Irene Tsu Profile

Irene Tsu
Irene Tsu
Photo of Irene Tsu
Photo gallery
(Tsu Wei Ho / Wei Hot Tsu)
4 November 42 is born in Shanghai, China, to Z. M. and Dulcie Lynn Tsu. Her father is an accountant; her mother, a fabric designer.
? her sister, Florence, is born
? is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Shanghai dialects
48 her family flees Shanghai during the Communist revolution to Formosa. There Chiang Kai-Shek appoints her father to a government post in Taipeh
? her mother dislikes Taipeh and goes with her two daughters to Hong Kong. There they spend seven years waiting for permission to the enter the United States.
? attends school in Hong Kong, learns English and French, and majors in ballet
c. 57 the Tsu ladies sail for New York and settle in Larchmont, New York, with her aunt
? attends Mamaroneck High School
? attends George Washington High
Summer 59 audits for a dancing job in Broadway's Flower Drum Song. A lookout from producer David Merrick's office catches the tryout, audits her for The World of Suzie Wong, and signs her on the spot.
? is on Broadway in The World of Suzie Wong for four months, then nine months with the road company
c. 60 the star of Suzie Wong, Nancy Kwan, gets her a part in her upcoming Flower Drum Song / choreographer Hermes Pan brings her to Hollywood as a dancer in the film version of Flower Drum Song
? studies drama in New York
18 February 61 as New York's entry, she is crowned "Miss Chinatown U.S.A." in San Francisco from six finalists of an original 19 contestants, representing Chinese communities from all over the States. Wearing a white lace Chinese gown, she accepts her crown to start a week of public festivities honoring the Year of the Ox, number 4,559 by Chinese recording. She tells the press she plans to use her "Miss Chinatown" college scholarship to study math at the University of Southern California. The press gives her age as 18.
Late February 61 actor Mark Damon, former escort of Nancy Kwan, is reported digging her
February 62 is among Chinese beauty queens taking part in a parade marking the zenith of the Bay Area Chinese community's celebration of new year 4660, the Year of the Tiger, in San Francisco Chinatown
? attends Los Angeles City College for two years
? is off to Rome to be one of Elizabeth Taylor's handmaiden in Cleopatra
October 65 promotes Ah Fong's restaurant in Encino. Owner Benson Fong is with her in an upcoming TV series segment.
November 66 Tony Curtis wants her to go to Rome for his The Secret Key
gets $2,500 and up for a week of filming
May 67 goes to New York to promote Caprice
Late 67 John Wayne doesn't like her while filming his The Green Berets on location near Columbus, Georgia. While riding a motorcycle, she burns her leg.
Fall 68 is reported hoping to take some courses at UCLA this fall
resides in Los Angeles; her parents and sister live in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York
October 68 she and Adam West promote Ah Fong's restaurant in Encino
68 - 69 for two years is the Chevron Island Girl, spokesperson for Standard Oil, and does eight commercials for that company
November 68 Frank Sinatra is reported escorting her and Quinn O'Hara
August 69 will star with Frank Sinatra in an espionage tale to be filmed in Hong Kong
December 69 columnist Marilyn Beck reports about Ava Gardner's upcoming visit to Hollywood: "You can bet Frank Sinatra has already been informed of the trip and that Irene Tsu would be just as happy if Ava remained in Europe..."
January 71 will co-star with James Mason in The Yin and the Yang. Columnist Marilyn Beck tells that so she won't be around to object to Hope Lange's friendship dates with Frank Sinatra. "Irene, you might know, has been Frank's semi-steady chick for close to a year."
15 August 71 marries Hungarian director Ivan Nagy in Los Angeles. He's 33, she's 25.
September 75 the press tells that she's happily married to Nagy
October 75 is expected to fly from Hong Kong to New York for the premiere of Paper Tiger on November 12
Late 70s starts a second career as a fashion designer for the It Company
02 raises her adopted daughter
Film Fatales by Tom Lisanti and Louis Paul, Oakland Tribune, The Fresno Bee, Appleton Post-Crescent, San Mateo Times, Humboldt Standard, Van Nuys News, The Post-Standard, The Coshocton Tribune, The Odessa American, Burlington Times-News, Winnipeg Free Press, Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram, Bucks County Courier-Times, The Times
Recommended Books:
Film Fatales by Tom Lisanti and Louis Paul
!WOm!WAm!: Irene Tsu