Ming-Na Wen

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Ming-Na Wen
Ming-Na Wen at NY PaleyFest 2014.jpg
Wen at 2014 NY PaleyFest
Born(1963-11-20) November 20, 1963 (age 51)
Coloane, Portuguese Macau
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)Kirk Aanes (m. 1990; div. 1993)
Eric Michael Zee (m. 1995)
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Ming-Na Wen
Ming-Na Wen at NY PaleyFest 2014.jpg
Wen at 2014 NY PaleyFest
Born(1963-11-20) November 20, 1963 (age 51)
Coloane, Portuguese Macau
Years active1985–present
Spouse(s)Kirk Aanes (m. 1990; div. 1993)
Eric Michael Zee (m. 1995)

Ming-Na Wen (Chinese: 温明娜; pinyin: Wēn Míngnà); born November 20, 1963) is a Macau-born American actress. She has been credited with and without her family name, but most credits since the late 1990s have been without it. She has been known by such variants of her name as Ming-Na, Ming Na, Ming Na Wen and Ming Wen.

She is known for voicing Fa Mulan in films Mulan and Mulan II, the video game Kingdom Hearts II, and more recently on a guest appearance in the Disney animated series Sofia the First and as Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen on the medical drama series ER.

She was the series lead of the cast of the show Inconceivable, a medical drama that was aired on NBC, but the show was short-lived. The show is one of the few American television shows with an Asian American series lead. She is also known for her roles on the main casts of the animated series The Batman and the sci-fi series Stargate Universe. As of 2013, she stars as Melinda May in the ABC action drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Besides television, she is notable for starring in the films The Joy Luck Club, Street Fighter, and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

Early life[edit]

Her parents fled Suzhou during the Cultural Revolution and moved to Portuguese Macau during the 1960's. Wen was born on Coloane and lived in Hong Kong with her mother, Lin Chan, who worked as a nurse and her older brother Jonathan, later moving to the United States as a child with her mother, brother, and stepfather first to Harlem, New York, where her younger brother Lang was born, and then to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Wen attended high school in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. During her teen years she worked at her stepfather's family's restaurant called Chinatown Inn in downtown Pittsburgh's Chinatown, which her family still runs today.[1]

She enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University where where graduated High Honors and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre.


Wen's first television role was in the children's television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in 1985.[2] From 1988 to 1991, she played Lien Hughes on the soap opera As the World Turns.

After starring in the acclaimed 1993 film The Joy Luck Club, she landed the role of Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen on the NBC drama series ER. She first starred in a recurring role during the 1994-1995 season before returning in 1999 as a series regular, remaining on the show until midway through Season 11 in 2004. Wen also played Chun-Li in Street Fighter and co-starred on the sitcom The Single Guy from 1995 to 1997.

Wen in October 2006

She provided the voice for the title character in Disney's 1998 animated movie Mulan, its direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II, and the video game Kingdom Hearts II, and subsequently winning an Annie Award. She also voiced Aki Ross in the computer animated film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and Detective Ellen Yin in the animated series The Batman. She was also the voice actress for Jade, a minor character in the HBO animated series Spawn.

In 2004, she took part in a Hollywood Home Game on the World Poker Tour, and won. In fall 2005, she starred on the NBC drama series Inconceivable as the lead character, Rachel Lu. However, the series was canceled after only two episodes. Her next TV role was an FBI agent in the Fox kidnap drama series Vanished, which premiered in the fall of 2006 then was canceled roughly three months later. She also has played a small role as a college professor in the comedy series George Lopez.

On October 8 through October 29, 2007, Wen (billed as Ming Wen) appeared in a four-episode arc of CBS' Two and a Half Men playing Charlie Sheen's love interest, a judge closer to his own age. In November 2008, she guest-starred on two ABC series: Private Practice and Boston Legal. From December 5–6, 2008, Wen starred in a benefit production of the musical Grease with "Stuttering" John Melendez at the Class Act Theatre.[3]

She was cast as a regular in the Stargate Universe television series as political attaché Camile Wray from October 2009 to May 2011. Wen made an appearance in "Disney Through the Decades", a short documentary about the history of the Walt Disney Company through to the present, as the hostess of the 1990s section.

Wen appeared on the Syfy series Eureka as the inquisitive U.S. Senator Michaela Wen, beginning in Season Four in 2011 and serving as a major villainess in the fifth and final season in 2012.

Wen plays Agent Melinda May in the ABC action drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which premiered on September 24, 2013.[4]

On August 2014, Wen reprised her role as Mulan for the first time since Mulan 2 in the Disney Channel show Sofia the First.[5] Her daughter Michaela Zee has a recurring role on the show as Princess Jun.

Personal life[edit]

From 1985 to 1989 Wen was in a relationship with Australian actor Brett Hinch and juggled her commitments between the USA and Australia. In 1990, Wen married American film writer Kirk Aanes. They divorced in 1993. On June 16, 1995, Wen married her second husband Eric Michael Zee. Together they have two children, a daughter Michaela Kitlin, born on November 21, 2000 and a son Cooper Dominic Zee, born on October 12, 2005. As of 2007, Wen and her family live in Calabasas, California.


Ming-Na at the January 2009 premiere for Push


1992Rain Without Thunder"Uudie" prisoner
1993Joy Luck Club, TheThe Joy Luck ClubJing-Mei "June" Woo
1994Terminal VoyageHan
1994Hong Kong 97Katie Chun
1994Street FighterChun-Li
1997One Night StandMimi Carlyle
199812 BucksGorgeous
2001Final Fantasy: The Spirits WithinDr. Aki RossVoice
2002Ribbon of Dreams, AA Ribbon of DreamsMei-LingVoice
2002Teddy Bears' PicnicKaty Woo
2005Mulan IIMulanVoice; direct-to-video
2005PerfectionWomanShort film
2008Prom NightDr. Elisha Crowe
2009PushEmily Hu
2010BoyBandJudy Roberts
2012Super CycloneDr. Jenna SparksDirect-to-video
2013April RainHillary
20156 Miranda DrivePost-production


1985Mister Rogers' NeighborhoodRoyal trumpeter2 episodes
1988–1991As the World TurnsLien HughesRole held: February 20, 1988 – May 1991
1993Blind SpotMitsukoTV Movie
1994All-American GirlAmyEpisode: "Redesigning Women"
1994Vanishing Son IIMaiTV Movie
1994Vanishing Son IVMaiTV Movie
1995, 2000–2004ERDr. Jing-Mei "Deb" ChenRecurring (season 1); main cast (seasons 6–11); 91 episodes
1995–1997Single Guy, TheThe Single GuyTrudyMain cast
1997Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every ChildLani (voice)Episode: "Puss in Boots"
1998Tempting FateEllen MorettiTV Movie
1998–1999Todd McFarlane's SpawnJade/Lisa Wu (voice)5 episodes
2002I Got YouKailaUnsold ABC pilot
2002Disney's House of MouseFa Mulan (voice)Episode: "Salute to Sports"
2004Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, TheThe Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy GeniusPrincess Guan Qi "Peggy" Tsu (voice)Episode: "The Great Egg Heist/The Feud"
2004–2005Batman, TheThe BatmanDetective Ellen Yin (voice)Main cast (seasons 1–2); 16 episodes
2004Law & Order: Special Victims UnitLi MeiEpisode: "Debt"
2005Robot ChickenMary-Kate Olsen (voice)Episode: "Kiddie Pool"
2005InconceivableRachel LuMain cast
2006George LopezProfessor Tracy Lim2 episodes
2006VanishedLin MeiMain cast
2007American MastersNarratorEpisode: "Novel Reflections: The American Dream"
2007, 2010Two and a Half MenJudge Linda Harris5 episodes
2008, 2013Phineas and FerbDr. Hirano (voice)2 episodes
2008Private PracticeKara WeiEpisode: "Let It Go"
2008Boston LegalMing Wang ShuEpisode: "Roe"
2009–2011Stargate UniverseCamile WrayMain cast; 31 episodes
2011–2012EurekaSenator Michaela Wen7 episodes
2011Celebrity Ghost StoriesHerselfEpisode: "Keshia Knight Pulliam, Ming-Na, Chi McBride, Mia Tyler"
2012Adventure TimeFarmworld Finn's mom (voice)2 episodes
2013NashvilleCalista ReevesEpisode: "You Win Again"
2013–presentAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Agent Melinda May and Agent 33Main cast
32 episodes
2014Sofia the FirstFa Mulan (voice)Episode: "Princesses to the Rescue"

Video games[edit]

1995Street Fighter: The MovieChun-Li
1999Disney's Story Studio: MulanFa MulanVoice
2005Disney's Story Studio: Mulan IIFa MulanVoice
2006Kingdom Hearts IIFa MulanVoice

Awards and nominations[edit]

1998Annie AwardOutstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature ProductionMulanWon
1999Online Film & Television Association AwardBest Family ActressWon
Best Voice-Over PerformerNominated
2001Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Shared with Anthony Edwards, Laura Innes, Alex Kingston, Eriq La Salle, Julianna Margulies, Kellie Martin, Paul McCrane, Michael Michele, Erik Palladino, Maura Tierney, Goran Višnjić, and Noah Wyle ERNominated
2014People's Choice AwardFavorite Actress in a New TV SeriesNominated


  1. ^ "Ming-Na". Askmen.com. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ming-Na". TV.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ "John Melendez and Ming Na to Star in Grease Benefit". Theater Mania. Theatermania.com. November 12, 2008. Retrieved December 11, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits Ming-Na Wen". Asia Pacific Arts. October 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ "First Look:Ming-Na Wen is Back at Mulan - This Time on Sofia the First". TV Guide. July 22, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]