Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Anna May Wong, who is considered to be the first Chinese-American Hollywood movie star. January 22, 2020, marks 97 years since the release of The Toll of the Sea, the movie in which Wong had her first leading role.
The Google Doodle is a slideshow depicting scenes from Wong’s life, including Wong as a child holding up a dress in her parents’ laundry, filming a movie, traveling to Europe, and dressed up as a few of her most famous roles.
Sophie Diao, the artist behind the Doodle, said: “I knew I wanted to highlight her commanding stage presence, so stylistically I felt a dramatic black-and-white slideshow would be the way to go.
“When deciding what content to include, I went for a highlight reel of some important aspects of her career, from her first starring role in The Toll of the Sea to her incredible costumes to The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, a detective TV show that she starred in. I also wanted to nod to her humble beginnings working in her parents’ laundry, to show how far she came.”
Wong was born in Los Angeles, California, as Wong Liu Tsong on January 3, 1905. Wong’s family was from Taishan, China, and Wong grew up speaking both English and Cantonese. Deciding she wanted to be a movie star, Wong chose Anna May Wong as her stage name aged 11.