Mary Mon Toy was an accomplished singer and showgirl, known best for her role as Minnie Ho in the Broadway production of The World of Suzie Wong. Born Mary Teruko Watanabe in 1916 in Washington state, she and her husband were incarcerated in the Minidoka Internment Camp from 1942-43. Upon their release, she separated from her husband and moved to New York to train in voice at Julliard. She was constantly told by her teachers that as an Asian she would never become an opera singer. Mary was determined to prove her teachers wrong and answered a 1946 ad for “Oriental Girls, five feet six and over” and thus began her career as a chorus girl at China Doll nightclub. She adopted a more Chinese-sounding name out of fear of deportation, and soon her exquisite voice got her promoted to the show’s “Chinese chanteuse.”
Mary would move onto vaudeville, often the only Asian American performer on the bill, and rose through the ranks of the performance circuit all the way to Broadway. She made her debut in the groundbreaking show House of Flowers as one of three non-black actors in the cast, and was soon cast as Minnie Ho in The World of Suzie Wong. The fame generated from these roles would land her spots in film and TV. She remained a staunch activist throughout her career, championing Asian representation in media. Even though she could never publicly divulge her Japanese ancestry, her life represents resilience and beauty in the face of oppression.
Mary Mon Toy是一位多才多艺的歌手和演艺女郎，她最知名的角色是在百老汇作品《苏丝黄的世界》中饰演的Minnie Ho这一人物。1916年，Mary Mon Toy在华盛顿州出生，出生时的名字是Mary Teruko Watanabe。在1942至1943年间，她和她的丈夫被监禁在专门关押日裔美国人的Minidoka拘留营中。获释后，她与丈夫分居，并搬到了纽约，在茱莉亚音乐学院接受声乐训练。她的老师经常告诉她，作为一个亚洲人，她永远不可能成为一名歌剧演员。Mary决心证明她的老师是错的，于是她回应了一则1946年的广告：“招聘东方女孩，身高1米68以上”，就此开始了她在中国娃娃夜总会的合唱女孩生涯。由于害怕被驱逐，她换了一个听起来更中国化的名字。很快，她就凭借她优美的嗓音晋升为了该演出的“中国女歌手”。
后来，Mary转行表演杂耍，她通常是演出节目单上唯一的亚裔美国演员，她在巡演中一路受到好评，最终来到百老汇。她在开创性的节目House of Flowers中首次亮相，是三位非黑人演员之一。不久后，她就在《苏丝黄的世界》中饰演了Minnie Ho一角。这些角色为她在电影电视界积累了名气。在她的职业生涯中，她是一个坚定的活动家，为亚裔在媒体界的地位而斗争。尽管她从未公开透露过自己的日本血统，但她的生活表现出面对压迫时的坚韧和美丽。