James Wang (actor)

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James Wang
Zhili, China
DiedApril 20, 1935
Los Angeles, California, USA
OccupationActor, casting agent

James Wang was a Chinese actor and casting agent who worked in Hollywood from the 1910s to the 1930s. He is known for discovering actress Anna May Wong.



Wang arrived in San Francisco around 1878 at the age of 18. [1] He told reporters he had been raised by missionaries in China, and that when he came to the United States, he began working as a minister at churches in Boston and New York City. [2] [3] [4] [5]

He was accused of being a member of the Hip Sing Association — a Chinese-American street gang — in the early 1900s, although he was also an advocate for reform in New York City's Chinatown neighborhood, and offered up evidence that led to a number of police raids. [6] [7]

Eventually he made his way to Los Angeles, where he pursued a career as an actor and a casting agent. He was often called on to procure Chinese talent by the major studios, [8] and it was in this capacity that he discovered a young Anna May Wong in Los Angeles's Chinatown neighborhood. [5]

Selected filmography

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  1. "Inside Stories on Hollywood". The Montgomery Advertiser. 17 Apr 1933. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  2. "Feature New Girl in Each of 20 Movies". Chicago Tribune. 5 Apr 1933. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  3. Keavy, Hubbard (3 Apr 1933). "Hollywood Screen Life". The Poughkeepsie Eagle-News. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  4. "Oldest Actor Plays Again". Detroit Free Press. 14 Mar 1933. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  5. 1 2 Chan, Anthony B. (2007-02-08). Perpetually Cool: The Many Lives of Anna May Wong (1905-1961). Scarecrow Press. ISBN   9781461670414.
  6. "Chinatown Raided". The Morning Call. 27 Apr 1905. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  7. "Says Jim Wang's a Grafter". The Sun. 23 Jun 1905. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  8. "Chinese Play Is Offered at Empire". The Honolulu Advertiser. 23 Apr 1922. Retrieved 2019-11-10.