Ming Na-Wen (b. November 20, 1963 in Macau) is a Chinese-American actress, who has been credited with and without her family name "Wen", often in the late '90s films. She is also known to be Ming Na for short.
Her mother, Lin Chan Wen, divorced her father when she was only a toddler. She has an older brother named Jonathan. After the divorce, they moved to Hong Kong where her mother became a nurse. There her mother met Soo Lim Yee, a U.S. businessman.
They soon married, and at four years, Ming-Na moved with her family to Queens, New York. Five years later, they transferred to Yee's hometown of Pittsburgh where his family runs the Chinatown Inn restaurant. Jonathan and half-brother, Leong, now manage this restaurant.
Struggling to fit in at school, she changed her name to Maggie (first grade) and Doris (2nd grade to 3rd grade). She found a love for acting while appearing in a third grade Easter play, where she played a klutzy bunny. Her mother was not excited about her desire to pursue acting, and preferred that she go into medicine.
Nonetheless, Ming-Na graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in theatre. She got her first acting job in 1988 on the soap-comedy As the World Turns (1956). Her big break came when she was cast in The Joy Luck Club (1993).
When she needed a ride to the premiere of the film, her acting instructor sent one of his students, Eric Michael Zee. The two started dating in 1994 after Ming-Na moved permanently to Los Angeles and married in 1995, dropping her last name at that time. She says she is "now like Ann-Margret".
She is known for playing the role of Melinda May in the ABC action drama show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and for voicing Fa Mulan in the Walt Disney film, Mulan, her best-known role whose voice is quite often recognized by both little girls and parents.
She voices the Chinese Dancer in the Nutcracker page of the LeapPad book, Hit it, Maestro!, making it her only toy voiceover role.
- Ming-Na's first name means "enlightenment" in Chinese.