Actor Ming-Na Wen received her long-awaited star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, just days before this year’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month draws to a close.
Wen, 59, received the 2,757th star at the ceremony held at 6840 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles.
“It’s a really special way to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month by ending it with something as tremendous as this,” Wen said at the beginning of her acceptance speech.
Tomita, who also delivered a speech at the event, said it “has truly been joy and luck to know Ming-Na Wen and to be in your orbit.”
Besides thanking her castmate, Wen also thanked Amy Tan, author of the novel the film was adapted from. Wen said Tan’s words made her realize she was not alone in her “struggles growing up as an Asian woman in America. Her words … gave us a classic film that I am forever blessed to be a part of.”
Also joining Wen at the event was her family, including her mother, husband and children. James Hong, who received his star in May 2022 and made history as the oldest actor ever to receive a star, was also in attendance.
In her speech, Wen recalled a director who wanted her to anglicize her name so “it would be easier to remember.”
“I didn’t listen to him. I guess now that it’s Ming-Na Wen Day, I made the right move,” she said.
Wen also honored Hollywood’s writers, who are currently in the midst of a weeks-long strike, in her speech, saying that she supports them wholeheartedly.
“Without writers, there are no stories, and therefore, no Hollywood. Without writers, we wouldn’t be here, none of us would be here. Without writers, there would be no Walk of Fame,” she said.
Born in Coloane, Macao, on Nov. 20, 1963, Wen and her mother moved to Queens, New York, when she was 6 years old.
She was exposed to the world of acting after participating in a play during the third grade. In 1985, Wen made her television debut as a royal trumpeter in “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” She landed the role while she was still studying at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama in Pittsburgh, where the show was filmed.
Wen reportedly became the first Asian American actor to ever get a contract role in a daytime drama after landing the role of Lien Hughes in “As the World Turns” in 1988.
Following her breakthrough casting in “The Joy Luck Club,” Wen landed several movie roles, including Chun-Li in the 1994 “Street Fighter” film. She was notably the voice of Mulan in the hit 1998 Disney film.
Wen also made a name for herself as a TV star, appearing in 118 episodes of the medical drama “E.R.” from 1995 to 2004. She was also one of the lead stars of the Marvel series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” where she played Agent Melinda May for seven seasons.