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Ming-Na Wen

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Overview

Ming-Na Wen
Wen at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in July 2014
Born (1963-11-20) November 20, 1963 (age 50)
Coloane, Portuguese Macau
Occupation Actress
Years active 1985–present
Spouse(s) Kirk Aanes (m. 1990; div. 1993)
Eric Michael Zee (m. 1995)
Children 2
Website
www.ming-na.com


Wen at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in July 2014 - Ming-Na Wen
Wen at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in July 2014

Ming-Na Wen (Chinese: 温明娜; pinyin: Wēn Míngnà); born November 20, 1963) is a Macau-born American actress. She has been credited with and without her family name, but most credits since the late 1990s have been without it. She has been known by such variants of her name as Ming-Na, Ming Na, Ming Na Wen and Ming Wen.

She is known for voicing Fa Mulan in the Mulan films and the video game Kingdom Hearts II, and as Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen on the NBC medical drama series ER.

She was a member of the cast of the show Inconceivable, a medical drama that was aired on NBC, but the show was short-lived and was cancelled after only two episodes. The show is one of the few American television shows with an Asian American series lead. As of 2013, she stars as Melinda May in the ABC action drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

Besides television, she is notable for starring in the films The Joy Luck Club, Street Fighter, and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

Early life

Wen was born on Coloane, Macau and lived in Hong Kong with her mother Lin (then working as a nurse) and her older brother Jonathan, later moving to the United States as a child with her mother, brother, and stepfather first to Harlem, New York, where her younger brother Lang was born, and then to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Wen attended high school in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. During her teen years she worked at her stepfather's family's restaurant called Chinatown Inn in downtown Pittsburgh's Chinatown, which her family still runs today.[1]

She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University.

Career

Wen's first television role was in the children's television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in 1985.[2] From 1988 to 1991, she played Lien Hughes on the soap opera As the World Turns.

After starring in the acclaimed 1993 film The Joy Luck Club, she landed the role of Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen on the NBC drama series ER. She first starred in a recurring role during the 1994-1995 season before returning in 1999 as a series regular, remaining on the show until midway through Season 11 in 2004. Wen also played Chun-Li in Street Fighter and co-starred on the sitcom The Single Guy from 1995 to 1997.

Wen in October 2006 - Ming-Na Wen
Wen in October 2006

She provided the voice for the title character in Disney's 1998 animated movie Mulan, its direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II, and the video game Kingdom Hearts II, and subsequently winning an Annie Award. She also voiced Aki Ross in the computer animated film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and Detective Ellen Yin in the animated series The Batman. She was also the voice actress for Jade, a minor character in the HBO animated series Spawn.

In 2004, she took part in a Hollywood Home Game on the World Poker Tour, and won. In fall 2005, she starred on the NBC drama series Inconceivable as the lead character, Rachel Lu. However, the series was canceled after only two episodes. Her next TV role was an FBI agent in the Fox kidnap drama series Vanished, which premiered in the fall of 2006 then was canceled roughly three months later. She also has played a small role as a college professor in the comedy series George Lopez.

On October 8 through October 29, 2007, Wen (billed as Ming Wen) appeared in a four-episode arc of CBS' Two and a Half Men playing Charlie Sheen's love interest, a judge closer to his own age. In November 2008, she guest-starred on two ABC series: Private Practice and Boston Legal. From December 5–6, 2008, Wen starred in a benefit production of the musical Grease with "Stuttering" John Melendez at the Class Act Theatre.[3]

She was cast as a regular in the Stargate Universe television series as political attaché Camile Wray from October 2009 to May 2011. Wen made an appearance in "Disney Through the Decades", a short documentary about the history of the Walt Disney Company through to the present, as the hostess of the 1990s section.

From August to September 2011, she appeared on the Syfy series Eureka as the inquisitive U.S. Senator Wen.

Wen plays Agent Melinda May in the ABC action drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which premiered on September 24, 2013.[4]

On August 2014, Wen reprised her role as Mulan for the first time since Mulan 2 in the Disney Channel show Sofia the First.[5] Her daughter Michaela Zee has a recurring role on the show as Princess Jun.

Personal life

From 1985 to 1989 Wen was in a relationship with Brett Hinch and juggled her commitments between the USA and Australia. In 1990, Wen married American film writer Kirk Aanes. They divorced in 1993. On June 16, 1995, Wen married her second husband Eric Michael Zee. Together they have two children, a daughter Michaela and a son Cooper Dominic Zee, born on October 12, 2005. As of 2007, Wen and her family live in Calabasas, California.

Filmography

Ming-Na at the January 2009 premiere for Push - Ming-Na Wen
Ming-Na at the January 2009 premiere for Push
Film
Year Title Role Notes
1992 Rain Without Thunder "Uudie" prisoner
1993 Blind Spot Mitsuko Television film
1993 Joy Luck Club, TheThe Joy Luck Club Jing-Mei "June" Woo
1994 Terminal Voyage Han
1994 Vanishing Son II Mai Television film
1994 Vanishing Son IV Mai Television film
1994 Hong Kong 97 Katie Chun
1994 Street Fighter Chun-Li
1997 One Night Stand Mimi Carlyle
1998 Tempting Fate Ellen Moretti Television film
1998 Mulan Fa Mulan Voice
1998 12 Bucks Gorgeous
2001 Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Dr. Aki Ross Voice
2002 Ribbon of Dreams, AA Ribbon of Dreams Mei-Ling Voice
2002 Teddy Bears' Picnic Katy Woo
2005 Mulan II Fa Mulan Voice; direct-to-video
2005 Perfection Woman Short film
2008 Prom Night Dr. Elisha Crowe
2009 Push Emily Hu
2010 BoyBand Judy Roberts
2012 Super Cyclone Dr. Jenna Sparks Direct-to-video
2013 April Rain Hillary
2015 6 Miranda Drive Post-production
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1985 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Royal trumpeter 2 episodes
1988–1991 As the World Turns Lien Hughes Role held: February 20, 1988 – May 1991
1994 All-American Girl Amy Episode: "Redesigning Women"
1995, 2000–2004 ER Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen Recurring (season 1); main cast (seasons 6–11); 91 episodes
1995–1997 Single Guy, TheThe Single Guy Trudy Main cast
1997 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Lani (voice) Episode: "Puss in Boots"
1998–1999 Todd McFarlane's Spawn Jade/Lisa Wu (voice) 5 episodes
2002 I Got You Kaila Unsold ABC pilot
2002 Disney's House of Mouse Mulan (voice) Episode: "Salute to Sports"
2004 Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, TheThe Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius Princess Guan Qi "Peggy" Tsu (voice) Episode: "The Great Egg Heist/The Feud"
2004–2005 Batman, TheThe Batman Detective Ellen Yin (voice) Main cast (seasons 1–2); 16 episodes
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Li Mei Episode: "Debt"
2005 Robot Chicken Mary-Kate Olsen (voice) Episode: "Kiddie Pool"
2005 Inconceivable Rachel Lu Main cast
2006 George Lopez Professor Tracy Lim 2 episodes
2006 Vanished Lin Mei Main cast
2007 American Masters Narrator Episode: "Novel Reflections: The American Dream"
2007, 2010 Two and a Half Men Judge Linda Harris 5 episodes
2008, 2013 Phineas and Ferb Dr. Hirano (voice) 2 episodes
2008 Private Practice Kara Wei Episode: "Let It Go"
2008 Boston Legal Ming Wang Shu Episode: "Roe"
2009–2011 Stargate Universe Camile Wray Main cast; 31 episodes
2011–2012 Eureka Senator Michaela Wen 7 episodes
2011 Celebrity Ghost Stories Herself Episode: "Keshia Knight Pulliam, Ming-Na, Chi McBride, Mia Tyler"
2012 Adventure Time Farmworld Finn's mom (voice) 2 episodes
2013 Nashville Calista Reeves Episode: "You Win Again"
2013–present Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Melinda May Main cast
2014 Sofia the First Mulan (voice) Episode: "Princesses to the Rescue"
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
1995 Street Fighter: The Movie Chun-Li
1999 Disney's Story Studio: Mulan Fa Mulan Voice
2005 Disney's Story Studio: Mulan II Fa Mulan Voice
2006 Kingdom Hearts II Fa Mulan Voice

References

  1. ^ "Ming-Na". Askmen.com. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ming-Na". TV.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ "John Melendez and Ming Na to Star in Grease Benefit". Theater Mania. Theatermania.com. November 12, 2008. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits Ming-Na Wen". Asia Pacific Arts. October 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ "First Look:Ming-Na Wen is Back at Mulan - This Time on Sofia the First". TV Guide. July 22, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
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