At just 18, Nancy Kwan was studying dance with England's Royal Ballet School, when she was spotted by producer Ray Stark, who tested her and gave her the starring role of a free-spirited Hong Kong prostitute who captivates artist William Holden in The World of Suzie Wong (1960). She followed it the next year with the hit musical, Flower Drum Song (1961), and became one of Hollywood's most visible Asian actresses. Born in China to a Chinese father and British mother, Kwan spent the 1960s commuting between film roles in America and Europe (including the pilot for Hawaii Five-O (1968)), but faded from view in the West, when she returned to her native Hong Kong in 1972 to be with her critically ill father. Divorced from her second husband, screenwriter David Giler, and with a young son from her first marriage to Austrian hotelier Peter Pock, Kwan intended to stay a year, but wound up staying a decade.
As managing director of her own production company, she produced and directed dozens of