on U.S. quarter

▶ Watch Video: Meet the history-making women being honored on quarters in 2022

Anna May Wong, considered to be the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, is set to become the first Asian American to be featured on U.S. currency.

Wong will appear on a new quarter as part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program, which was first announced in January 2022 and features women who have made contributions in a variety of fields including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space and the arts. Wong is one of five women chosen, with her coin being the last to be released next Tuesday.

The observe (heads) side of Wong’s quarter will feature a portrait of George Washington, while the reverse (tails) will depict Wong’s head resting on her hand along with her full name and the bright lights of a marquee sign, the U.S. Mint said.

anna-may-wong.jpg
Hollywood actress Anna May Wong to be the first Asian American on U.S. currency. (Courtesy U.S. Mint)

The actress was born Wong Liu Tsong on Jan. 3, 1905, in Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Mint. Her family gave her the English name Anna May.

Over the course of her career, Wong appeared in more than 60 movies, including one of the first films made in Technicolor, achieving international recognition. In 1951, she became the first Asian American woman to lead a U.S. television show, which was called “The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong,” the U.S. Mint said.

She later worked in Europe after facing discrimination in Hollywood, according to the U.S Mint. She also appeared on stages in New York and London.

She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame a year before her death, on Feb. 3, 1961.

The other four coins already released this year featured Maya Angelou, Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller and Nina Otero-Warren.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up