Kieu Chinh

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In this Vietnamese name, the family name is Kiều, but is often simplified to Kieu in English-language text. According to Vietnamese custom, this person should properly be referred to by the given name Chinh.
Kiều Chinh
Born Nguyễn Thị Chinh
1937 (age 77–78)[1]
Hanoi, Vietnam
Residence Garden Grove, California, United States
Citizenship South Vietnam
United States
Occupation Actress, spokesperson, philanthropist, humanitarian
Known for The Joy Luck Club
Spouse(s) Nguyễn Năng Tế (1955–1981)
3 children [1]

Kiều Chinh (born Nguyễn Thị Chinh; 1939 in Vietnam) is a Vietnamese American actress best known for her role in The Joy Luck Club. She currently lives in Garden Grove, California.[2]


Kieu Chinh began her acting career in her South Vietnam, starting with a starring role in Hồi Chuông Thiên Mụ (The Bells of Thiên Mụ Temple) (1957). Kieu Chinh soon became one of South Vietnam's best-known personalities.

In the 1960s, in addition to Vietnamese films, she also appeared in several American productions including A Yank in Viet-Nam (1964) and Operation C.I.A. (1965), the latter opposite Burt Reynolds. Kieu Chinh also produced a war epic Người Tình Không Chân Dung (Faceless Lover) (1971), which later would be remastered and shown in the U.S. at the 2003 Vietnamese International Film Festival.

In 1975, while Kieu Chinh was on the set in Singapore, communist North Vietnamese overran Saigon. Kieu Chinh left for the U.S. where she resumed her acting career in a 1977 episode of M*A*S*H "In Love and War" of written by Alan Alda and loosely based on her life story.

Kieu Chinh subsequently acted in feature films as well as TV-movies including The Children of An Lac (TV), Hamburger Hill (1987), Riot (1997), Catfish in Black Bean Sauce (1999), Face (2002).

From 1989 to 1991, she had a recurring role as Triệu Âu on the ABC Vietnam War drama series China Beach.

In her best known role, she starred as Suyuan, one of the women in Wayne Wang’s The Joy Luck Club in 1993. In 2005, Kieu Chinh starred in Journey from the Fall, an epic feature film tracing a Vietnamese family through the aftermath of the fall of Saigon, the re-education camps, the boat people experience, and the initial difficulties of settling in the U.S.

Kieu Chinh is also active in philanthropic work. Together with journalist Terry Anderson, she co-founded the Vietnam Children’s Fund, which has built schools in Vietnam attended by more than 12,000 students. Kieu Chinh and Anderson continue to serve as the Fund’s co-chair.


Honors and awards[edit]

At the 2003 Vietnamese International Film Festival, Kieu Chinh received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Also in 2003, at the Women's Film Festival in Turin, Italy, Kieu Chinh was awarded the Special Acting Award. In 2006, the San Diego Asian Film Festival honored Kieu Chinh with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

A documentary based on her life, Kieu Chinh: A Journey Home by Patrick Perez / KTTV, won the Emmy in 1996.

In 2009, Chinh was honored as the 2009 Woman of the Year for her work in film and community service by State Senator Lou Correa.


  1. ^ a b "Nu Minh Tinh Kieu Chinh". 2007-09-23. Retrieved 2014-01-09. 
  2. ^ "Vietnamese star selling art to keep house". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 

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