Ming-Na Wen

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Ming-Na Wen (born November 20, 1963) is an American actress and model. She is best known for voicing Mulan in the animated film Mulan and its sequel, and for portraying Melinda May / The Cavalry in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013-2020). She was named TVLine's Performer of the Week for her work in the episode, "Melinda".

Wen made her breakthrough in The Joy Luck Club (1993) as June Woo. She also played Dr. +more Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen in the medical drama series ER (1995-2004). She has also reprised the role as Mulan in the video game Kingdom Hearts II (2005), Sofia the First (2014), and Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018). Additionally, Wen made a cameo appearance in the live-action remake of Mulan (2020).

She also starred as Fennec Shand in the Star Wars franchise such as The Mandalorian (2019-2020), The Bad Batch (2021) and The Book of Boba Fett (2021-2022). She has also had starring roles as Chun-Li in Street Fighter (1994), Detective Ellen Yin in The Batman (2004-2005) and Camile Wray in Stargate Universe (2009-2011). +more She was honoured as a Disney Legend in 2019 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022.

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Early life

Wen was born on November 20, 1963, in Coloane, one of the two main islands of Macau. Her mother Lin Chan Wen moved to Macau in the mid-1960s, from Suzhou, China. +more Her father is of Malaysian Chinese descent. She has an older brother named Jonathan.

Wen's parents divorced when she was an infant, and she moved with her brother and mother to Hong Kong. Wen attended a Catholic school in Hong Kong, while her mother held down three jobs to provide for her and her brother. +more Her mother remarried to Chinese American Soo Lim Yee, and when Wen was four years old, the family moved to New York City. Her younger brother Leong was born there. After five years, Wen's mother and stepfather relocated again, this time to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area, where they opened The Chinatown Inn restaurant, which is still operating. Raised in the suburb of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, she attended Mount Lebanon High School and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1986 having majored in Theatre.

Career

1985-1997: Breakthrough with The Joy Luck Club

Wen's first television role was as a royal trumpeter in the children's television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in 1985. From 1988 to 1991, she played Lien Hughes, the daughter of Tom Hughes, on the soap opera As the World Turns.

After starring in the acclaimed 1993 film The Joy Luck Club, she landed the role of Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen on the NBC drama series ER. +more She first starred in a recurring role during the 1994-1995 season before returning in 1999 as a series regular, remaining on the show until midway through Season 11 in 2004. Wen also played Chun-Li in Street Fighter and co-starred on the sitcom The Single Guy from 1995 to 1997.

1998-2012: Mulan, established actress and other ventures

She provided the voice for the title character in the 1998 animated film Mulan, its direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II, and the video game Kingdom Hearts II, subsequently winning an Annie Award. She voiced Aki Ross in the computer animated film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and Detective Ellen Yin in the animated series The Batman. +more She was also the voice actress for Jade, a minor character in the HBO animated series Spawn.

In 2004, she took part in a Hollywood Home Game on the World Poker Tour, and won. In fall 2005, she starred on the NBC drama series Inconceivable as the lead character, Rachel Lu. +more However, the series was canceled after only two episodes. Her next TV role was an FBI agent in the Fox kidnap drama series Vanished, which premiered in the fall of 2006 but was canceled. She also played a college professor in the comedy series George Lopez.

On October 8 through October 29, 2007, Wen (billed as Ming Wen) appeared in a four-episode arc of CBS's Two and a Half Men, playing Charlie Sheen's love interest, a judge closer to his own age. In November 2008, she guest-starred on two ABC series: Private Practice and Boston Legal. +more From December 5-6, 2008, Wen starred in a benefit production of the musical Grease with "Stuttering" John Melendez at the Class Act Theatre.

She was cast as a regular in the Stargate Universe television series as political attaché Camile Wray from October 2009 to May 2011. Wen made an appearance in Disney Through the Decades, a short documentary about the history of The Walt Disney Company through to the present, as the hostess of the 1990s section.

Wen appeared on the Syfy series +more_TV_series)'>Eureka as the inquisitive U. S. Senator Michaela Wen, beginning in season four in 2011 and serving as a major villain in the fifth and final season in 2012.

2013-present: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and current work

Wen starred as Agent Melinda May in the ABC superhero drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which premiered on September 24, 2013.

In August 2014, Wen reprised her role as Mulan for the first time since Kingdom Hearts II in the Disney Channel series Sofia the First. Wen's daughter has a recurring role on the show as Princess Jun.

On December 7, 2017, Marvel Entertainment launched a new animation film franchise Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors. Wen voiced Hala the Accuser, the main antagonist of the film, working with +moreH. I. E. L. D. '>Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. co-star Chloe Bennet. That same year, she once again provided the voice of Mulan in Ralph Breaks the Internet.

In 2019, it was announced that Wen would be a cast-member of the Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian, playing Fennec Shand. She reprised the role vocally in Star Wars: The Bad Batch, and the live-action series The Book of Boba Fett. +more In September 2021, Wen was cast as Ivy in the LGBTQIA+ jukebox musical feature Glitter & Doom with Missi Pyle.

In 2022, Wen made an appearance on Young Sheldon as Dr. Lee, an experimental physicist responsible for mitigating conflict within a team of scientists. +more She is set to recur on the second season of HBO Max's Hacks.

Artistry and legacy

Wen's roles as Melinda May and Fennec Shand in +moreI. E. L. D. '>Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. and The Book of Boba Fett respectively, have received critical acclaim. In December 2021, she was included in the list of BBC's 100 Women of 2021. Wen is set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022 alongside Ewan McGregor and Carrie Fisher.

She is also well known for her work with Disney. WDW Magazine writer Aaron Widmar called Wen an "incredibly talented Chinese actress, who has had a remarkable career that seems to only gain steam as it progresses-a rarity in Hollywood". +more He went on to say that she has "broken through barriers for Asian performers". She was named a Disney Legend at the 2019 D23 Expo for her outstanding contributions to the Disney company.

Personal life

In 1990, Wen married American film writer Kirk Aanes. They divorced three years later. +more On June 16, 1995, Wen married Eric Michael Zee and together they have a daughter and a son. Wen's first pregnancy was written into the ER script, with her character giving up the child for adoption. Wen's daughter followed her mother's footsteps in voice acting, and voices Princess Jun in the Disney Channel-animated series Sofia the First.

Wen is trilingual, fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1993Rain Without Thunder"Uudie" Prisoner
1993The Joy Luck ClubJing-Mei "June" Woo
1994Terminal VoyageHan
1994Hong Kong 97Katie Chun
1994Street FighterChun-Li Zang
1997One Night StandMimi Carlyle
1998MulanFa Mulan (voice)
199812 BucksGorgeous
2001Final Fantasy: The Spirits WithinDr. Aki Ross (voice)
2002A Ribbon of DreamsMei-Ling (voice)
2002Teddy Bears' PicnicKaty Woo
2003George of the Jungle 2Female Narrator (voice)(Uncredited)
rowspan ="2" | 2004Mulan IIFa Mulan (voice)Direct-to-video
PerfectionWomanShort film
2008Prom NightDr. +more Elisha Crowe
2009PushEmily Wu
2010BoyBandJudy Roberts
2012Super CycloneDr. Jenna SparksDirect-to-video
2013April RainHillary
2016The DarknessWendy
2018Ralph Breaks the InternetFa Mulan (voice)
2019SwimmingLilianShort film
2020MulanEsteemed GuestCameo
2020PearlHeadmistress
2023PersephonePre-production
Glitter & DoomIvyPost-production
.

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1985Mister Rogers' NeighborhoodRoyal Trumpeter2 episodes
1987Another WorldAbbyEpisode: "#1. 5950"
1988-1991As the World TurnsLien Hughes42 episodes
1993Blind SpotMitsukoTelevision film
1994All-American GirlAmyEpisode: "Redesigning Women"
1994Vanishing Son IIMaiTelevision film
1994Vanishing Son IVMaiTelevision film
1995, 2000-2004ERDr. +more Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen118 episodes
1995-1997The Single GuyTrudy43 episodes
1997Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every ChildLani (voice)Episode: "Puss in Boots"
1998Tempting FateEllen MorettiTelevision film
1998-1999Todd McFarlane's SpawnJade / Lisa Wu (voice)5 episodes
2002I Got YouKailaUnsold ABC pilot
2002Disney's House of MouseFa Mulan (voice)Episode: "Salute to Sports"
2004The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy GeniusPrincess Guan Qi "Peggy" Tsu (voice)Episode: "The Great Egg Heist/The Feud"
2004-2005The BatmanDetective Ellen Yin (voice)16 episodes
2004Law & Order: Special Victims UnitLi MeiEpisode: "Debt"
2005Robot ChickenMary-Kate Olsen (voice)Episode: "Kiddie Pool"
2005InconceivableRachel Lu9 episodes
2006George LopezProfessor Tracy Lim2 episodes
2006VanishedLin Mei13 episodes
2007American MastersNarrator (voice)Episode: "Novel Reflections: The American Dream"
2007, 2010Two and a Half MenJudge Linda Harris5 episodes
2008-2015Phineas and FerbDr. Hirano (voice)3 episodes
2008-2015Phineas and FerbGinger Hirano (teenage voice)Episode : "Act Your Age"
2008Private PracticeKara WeiEpisode: "Let It Go"
2008Boston LegalMing Wang ShuEpisode: "Roe"
2009Ni Hao Kai-LanGu Nai Nai (voice)Episode: "Kai-lan's Trip to China"
2009-2011Stargate UniverseCamile Wray31 episodes
2011-2012EurekaSenator Michaela Wen7 episodes
2011Celebrity Ghost StoriesHerselfEpisode: "Keshia Knight Pulliam, Ming-Na, Chi McBride, Mia Tyler"
2012Adventure TimeFarmworld Finn's Mom (voice)2 episodes
2013NashvilleCalista ReevesEpisode: "You Win Again"
2013-2020Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. Agent Melinda MayMain cast; 134 episodes
2014Sofia the FirstFa Mulan (voice)Episode: "Princesses to the Rescue"
2017-2018Milo Murphy's LawSavannah (voice)7 episodes
2017Fresh Off the BoatStephanieEpisode: "The Flush"
2017-2018Sofia the FirstVega (voice)5 episodes
2017We Bare BearsRanger Zhao (voice)Episode: "Ranger Games"
2018Guardians of the GalaxyPhyla-Vell (voice)4 episodes
2018Marvel Rising: Secret WarriorsHala the Accuser (voice)Television film
2018-2019Hot StreetsSoo Park (voice)6 episodes
2018-2019Fresh Off the BoatElaine2 episodes
2019Marvel Rising: Heart of IronHala the Accuser (voice)Television short film
2019Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure HeartTanya Keys (voice)Episode: "Meet Tanya Keys"
2019-2020The MandalorianFennec Shand4 episodes
2020Awkwafina Is Nora from QueensSandra2 episodes
2021Star Wars: The Bad BatchFennec Shand (voice)2 episodes
2021YasukeNatsumaru (voice)Main cast
2021Pretty SmartJayden's momGuest star
2021-presentThe Book of Boba FettFennec ShandMain cast
2022Young SheldonDr. Carol LeeEpisode: "A Free Scratcher and Feminine Wiles"
2022HacksJanet StoneRecurring role
2023Gremlins: Secrets of the MogwaiFong Wing (voice)10 episodes
VelmaCarrollUpcoming TV series
.

Web series

YearTitleRoleNotes
2015Parallel Man: Infinite PursuitMajor Mackenzie Cartwright (voice)Short film
2016+moreI. E. L. D. :_Slingshot'>Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. : SlingshotAgent Melinda May2 episodes
202050 States of FrightSusan3 episodes
.

Video games

YearTitleVoice roleNotes
1995Street Fighter: The MovieChun-Li
1999Disney's Story Studio: MulanFa Mulan
2005Disney's Story Studio: Mulan IIFa Mulan
2006Kingdom Hearts IIFa Mulan
2015Disney Infinity 3. +more0Fa Mulan
2016Lego Marvel's AvengersAgent Melinda May
2016Disney Magic KingdomsFa Mulan
.

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryWorkResult
1998Annie AwardOutstanding Achievement in Voice Acting, FemaleMulanWon
1999Online Film & Television Association AwardBest Family ActressMulanWon
1999Online Film & Television Association AwardBest Voice-Over PerformerMulanNominated
2001Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama SeriesERNominated
2014People's Choice AwardFavorite Actress in a New TV SeriesAgents of S. H. +moreI. E. L. D. Nominated
2015TVLine's Performer of the WeekPerformance in "Melinda"Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. Won
2016Nickelodeon Kids' Choice AwardsFavorite TV Actress - Family ShowAgents of S. H. I. E. L. D. Nominated
2019Disney LegendFilm, Television, & Animation - VoiceHerself
20211st Hollywood Critics Association TV AwardBest Supporting Actress in a Streaming Series, DramaThe Mandalorian
2021BBC's 100 WomenEntertainment & SportHerself
20222nd Hollywood Critics Association TV AwardBest Supporting Actress in a Streaming Series, DramaThe Book of Boba Fett
2022Saturn AwardsBest Actress in a Streaming PresentationThe Book of Boba FettWon
2022Hollywood Walk of FameTelevisionHerself
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