The above video is of the Yellowface sequence from Anna Chen’s solo show, Anna May Wong Must Die! (2009).
Hollywood legends we have loved getting silly with the oriental make-up.
There are many contenders who could have been added to this slideshow. Luise Rainer was cast as the wife in the MGM movie of Pearl S Buck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning blockbuster, The Good Earth, depriving Anna May Wong of the major role for which she was so perfect. It could have broken the bamboo ceiling and allowed her to be recognised as a stellar actress. There’s Beatrice Lillie in Thoroughly Modern Millie; a weird Christopher Walken (isn’t he always) as Feng in Balls of Fire; David Carradine in the Kung Fu television series; Jonathan Pryce in the stage version of Miss Saigon; just about everyone in Cloud Atlas.