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Kieu Chinh

Kieu Chinh

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Also Known As: Kieu Chinh Nguyen Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: actor, talk show host

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A Vietnamese character actress who got her start in film when Joseph L. Mankiewicz came to Saigon for location footage for his offbeat "The Quiet American" (1958), Kieu Chinh soon became one of South Vietnam's best-known personalities, making over 40 films and hosting her own popular TV talk show. In the mid-1960s she also appeared in several American productions including "A Yank in Vietnam" (1964) and "Operation C.I.A." (1965), the latter opposite Burt Reynolds. Having lost a father and a brother in conflicts with the French in the early 50s, Kieu Chinh quickly left for the US when the North Vietnamese invaded in 1975. TV-movies including "The Children of An Lac" (1980), "The Letter" (1982) and "The Girl Who Spelled Freedom" (1986) have kept her busiest, but feature films offered her roles in "Hamburger Hill" (1987) and "Gleaming the Cube" (1988). Wayne Wang's "The Joy Luck Club" (1993) offered Kieu Chinh one of her best parts to date as a mother reaching out to her daughter over games of mah-jongg.

A Vietnamese character actress who got her start in film when Joseph L. Mankiewicz came to Saigon for location footage for his offbeat "The Quiet American" (1958), Kieu Chinh soon became one of South Vietnam's best-known personalities, making over 40 films and hosting her own popular TV talk show. In the mid-1960s she also appeared in several American productions including "A Yank in Vietnam" (1964) and "Operation C.I.A." (1965), the latter opposite Burt Reynolds. Having lost a father and a brother in conflicts with the French in the early 50s, Kieu Chinh quickly left for the US when the North Vietnamese invaded in 1975. TV-movies including "The Children of An Lac" (1980), "The Letter" (1982) and "The Girl Who Spelled Freedom" (1986) have kept her busiest, but feature films offered her roles in "Hamburger Hill" (1987) and "Gleaming the Cube" (1988). Wayne Wang's "The Joy Luck Club" (1993) offered Kieu Chinh one of her best parts to date as a mother reaching out to her daughter over games of mah-jongg.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 21 (2008)
2.
3.
 Tempted (2003) Kehau
4.
 Face (2002) Mrs Liu
5.
 Green Dragon (2001) Kieu
6.
 What's Cooking? (2000) Grandma Nguyen
7.
8.
 City of Angels (1998) Asian Woman
9.
 Riot (1997) Mrs Lee ("Gold Mountain")
10.
 The Joy Luck Club (1993) Suyuan
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1954:
Taken in by another family at age 14 when she flew to Saigon (date approximate)
1957:
Acting debut starring in the Vietnamese production, "Hoi Chuong Thien Mu (The Bells of Thien Mu Temple)"
1957:
Attended a reception for Figaro Productions, which journeyed to Saigon for location shooting for "The Quiet American"
1958:
American film debut as a Buddhist nun in "The Quiet American"
1964:
Appeared in the American production, "A Yank in Vietnam"
1965:
Appeared in "Operation C.I.A." opposite Burt Reynolds
1970:
Produced the war epic "Nguoi Tinh Khong Chan Dung (Faceless Lover)"
1975:
Left Saigon on April 24, one week before Saigon fell to the Vietcong; moved to California with the help of performers who had appeared on her TV show, including the American actress Tippi Hedren
1977:
First acting job in the U.S. (After almost two years) in an episode of the CBS series, "M*A*S*H"; episode was loosely based on her life
1977:
Made TV-movie debut in "Cover Girls"
1980:
Served as technical advisor and acted in the CBS TV-movie, "The Children of An Lac"
1983:
Appeared in five episodes of "Dynasty" (ABC) playing Sister Agnes
1986:
Co-starred in the ABC TV-movie, "The Girl Who Spelled Freedom"
1987:
Acted first US feature in over 20 years, the Vietnam War drama, "Hamburger Hill"
1989:
Cast in the HBO drama special, "Vietnam War Story: The Last Days"
1993:
Co-starred in Wayne Wang's "The Joy Luck Club"
1997:
Had featured role in the Showtime drama "Riot"
2000:
Co-starred in Gurinder Chadha's ensemble, "What's Cooking?"
2002:
Co-starred in the independent drama, "Face"
2007:
Starred in "Journey from the Fall," an epic feature following a Vietnamese family through the aftermath of the fall of Saigon
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Emissary for Vietnam to the annual Asian Film Festival for 15 years.

Chinh was awarded a "Refugee of the Year" award by the US Congress, a certificate of "recognition for outstanding and multifaceted contributions to the artistic world and the mosaic of American society" (1990)

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Nang Te. Vietnamese army paratrooper. Eldest son of the Nguyens Dai Do, the family friends who took Chinh in when she was sent to Saigon by her father; when Nang Te was scheduled for training in Fort Benning, Georgia, his mother was afraid he might stay to live in the U.S. so she arranged a marriage with Chinh; married c. 1955, divorced 1980; father of Chinh's three children.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Nguyen Cuu Chinh. Minister with the French colonial government in Vietnam. From a wealthy Buddhist family; never saw father again after he decided not to accompany Chinh to Saigon in order to look for her older brother when she was 14; father sent Chinh on a plane with family friends and she never saw him again; in 1978 Chinh found out that he had died destitute in Hanoi.
mother:
An Chinh. Was killed in WWII during an Allied bombing raid while in a hospital shortly after giving birth.
brother:
Lan Chinh. Born c. 1934; joined revolutionary forces of Ho Chi Minh c. 1954 to fight against the French; Chinh long thought he was dead, but exchanged letters with him in 1993 and made plans to see him later that year for the first time in 39 years.
sister:
Tinh Chinh. Older; married c. early 1950s and settled in Paris.
daughter:
Vanessa Chinh. Born 1956.
son:
Paul Chinh. Born c. 1959.
son:
Jean-Pierre Chinh. Born c. 1961; was in a severe car accident at age 24 which left him with burns on half his body; underwent long slow recovery.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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