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Beulah Quo
Chinese-American actress and activist

Beulah Quo

Beulah Quo
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Chinese-American actress and activist
Was Actor Stage actor Film actor Television actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 17 April 1923, Stockton
Death 23 October 2002, La Mesa (aged 79 years)
Children: Stewart Kwoh
The details (from wikipedia)


Beulah Quo (April 17, 1923 – October 23, 2002) was a Chinese-American actress and activist born in Stockton, California. The spelling of her last name changed from Kwoh to Quo because she was constantly asked if KWOH was a radio station. She starred in many films and television series beginning in the mid-1950s, and was best known for her appearances in General Hospital (1963), Chinatown (1974), and Brokedown Palace (1999). She was also an advocate of more and better screen roles for Asian actors, and founded several organizations in pursuit of that goal.

Early life

Quo received a bachelor's degree in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a master's degree from the University of Chicago. In the 1940s, while she was working in China as a teacher, Quo escaped Communism on a U.S. destroyer along with her husband, Edwin Kwoh, and infant son. After resettling, she also worked at the Chinese YWCA building, which is now the Chinese American National Museum and Learning Center.

Television and film career

While teaching sociology at a community college in Los Angeles, California, director Henry King was looking for an Asian dialect coach and instead hired Quo to play a small role in Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1953). She played over 100 roles in television movies and series, as well as film. One of her notable television roles was in General Hospital, where she stayed for six years and played a housekeeper and confidante named Olin starting in 1963. Uncredited appearances that she made throughout her career in her earlier work included her first film, Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, Two Weeks In Another Town (1962), and Gypsy (1962). Her final featured film role was in Forbidden City in 2001 as Mrs. Lee; her last television appearance was in a 2002 episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

Quo co-starred in a made-for-television drama, An Apple, An Orange a story of two immigrants and their differences in cultural, sociological and philosophical viewpoints while in midlife. It aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting. The author and dramatist, Diane Johnson, won an O. Henry Award for the story on which it was based.


In 1965, The East West Players, the first Asian-American repertory theater in the U.S., was co-founded by Quo and eight other actors, including James Hong. The East West Players continues to advocate for diverse representation and elimination of stereotypes of Asian-Americans in Hollywood and across mass media.

Quo was heavily involved in the high-profile and racially driven Vincent Chin case, producing a play to honor him entitled Carry The Tiger To The Mountain in July 1998. It was based on a true story of a Chinese-American man who was beaten to death in Detroit, Michigan, in 1982 by two white men who had mistaken him for a Japanese man. It premiered in West Virginia; Quo played Chin's mother, Lily Chin. The play was later performed in Los Angeles by the East West Players.

In 1997, Quo commissioned a musical project called "Heading East: California Asian Pacific American Experience" to promote and commemorate the history of Asian-Pacific Americans in California for the past 150 years.

Quo continued to dismiss any statements that Asians in leading roles are not "bankable", pointing out that Haing S. Ngor, cast in The Killing Fields (1984), won the Oscar for best supporting actor, while Pat Morita was nominated for the same award for his role in The Karate Kid (1984).

Awards, nominations and honors

1978: Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Single Performance by a supporting actress in Meeting of Minds. Quo also co-narrated the audiobook version.

1990: "The Jimmie" Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian Pacific American Artists, for her outstanding work on The Sand Pebbles (1966), MacArthur (1977), and Chinatown (1974). She also won a local Emmy award for her achievements on "James Wong Howe – The Man and His Movies", a documentary on the award-winning cinematographer James Wong Howe.


On October 23, 2002, Beulah Quo died of heart failure during routine surgery in La Mesa, California at the age of 79. She was survived by her husband, Edwin; her daughter, Mary Ellen Shu; her son, Stewart Kwoh; and five grandchildren.

The East West Players have a Beulah Quo and Edwin Kwoh Endowment set up to promote theater education.


Films and television appearances are from IMDb.

2002 Law & Order: Criminal Intent (TV Series): Badge Cecilia Wang
2001 Forbidden City Mrs. Lee
2000 The Michael Richards Show (TV Series): USA Toy Mai
2000 Chicago Hope (TV Series): Hanlon's Choice Grandmother Wang
1999 Brokedown Palace Guard Velie
1999 ER (T.V Series): Sticks and Stones Grandma Fong
1998 Brimstone (TV Series): Poem Landlady
1996 Suddenly Susan (TV Series): Beauty and the Beasty Boy Dr. Ni
1995 Bless This House (T.V Series): Neither a Borrower Nor a Landlord Be Old Woman
1994 Bad Girls Chinese Herbalist
1990 Forbidden Nights (TV Movie) Vice Dean Yin
1988 Hunter (TV Series): Honorable Procession Mrs. Chin
1987 Le palanquin des larmes Mime Chen
1987 Daniel and the Towers (TV Movie) Lynn Chow
1986 American Geisha (TV Movie) Kangoro's Mother
1986 Beverly Hills Madam (TV Movie) Lil's maid
1986 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV Series): The Canary Sedan Herbalist
1986 Scarecrow and Mrs. King (TV Series): The eyes Have it unknown
1986 MacGyver (TV Series): Deathlock Mrs. Chung
1985 The Lady from Yesterday (TV Movie) Mai Ling Luong
1985 Into the Night Mrs. Yakamura
1985 Street Hawk (TV Series): Chinatown Memories Auntie Pearl
1985 Airwolf (TV Series): The American Dream Mae's Mother
1981-1983 Marco Polo (TV Mini-Series): Empress Chabi; Episode #1.8, 1.6, 1.5, & 1.4 Empress Chabi
1982 Magnum, P.I. (TV Series): Almost Home Mrs. Iko Tamura
1982 Quincy M.E. (TV Series): Sleeping Dogs Mrs. Inoko
1982 Yes, Giorgio Mei Ling
1982 The Letter (TV Movie) Ong's Mother
1981 The Incredible Hulk (TV Series): East Winds Huyn
1980 The Children of An Lac (TV Movie) Madame Ngai
1979 Samurai (TV Movie) Hana Mitsubishi Cantrell
1979 How the West Was Won (TV Mini-Series): China Girl Ah Kam
1978 The Immigrants (TV Movie) So-Toy
1978 Meeting of Minds (TV Series): Douglass/Tz'u-his/Beccaria/DeSade: Part 1 & 2 Tz'u-Hsi/Empress Tz'u-Hsi
1977 Black Market Baby (TV Movie) Mrs. Yamato
1977 MacArthur Ah Cheu
1977 Baretta (TV Series): Big Bad Charlie Mrs. Chu
1977 Starsky and Hutch (TV Series): Starsky's Lady Dr. Quo
1976 City of Angels (TV Series): Say Goodbye to Yesterday unknown
1976 S.W.A.T. (TV Series): The Chinese Connection Madame Yang
1973–1975 Kung Fu (TV Series): The Thief of Chendo/My Brother, My Executioner/Blood Brother Madam Chun/Mai Chi/Soong's Wife
1975 The Last Survivors (TV Movie) Mrs. Peters
1975 Police Story (TV Series) The Supervisor
1973–1974 Adam-12 (TV Series): Alcohol/Rampart Division:The Senior Citizens Mrs. Tohito/Mrs. Hong Toy
1974 Chinatown maid
1974 Love, American Style (TV Series): Love and the Extra Job... Lu See
1973 Genesis II (TV Movie) Primus Lu-Chan
1973 Hawaii Five-O (TV Series): The Diamond That Nobody Stole Madame Souvang
1973 Voyage of the Yes (TV Movie) Native Nurse
1972 The Smith Family (TV Series): San Francisco Cop Anna
1971 If Tomorrow Comes (TV Movie) Midori
1971 The Rome with Love Mrs. Okada
1970–1971 The Bill Cosby Show (TV Series): To Each According to His Appetite/The March of the Antelopes Second Teacher/Mrs. Rogers
For older appearances, see: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0704511/

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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