July 31, 1939
Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhone, France
Actor, Artist's model, Therapist
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A tawny, sleek, somber-looking actress, of French and Vietnamese extraction, Nuyen made her film debut at 19 as Liat in the film version of "South Pacific" (1958) and in the 1960s was briefly promoted as an exotic type. She also starred on Broadway in the title role (learned phonetically, because her English was still very shaky) of the popular "The World of Suzie Wong." After making the middling features "Diamond Head" (1962), "A Girl Named Tamiko" (1962) and "Dimension 5" (1966), Nuyen worked largely during the 70s and 80s in forgettable TV-movies like "The Horror at 37,000 Feet" (1973), "Deathmoon" (1978) and "Jealousy" (1984). She had better luck with her role as the dignified, compassionate Dr. Kiem on the final two seasons of the acclaimed NBC medical drama, "St. Elsewhere." Having completed graduate work in psychology, Nuyen began a second career as a therapist in 1986, but renewed feature film work beckoned in the early 90s, most notably a role as one of four mothers who bond with their daughters over mah jongg in Wayne Wang's "The Joy Luck Club" (1993).