As a young girl growing up in postwar Hong Kong, Nancy Kwan was physically active. She was a bit of a tomboy and excelled at sports and Tai Chi. At age 12, she was sent to England to study ballet; she went on to dance in productions of "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty" and eventually to earn her teaching certificate. One day, at the age of 18, when she was visiting her home country for summer holidays, she had a big break. Director Ray Stark was searching for a Chinese actress to play the title character in his upcoming film, an adaptation of the Richard Mason novel "The World of Suzie Wong," the story of a romance between a struggling American artist and the daughter of a wealthy Chinese businessman, set in Hong Kong. Kwan was chosen out of 500 applicants, despite her lack of acting experience. Her success in that part immediately opened the door to further opportunities, and the next year she was putting her dancing skills to work in the lead role of the film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway hit "Flower Drum Song," another interracial romance, set in San Francisco. In the 1980s, Kwan made a push into television where she appeared on many of the staples of the day such as "The A-Team" and "Fantasy Island." She eventually started her own commercial production company and is now mostly widely recognized for her role in infomercials for the beauty product Pearl Cream.