Three Thirds of a Nation. Barbara Jane Wong, American-born Chinese actress, shares mike with film star Walter Pidgeon for the War Production Board (WPB) radio program “Wool”

  • Creator: David Bransby
  • Year: 1942 June
  • Location: [United States]

Once known as the “Chinese Shirley Temple,” Barbara Jean Wong (1924-1999) was a fourth-generation Chinese-American born in Los Angeles, California and the first Asian American to appear regularly on network radio drama and comedy programs. Specializing in “little girl” parts even as a young adult, Wong played young Judy Barton, one of the main characters on the very popular children’s program The Cinnamon Bear, and Amos’s daughter Arbadella in Amos ‘n Andy. She attended the University of Southern California, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in speech and drama, and Columbia University, where she gained a master of arts degree. After college, Jean (she used her middle name) began working in the movies and worked in twenty films.

In this photograph, she shares the mike with Walter Pidgeon as they offer information on the War Production Board’s progress in wool production. She later became an elementary school teacher and community activist for local women’s clubs and Chinese American organizations.

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