I came across the IMDB page for Asian and Asian-American Actors and I was curious to see who was Taiwanese and if any of the actors were dancers. My parents were from Taiwan before they immigrated to the USA. I was American born, but I did get to visit Taiwan when I was a teenager. It was a very profound time. I didn’t know of many well-known, specifically Taiwanese actors/dancers back when I was young. I believe times have changed some and more and more Asian actors are listed. I don’t know if it’s because more are emerging or because of the internet and social media, we get more connections.
If you haven’t checked out the IMDB page, I’ll link it here. There are a lot of other great Asian American and Asian actors listed. Some of whom, I’ve admired and enjoyed their work for years. I’m happy to see not only more Asian profiles out in the world today, but more of everyone across the rainbow producing amazing works of art. Not only just in representation, but quality of content and story. So, props to all of the ones pounding the pavement every day and knocking on doors to get really great work seen, shared, and heard.
I’ve compiled a short list of a few Taiwanese actors and other performers. This is for reference for anyone interested in works by or about Taiwanese artists. I think the spectrum is very interesting considering the influences of both east and west Taiwanese, indigenous or aboriginal, and the types of work that they’ve put out.
Takeshi Kaneshiro is described as 1/2 Taiwanese and 1/2 Japanese, specifically Okinawan. He was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1973. He still looks very young to me. His bio states that he started off in his teens in the Chinese entertainment scene.
“He is referred to as Jincheng Wu in China, Chin-Cheng Wu in Taiwan & Gam-Sing Mo in Hong Kong.”
“His Japanese family name Kaneshiro is read as Jincheng in Mandarin (but spelled Chin-Cheng in Taiwanese Pinyin & read as Gam-Sing in Cantonese). His Japanese first name Takeshi is read as Wu in Mandarin (spelled the same way using Taiwanese pinyin & read as Mo in Cantonese).”
He’s had several musical albums out and has lent his voice in many languages for film translation. I remember him mostly from the international success, House of Flying Daggers. Here’s a few clips of some of his films.
2. Godfrey Gao
Godfrey Gao was born in Taiwan in 1984. Sadly, he’s already passed away at a very young age. He died in 2019 in China of a heart attack.
“His father is Taiwanese, of Shanghainese Chinese descent. His mother is Malaysian, of Peranakan Chinese descent, from George Town.”
“He was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and his family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, during his early years. He later returned to Taiwan to model.”
Some of his credits include Toy Story 3 in 2010. Here are a few clips of his work.
3. Constance Wu
Constance Wu is definitely one of the more well-known actresses in the USA of Taiwanese heritage. She was born in 1982 in Richmond, Virginia. I’m from Virginia, born and raised! She gained prominence from the TV sitcom, Fresh Off the Boat.
We all may know here from Crazy Rich Asians and I’ll post the trailer below if you haven’t seen it. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it for the wedding scenes alone. I loved so many scenes. It was just a fun movie with spectacular views. I cannot wait for a sequel and my family loves the audiobooks of the original books by Kevin Kwan for which the film is based.
“Merited a place in TIME magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People” issue with an homage written by Lena Dunham. [May 2017]”
“First child, a daughter, born in the summer of 2020. The child’s father is musician/composer Ryan Kattner.”
Here are a few clips with Constance Wu.
By the way, Henry Golding who hails from Singapore is married to Liv Lo. Liv Lo is Taiwanese and just had her and Henry Golding’s first child. Congratulations! Liv Lo is not an actor, but is a fitness guru and influencer.
I’m sure there are a lot of Taiwanese and Taiwanese American dancers. I just couldn’t come across any large lists. I did find a few videos on YouTube featuring KPOP in Public Challenge. Here is one of those groups.
There is a very famous Taiwanese singer, A-Mei. She is very popular in Taiwan and has had a longstanding singing career. A-Mei is also aboriginal Taiwanese.
There is also an aboriginal tribe in Taiwan called Amei. Here is a sample of a folk dance from the Amei tribe.
And there you have it. If you know of an actor, dancer, or other type of Taiwanese artist producing different and effecting content, I’d be very interested in hearing about it. Comment below and please share. I wish all of you out there the very best in your artistic endeavors.