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Ming-Na Wen Bio
Ming-Na Wen (born November 20, 1963) is a Macau 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, one of the Disney Princesses, in the 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. She is also known for her role as Dr. Jing-Mei “Deb” Chen on the medical drama series ER.
She was the series lead 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.
Her parents fled Suzhou during the Cultural Revolution and moved to Portuguese Macau during the 1960s. 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 Soo Lim Yee, 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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
On August 2014, Wen reprised her role as Mulan for the first time since Mulan II in the Disney Channel show Sofia the First. Her daughter Michaela Zee has a recurring role on the show as Princess Jun.