Nancy Kwan was catapulted from her native Hong Kong at 19 to become an international star in such famed American films as THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG (1960) and Flower Drum Song (1961).
Kwan, the daughter of a prominent architect, was born in Hong Kong and educated in England, where she also studied dancing at the Royal Ballet School. By chance, while on vacation from school in Hong Kong, she was spotted by famed American producer Ray Stark, then on a hunt to find an Asian beauty to star in the film version of The World of Suzie Wong. After a number of screen tests in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and London, Kwan finally got the part starring opposite William Holden. For this role, she was nominated for Best Actress and International Star of Tomorrow by the Hollywood Foreign Press.
Kwan’s second starring role, which allowed her to display her dancing talents, was in Flower Drum Song, based on the acclaimed Rogers and Hammerstein Broadway musical. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards.
An authentic global player, Ms. Kwan has written and produced film and TV commercials in South East Asia, while continuing to perform in America, Asia and Europe. In 2002, Ms. Kwan was appointed Hong Kong’s Film Ambassador. Kwan has starred in over 50 films. Some of her films include Fate is the Hunter (1964), with Glenn Ford; Walking the Edge (1985), with Robert Forster; Keys to Freedom (1988), with Jane Seymour and Omar Sharif; Dragon: The life of Bruce Lee (1993), with Jason Scott Lee; and Mr. P’s Dancing Sushi Bar (1998), a project that was developed at Sundance.
Kwan appeared on television in the pilot for Hawaii Five-0, with Jack Lord; the two-part “Cenotaph” episode of Kung Fu, with David Carradine; Chicago Story; The Last Ninja; James Clavell’s Noble House; Miracle Landing and Babies.
Stage plays include The Quartered Man, Love Letters, Arthur and Leila, and as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.