|Born||May 24, 1913
San Francisco, California, US
|Died||March 30, 2010 (aged 96)
New York City, New York, US
|Occupation(s)||singer, dancer, comedian.|
|Instruments||Body, hands, voice|
Jadin Wong (May 24, 1913 – March 30, 2010) was an American singer, dancer, and comedian.
Wong was born in Stockton, California, and ran away to Hollywood as a teenager. She started singing in public at 6 years old, where she was paid. At age 16, she ran away from home to Hollywood to become a dancer. On the night she ran away, her mother secretly left some hard-earned cash for her to support herself, despite her father's objection.
Wong was a celebrity, diva and grand dame who discovered John Lone. She performed ballet right into her 90s, where she was caught by an interviewing journalist doing splits and pirouettes as "morning exercise". She studied with Balanchine and trained in classical ballet and jazz.
She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Lincoln Center, New York in winter of 2002. Her thank you speech quoted in The New York Times was, "Age is just a number, and I have an unlisted number." Ben Stiller has been quoted in the press as calling Jadin Wong the "original Dragon Lady", before Ziyi Zhang.
In the 1970s she changed career again setting up the Jadin Wong Talent Management company, whose clients include David Henry Hwang, John Lone, Joan Chen, Lou Diamond Phillips, Lucy Liu, Bai Ling and Kai Wong.
WWII heroic commendations
She traveled extensively to entertain American troops during World War II and nearly sacrificed her life for her country when she was nearly blown up by German enemy planes near the Black Forest.
She was recognized by President Ronald Reagan for her role in entertaining the nation's troops and by the U.S. House of Representatives for her cultural contributions to the nation. She was invited by President George Bush to the White House in 2004.
Wong retired from performing on Broadway and cabaret comedy and went into theatrical agenting in the mid-seventies, where she cast for Bernardo Bertolucci and brought David Henry Hwang to fame with her theatrical connections.
Wong married into the blueblood family of New York Theatre, the Chichesters, and the Jewish circle of playwrights and artists. Before Barbra Streisand became famous, Streisand was the opening act for Wong's show in New York. Streisand was subsequently replaced by Ben Stiller. She remains an honorary member of the Loews Theatre. She was featured in the New York Times in 2003 and 2004 as one of most glamorous grand dames of New York.
- 1966 article on Wong
- 2005 New York 1 documentary on Jadin Wong at 90
- Obituary of Jadin Wong by Film Business Asia industry trade for International and Asian cinema industry
- Obituary of Jadin Wong by Variety industry trade for Hollywood
- Obituary of Jadin Wong by Playbill industry trade for Broadway
- Jadin Wong ephemera, 1930-1996, held by the Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts