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Creator / Nancy Kwan

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Nancy Kwan Ka-shen (關家蒨, stage name 關南施, born May 19, 1939) is a Hong Kong-born American actress.

She became one of the first actors of Asian ancestry to gain acceptance in major Hollywood film roles after her film debut playing the titular character in The World of Suzie Wong (1960).

Nancy Kwan films on this wiki include:


  • Plays Great Ethnics: With her Eurasian looks Kwan managed to invert this, as she'd be given mild Yellowface to look more convincingly Asian but would also wear blue contacts to play white roles. She sometimes played Tahitian and Polynesian as well.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: She has a clipped British Hong Konger accent that's fairly common there, but less so overseas and especially post-Handover. It's relative rarity makes her stand-out, especially in roles where she's playing characters born-and-raised in the United States, like in Flower Drum Song.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • She was nearly cast in The Joy Luck Club, but pulled out due to a preexisting feud with author Amy Tan.
    • Her distant cousin Kevin Kwan wanted her to play the matriarch in Crazy Rich Asians — but despite being around 80, she looked too young.