Derham Groves

Anna May Wong in Melbourne

floweranna1.JPGsave0573.jpgsave0572.jpgamw1-copy.jpgf23d_11.JPGaae7_11.JPGannamaywong.jpgThe American-Chinese actress Anna May Wong performed at the Tivoli Theatre in Melbourne in 1939. Currently I’m doing research on the actress and her time in Australia. Few movie stars can surpass Anna May’s beauty and style.

‘Knowing how much the Chinese believe in lucky charms, I looked around the dressing room for some sign of this but as I could see no indication my curiosity prompted me to ask. Anna May picked up a quaint tiny shoe that had been fashioned into a pincushion, and told me it was her mascot, for it had actually enclosed one of her feet when she was a baby. When I pointed out that it resembled a boy’s shoe, she related the fact that, until the age of 10, she was brought up as a boy. It seems the first child in the family was a girl and then Anna May arrived. Her father was so annoyed because he had no heir to his name that he ordered Anna to be considered as such for nearly 10 years. It was her sister who kept Anna’s first shoes, and today she keeps the other one of the pair as a luck-bringer.’ Jonathan Swift, Sun, 13 June 1939.