Birthplace: Hong Kong
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Film Director
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Joy Luck Club
Wayne Wang was born in Hong Kong, and named in honor of his father's favorite movie star, John Wayne. He was raised Catholic and Baptist, and came to America in 1967, when he was 17, to study filmmaking. After graduating from film school, he returned to Hong Kong and worked on a popular soap opera, trying to improve it by introducing hand-held cameras. The network hated it, the audience hated it, the ratings plummeted, and soon Wang was unemployed. He returned to America and taught English as a second language for several years.
His first feature was A Man, a Woman, and a Killer in 1975. His second film, Chan Is Missing, was the first feature-length film with an Asian-American cast produced and directed by Asian-Americans. His Center of the Universe was sexually frank, so much so that Wang bypassed the ratings system, fearing an NC-17.
His biggest hit was the family-friendly The Joy Luck Club, based on Amy Tan's novel. And his best film may be Eat a Bowl of Tea, a 1989 comedy of arranged Chinese marriages and meddlesome families. Smoke, set in a Brooklyn cigar shop, with a large ensemble cast. When the film wrapped, Wang asked several cast members to stick around a few days more, and they improvised the sequel, Blue in the Face.
He has also made what seems more than his share of awkward or simply awful films, including the bizarre Hong Kong comedy Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive, the utterly bland Jennifer Lopez vehicle Maid in Manhattan, and the schmaltzy Because of Winn-Dixie.
Wife: Cora Miao (actress, Gai juk tiu mo)
High School: Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
University: College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA
FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (15-Jul-2011)
A Thousand Years of Good Prayers (9-Sep-2007)
The Princess of Nebraska (2-Sep-2007)
Last Holiday (13-Jan-2006)
Because of Winn-Dixie (26-Jan-2005)
Maid in Manhattan (13-Dec-2002)
The Center of the World (19-Apr-2001)
Anywhere But Here (17-Sep-1999)
Chinese Box (4-Sep-1997)
Blue in the Face (15-Sep-1995)
The Joy Luck Club (8-Sep-1993)
Life Is Cheap... But Toilet Paper Is Expensive (15-Sep-1989)
Eat a Bowl of Tea (21-Jul-1989)
Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart (5-Sep-1985)
Chan Is Missing (24-Apr-1982)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
These Amazing Shadows (22-Jan-2011) · Himself
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