Movie star Anna May Wong will be the first Asian American to be featured on U.S. currency.
Wong broke into the entertainment industry during the silent film era and will now be commemorated in this historic way, a full century after she landed her first leading role, according to CNN. Wong’s image will be featured on the back of new quarters as of Monday. Her signature bold look, complete with her blunt-cut bangs and thin eyebrows will appear on money as part of the fifth design from the American Women Quarters program, according to CNN.
Anna May Wong, who broke into Hollywood during the silent film era, will become the first Asian American to appear on US currency, a century after she landed her first leading role. https://t.co/32QwpLYJA9
— CNN (@CNN) October 19, 2022
The program highlights female pioneers that have achieved excellence in their fields, and act as a way to pay tribute to those who left a significant footprint with their work. The other four women that are represented are poet Maya Angelou, the first American woman to go to space, Sally Ride, and Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation leader, along with Nina Otero-Warren, a suffragist.
“These inspiring coin designs tell the stories of five extraordinary women whose contributions are indelibly etched in American culture,” said Alison Doone, the U.S. Mint’s acting director, according to CNN.
Wong was considered by many as the first Chinese American star to make it big in the movie industry. She acted alongside the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Laurence Olivier, and Joan Crawford over the course of her long career that spanned over four decades, according to CNN.
She is best known for her role in “Shanghai Express,” her dedication and efforts to advocate for greater representation of Asian American actors in Hollywood, and her keen sense of fashion. Wong received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960, and died the next year at the age of 56, according to CNN. (RELATED: Hungry Badger May Have Unearthed 200 Roman-Era Coins Hidden In Cave)
The designer of the coin, Emily Damstra, was inspired by Wong in many ways, and tried to capture her true essence in the depiction of her image on the coins.
“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,” said Damstra, according to CNN.