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France Nuyen

France Nuyen

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Also Known As: France Nguyen Van-Nga Died:
Born: July 31, 1939 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: France Profession: actor, artist's model, therapist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A tawny, sleek, somber-looking actress, of French and Vietnamese extraction, Nuyen made her film debut at 19 as Liat in the film version of "South Pacific" (1958) and in the 1960s was briefly promoted as an exotic type. She also starred on Broadway in the title role (learned phonetically, because her English was still very shaky) of the popular "The World of Suzie Wong". After making the middling features "Diamond Head" (1962), "A Girl Named Tamiko" (1962) and "Dimension 5" (1966), Nuyen worked largely during the 70s and 80s in forgettable TV-movies like "The Horror at 37,000 Feet" (1973), "Deathmoon" (1978) and "Jealousy" (1984). She had better luck with her role as the dignified, compassionate Dr. Kiem on the final two seasons of the acclaimed NBC medical drama, "St. Elsewhere". Having completed graduate work in psychology, Nuyen began a second career as a therapist in 1986, but renewed feature film work beckoned in the early 90s, most notably a role as one of four mothers who bond with their daughters over mah jongg in Wayne Wang's "The Joy Luck Club" (1993).

A tawny, sleek, somber-looking actress, of French and Vietnamese extraction, Nuyen made her film debut at 19 as Liat in the film version of "South Pacific" (1958) and in the 1960s was briefly promoted as an exotic type. She also starred on Broadway in the title role (learned phonetically, because her English was still very shaky) of the popular "The World of Suzie Wong". After making the middling features "Diamond Head" (1962), "A Girl Named Tamiko" (1962) and "Dimension 5" (1966), Nuyen worked largely during the 70s and 80s in forgettable TV-movies like "The Horror at 37,000 Feet" (1973), "Deathmoon" (1978) and "Jealousy" (1984). She had better luck with her role as the dignified, compassionate Dr. Kiem on the final two seasons of the acclaimed NBC medical drama, "St. Elsewhere". Having completed graduate work in psychology, Nuyen began a second career as a therapist in 1986, but renewed feature film work beckoned in the early 90s, most notably a role as one of four mothers who bond with their daughters over mah jongg in Wayne Wang's "The Joy Luck Club" (1993).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 hundred percent (1998)
3.
 Smile Like Yours, A (1997) Dr Chin
4.
 Magic Pearl, The (1996) Voice Of Lo Chen
5.
 Passion to Kill, A (1994) Lou Mazaud
6.
 The Joy Luck Club (1993) Ying Ying
7.
 Write To Kill (1991)
8.
 China Cry (1990) Mrs Sung
9.
 Midas Valley (1985) Mitsi Kawamato
10.
 Jealousy (1984) Beverly
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1955:
Discovered by the <i>LIFE</i> photographer Philippe Halsman on the beach
:
Moved to New York from Marseilles to begin a career as a model
1958:
Made theatrical debut in the title role of "The World of Suzie Wong" opposite William Shatner
1958:
Made feature film debut in the adaptation of the Broadway musical, "South Pacific"
1962:
Appeared in the film "A Girl Named Tamiko" opposite Laurence Harvey
1963:
Cast opposite Charlton Heston in the film "Diamond Head"
1968:
Again cast opposite William Shatner in an episode of "Star Trek" as the memorable Elaan of Troyius
1973:
Featured in the fifth and final film "Battle for the Planet of the Apes"
1986:
Had a recurring role on the final two seasons of "St. Elsewhere" (NBC) as Dr. Paulette Kiem
1989:
Appeared on the NBC daytime drama "Santa Barbara"
1990:
Had a recurring role on "Knots Landing"
1990:
Returned to feature films to play a leading role in "China Cry"
1993:
Portrayed one of the mothers in the family drama "The Joy Luck Club"; based on the novel by Amy Tan
2003:
Featured in "The Battle of Shaker Heights"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Born in Marseilles the day that France declared war on Germany. "All the children born on that day were named 'France'." --France Nuyen quoted in NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, April 30, 1991)

Trekkers are likely to remember Nuyen for guesting in the title role of the episode "Elaan of Troyius", as the temperamental alien ruler, slated to marry another for diplomatic reasons, who bewitches Captain Kirk with her love-inducing tears.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Robert Culp. Actor. Was Culp's second wife.
husband:
Thomas Morell. Doctor.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Louis Vannga.
mother:
Julie Vannga.
daughter:
Fleur Morell.

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