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Ming-Na Wen first won attention with her critically acclaimed performance as the June in Wayne Wang's feature film "The Joy Luck Club," based on Amy Tan's best-selling novel. During the 1994-95 television season, millions of TV viewers came to know Wen for her recurring role as the ambitious medical student Deb Chen on NBC's hit drama "ER." Says Wen, "I loved working on 'ER.' It was a tremendous thrill to be there when it reached number one. Now, as Trudy on 'The Single Guy,' I'm very excited to still be part of the NBC family on Thursday nights. I feel right at home."
A sense of belonging did not come easily to Wen. She was born in Macau, China, but her family immigrated to New York City when she was 4. There, she learned English and discovered pizza.
She also found acting was a great way to be accepted by her new peers when she performed in a third-grade Easter play. Having moved to Pittsburgh when she was 9, Wen later graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with high honors and a B.F.A. in theater. Her family remains in Pittsburgh, where they run a successful Chinese restaurant.
Upon returning to New York, Wen performed off-Broadway, where she was discovered and then cast on "As the World Turns," in the first contract role for an Asian actor in daytime television. She also worked on the New York stage with Tony Award winner Lanford Wilson in "Redwood Curtain," became a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and produced many plays. Her other theater credits include working with Tony winners Mel Shapiro and James Lapine in David Mamet's "Speed the Plow" at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and starring in the world premiere of Lapine's "Luck, Pluck & Virtue" at the renowned La Jolla Playhouse.
Through her work, Wen has traveled extensively. After completing "The Joy Luck Club" in Shanghai, she traveled with her mother throughout China and met all of her family for the first time. "It was one of the most beautiful, intense experiences in my life," she says. "It was very similar to my last scene in the film. It's funny how life and art can sometimes intertwine so intimately." She has also traveled to Paris, Brussels, Hong Kong, Manila, Mexico and Vancouver. Wen worked in Thailand and Australia on the film "Streetfighter," in which she played the female lead, Chun-Li, opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme and the late Raul Julia.
Wen spent her recent hiatus from "The Single Guy" providing the lead voice for Disney's upcoming animated feature film "The Legend of Mulan," and co-starring opposite Wesley Snipes in director Mike Figgis' "One Night Stand."
Wen recently hosted The Congressional Asian Pacific Caucus Institute Inaugural Dinner in Washington, D.C., where she formally met President Clinton. At present, she is producing her first play in Los Angeles, titled "Exit the Dragon." She has formed her own production company to produce plays and develop films. She has also been included on People magazine's list of the 50 Most Beautiful People.