Nancy Kwan


Nancy Kwan Ka Shen (Chinese: 關家蒨; pinyin: Guān Jiāqiàn; Jyutping: Gwaan1 Gaa1sin6; born May 19, 1939) is a Chinese-American actress, philanthropist, and former dancer who played a pivotal role in the acceptance of actors of Asian ancestry in major Hollywood film roles. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Drama won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer – Female for her debut in Richard Quine’s The World of Suzy Wong (1962), with William Holden.

Other films in the early 1960s include Henry Koster’s Flower Drum Song (1961), with James Shigeta, Miyoshi Umeki, Jack Soo, Benson Fong, and Juanita Hall; Daniel Petrie’s The Main Attraction (1962), with Pat Boone and Mai Zetterling; Philip Leacock’s Tamahine (1963), with Dennis Price and John Fraser; Henry Levin’s Honeymoon Hotel (1964), with Robert Goulet, Robert Morse, and Jill St. John; Ralph Nelson’s Fate Is the Hunter (1964), with Glenn Ford, Suzanne Pleshette, and Rod Taylor; and John Krish’s The Wild Affair (1965), with Terry-Thomas, Jimmy Logan, Gladys Morgan, and Betty Marsden.

Films in the mid to late 1960s include Disney’s Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N. (1966), with Dick Van Dyke; Ken Hughes’s Arrivederci, Baby! (1966), with Tony Curtis, Rosanna Schiaffino, Lionel Jeffries, and Zsa Zsa Gabor; The Corrupt Ones (1967), with Elke Sommer, Robert Stack, and Werner Peters; Nobody’s Perfect (1968), with Doug McClure, James Whitmore, David Hartman, Gary Vinson, and Shigeta; Phil Karlson’s The Wrecking Crew (1968), with Dean Martin, Sommer, Sharon Tate, Nigel Green, and Tina Louise; and Francis Lyon’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1969), with Adam West, Nehemiah Persoff, Robert Alda, and Buddy Greco.

Films in the 1970s include The McMasters (1970), with Burl Ives, Brock Peters, David Carradine, Jack Palance, L.Q. Jones, R.G. Armstrong, and Dane Clark; Wonder Women (1973), with Ross Hagen, Maria De Aragon, Roberta Collins, Sid Haig, Vic Diaz, and Shirley Washington; The Pacific Connection (1974), with Roland Dantes, Guy Madison, Alejandro Rey, Dean Stockwell, Hiroshi Tanaka, and Gilbert Roland; William Gridler’s Project: Kill (1976), with Leslie Nielsen, Gary Lockwood, Vic Silayan, and Diaz; Out of the Darkness (1978), with Donald Pleasence, Hagen, and Jennifer Rhodes; and Streets of Hong Kong (1979), with Gary Collins.

Films in the 1980s include Angkor: Cambodia Express (1982), with Robert Walker Jr., Christopher George, Woody Strode, and Sorapong Chatree; TV movie The Last Ninja (1983), with Michael Beck, John McMartin, Mako, Richard Lynch, John Larroquette, and Irene Tedrow; Walking the Edge (1985), with Robert Forster, Joe Spinell, A Martinez, James McIntire, Wayne Woodson, and Luis Contreras; TV movie Blade in Hong Kong (1985), with Terry Lester, Nielsen, Keye Luke, and James Hong; miniseries Noble House (1988), with Pierce Brosnan, Deborah Raffin, Ben Masters, John Rhys-Davies, and Gordon Jackson; and Keys to Freedom (1988), with Jane Seymour, Omar Sharif, Denholm Elliott, and David Warner.

Later films include the TV movie Miracle Landing (1990), with Connie Sellecca, Wayne Rogers, Ana Alicia, James Cromwell, and Jay Thomas; Cold Dog Soup (1990), with Randy Quaid, Frank Whaley, Christine Harnos, and Sheree North; TV movie Babies (1990), with Lindsay Wagner, Dinah Manoff, Marcy Walker, and Adam Arkin; Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993), with Jason Scott Lee, Lauren Holly, and Robert Wagner; Ray of Sunshine (2006), with Seymour Cassel; Amber Tamblyn’s Paint It Black (2017), with Janet McTeer, Alia Shawkat, Rhys Wakefield, Emily Rios, and Alfred Molina; and the animated film Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming (2017), with Elliot Page, Sandra Oh, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Omid Abtahi, and Navid Negahban.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • The World of Suzie Wong (1960) – directed by Richard Quine
  • Flower Drum Song (1961) – directed by Henry Koster
  • The Main Attraction (1962) – directed by Daniel Petrie
  • Tamahine (1963) – film directed by Philip Leacock
  • Honeymoon Hotel (1964) – directed by Henry Levin
  • Fate Is the Hunter (1964) – directed by Ralph Nelson
  • The Wild Affair (1965) – directed by John Krish
  • Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N. (1966) – directed by Byron Paul
  • Drop Dead Darling (1966) – directed by Ken Hughes
  • Arrivederci, Baby! (1966) – directed by Brian Salt – short
  • The Corrupt Ones (1967) – directed by James Hill & Frank Winterstein
  • Nobody’s Perfect (1968) – directed by Alan Rafkin
  • The Wrecking Crew (1968) – directed by Phil Karlson
  • The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1969) – directed by Francis Lyon
  • The McMasters (1970) – directed by Alf Kjellin
  • Karioka etchos de America (1971) – directed by Luciano B. Carlos
  • Wonder Women (1973) – directed by Robert Vincent O’Neil
  • Spring Comes Not Again (1974) – directed by Fang-Kang Liu
  • The Pacific Connection (1974) – directed by Luis Nepomuceno
  • Fortress in the Sun (1975) – directed by George Rowe
  • Supercock (1975) – directed by Gus Trikonis
  • That Lady from Peking (1975) – directed by Eddie Davis
  • Project: Kill (1976) – directed by William Girdler
  • Night Creature (1978) – directed by Lee Madden
  • Streets of Hong Kong (1979) – directed by Hilton Alexander
  • Angkor: Cambodia Express (1982) – directed by Lek Kitiparaporn
  • The Last Ninja (1983) – directed by William A. Graham – TV movie
  • Walking the Edge (1985) – directed by Norbert Meisel
  • Blade in Hong Kong (1985) – directed by Reza Badiyi – TV movie
  • Noble House (1988) – directed by Gary Nelson – miniseries
  • Keys to Freedom (1988) – directed by Steve Feke
  • Night Children (1989) – directed by Norbert Meisel
  • Miracle Landing (1990) – directed by Dick Lowry – TV mobie
  • Cold Dog Soup (1990) – directed by Alan Metter
  • Babies (1990) – directed by Michael Ray Rhodes – TV movie
  • Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993) – directed by Rob Cohen
  • The Golden Girls (1995) – directed by Joe Ma
  • Rebellious (1995) – directed by Bernhard Pock
  • For Life or Death (1996) – directed by Steven Kaman & Michael Lee Baron
  • Mr. P’s Dancing Sushi Bar (1998) – directed by Hirotaka Tashiro
  • Murder on the Yellow Brick Road (2005) – directed by Ross Hagan
  • Ray of Sunshine (2006) – directed by Norbert Meisel
  • Paint It Black (2017) – directed by Amber Tamblyn
  • Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming (2017) – directed by Ann Marie Fleming