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15-09-2006
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Nancy Kwan
beautiful, exotic, sweet, kittenish, talented.
and she could act too. tho she will always be remembered as Suzie Wong.
and that movie put her on dozens of magazine covers in that little cheongsam.

so here is my tribute to Nancy kwan (b 1933 in Hong Kong to a Chinese father and Scottish mother. mother was an ex-model)

she's such a chameleon too. mid-way at the height of her fame, she had Vidal Sasoon chop of her almost waist-length hair into the mary quant bob. it then became known throughout the non-fashion, mainstream world as the Nancy Kwan Bob.


the famous shot from The World of Suzie Wong, 1960







on the set of The Flower Drum Song

the famous nancy kwan cut by vidal:


all photos from www.nancy-kwan.com

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19-11-2006
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Thanks for starting this! She was really a great actress and graceful & beautiful too
















Credit: nancy kwan.com

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19-11-2006
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Nancy's biography:

Nancy Ka Shen Kwan became the first Asian actress to succeed in Western cinema. She was promoted as the "Chinese Bardot", but she was also blessed with the gamine charm of a young Audrey Hepburn. In her success she opened doors for other Asian actors that were to follow. She truly is Hong Kong's gift to Hollywood.

Kwan Ka Shen was born in Hong Kong to a Chinese father, Kwan Wing Hong, who was a successful Cambridge-educated architect, and an English-Scottish mother Marquita Scott, who was a Conover fashion model. Kwan has an older brother named Ka Keung. At just two years old, her parents had divorced and not long afterwards, a war broke out and Japanese troops invaded Hong Kong. Nancy's father fled the city on foot, leaving behind his worldly possesions but bringing along a precious cargo: his house servants carried Ka Shen and Ka Keung hidden in a wicker basket. Together they slipped past the Japanese army and hid out the years in western China until the war was over, when they returned to Hong Kong.

As a child, Kwan was a bit of a tomboy, interested in sports, once breaking her arm while climbing a tree. She also once joined a protest against a British club that excluded Chinese members, until her father asked her to drop out, lest the protest alienate his important business clients. As a child she learned how to practice Tai Chi, a graceful form of martial arts exercise common in China. She learned horseback riding and had her own pony. Her family would take holidays in their summer homes in Borneo, Macau, and Japan. Nancy's father had remarried, and soon she had five new little brothers and sisters to help look after and to play with.

Nancy had shown no early interest in acting. Instead, she aspired to the dance. Nancy Kwan was just 18, studying dance with England's Royal Ballet School, when she was spotted by producer Ray Stark, who tested her and gave her the starring role in The World of Suzie Wong (1960), a colorful interracial romance set in Hong Kong, which was based on a bestselling novel by Richard Mason and was made into a popular Broadway play. She followed it the next year with the hit musical Flower Drum Song (1961) and became one of Hollywood's most visible Asian actresses.

As an actress Nancy was very eager to please; upon seeing the dailies she would want to shoot scenes over and over to do them better and better. Only one scene in the film gave her difficulty: one that required her to appear wearing just her bra and slip. She locked herself in her dressing room, crying bitterly because she thought the scene was too immodest. Only when the producer told her that portraying Suzie in lingerie as an actress would not reflect negatively on her as a person was he able to coax her out to complete the scene. Once the interior scenes were finished in London, she went back to Hong Kong to film the exterior shots. At the conclusion of filming the company threw an elaborate birthday party for her.

Ray Stark gave her a big publicity push. Glamorous photos of Nancy Kwan appeared in major magazines of the day such as Time, Look, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Modern Screen, and the cover of Life. He threw a big party for her attended by many Hollywood stars. He even arranged for her to meet the Queen of England.

The film premiered at Radio City Music Hall on Thanksgiving weekend in 1960, and was a huge commercial success. Critics uniformly praised Nancy Kwan's performance in the title role. Even her traditional father approved. The film went into successful distribution in Europe, South America, and Asia, and suddenly to her surprise the young actress found herself an international star. When she went out shopping in Hong Kong, she found people acted strangely and a big crowd of people would form. She realized that they were following her. In the U.S., she could walk into a Chinese restaurant and they would give her a free banquet at the center table.

When not busy acting she did volunteer work for homeless children, and became a spokesperson for the Asian-American Voters Coalition. Her work with the Coalition earned her a meeting with the President at the White House.

Over the last few years she has received recognition for her earlier work. She accepted the Golden Ring Award in San Francisco for her part in Flower Drum Song. She emcee'd the Miss Chinatown pageant in San Francisco as well. Last year Nancy Kwan was honored as a Historymaker for Excellence in the Performing Arts by the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, and she traveled back to her native Hong Kong to a charity ball in honor of her famous role as Suzie Wong.

From her earliest roles to today, Nancy Kwan will always be Hong Kong's best gift to Hollywood. Her star shines brightly.
















(Pictures from same source as above)


Last edited by Ce'nedra; 19-11-2006 at 09:47 PM.
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19-11-2006
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(same source)















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19-11-2006
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(same source)






[img]http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/6092/nancyl6jw7.jpgp/img]








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19-11-2006
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(same source)

Holiday in China: Great Wall of China


With her father


At 2 yrs of age


Giving dance lessons to her little sister


With her brother Ka Keung

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20-11-2006
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she was really beautiful

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20-11-2006
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wow, i wasn't aware we had a nancy kwan thread. she really reminds me of audrey hepburn in some respects.

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20-11-2006
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(same source as above)


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20-11-2006
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Ce'nedra-
great work keeping this thread alive. the first time i heard and read about nancy kwan, was when i was reading an article on the history of vidal sassoon.her pix in the famous 3 point bob vidal did for her was really striking.
can someone pls post that photo of nancy?

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19-02-2007
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*edit*

double post

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Last edited by *Princesse*; 19-02-2007 at 01:29 PM.
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19-02-2007
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I absolutely love Nancy! Do you remember when, as a little kid, you'd see someone, and their impression on you would be retained for years and years because that was your idea of something very special? That was her effect for me when I saw Flower Drum Song - she had this presence in which you could sense such happiness and fun! And she was so beautiful and graceful, too! All of that is still obvious now to me even in photos, which is rare; it's usually difficult to capture that quality outside of a movie, it seems.

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27-02-2007
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Wow, I definitely want to check out some of her movies. Thanks for all the great photos!

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09-03-2007
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My God, she is beautiful , I can't believe I didn't know who she was till I visited this thread. I'm definitely going to look to see if I can rent some of her films Thankyou for the pics everyone

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09-04-2007
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She's like the chinese Grace Kelly!

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