Wednesday, September 9, 2009 | By: Rudi Butt

Beauty Queen Goes To Hollywood

Update August 16, 2016

N.B. In connection with the recent discovery (and restoration of) the presumed lost 1927 Chinese film – Cave of the Silken Web 盤絲洞 at the National Library of Norway, the management of the Library is now desirous in making contact with Miss Judy Dan or members of her family. I've been asked by the Library to assist and hence the posting of this appeal.

Will anyone, please, who knows the whereabouts of Miss Judy Dan, or how she could be contacted, including members of her family, email me at . Any and all information will be redirected to the National Library of Norway instantaneous. Thank you.

Lost Cave of the Silken Web (1927) was directed by Dan Duyu 但杜宇 and featured Yan Mingzhu 殷明珠as lead actress. They were the parents of Miss. Judy Dan. (11/15/2013)

After achieving an incredible third runner-up title at the very first Miss Universe beauty pageant [1], 1952 Miss Hong Kong, Judy Dan 但茱迪, went to Hollywood and became the first actress from Hong Kong to appear in a US blockbuster production. She played the role of a Royal Wife in the 1956 Twentieth Century Fox musical 'The King and I' that starred Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner. Her acting career in movies and on television continued for more than a decade, but no longer in a blockbuster film.

Yan Minzhu
Born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong, Dan is the daughter of Chinese film director Dan Duyu 但杜宇 and actress Yan Mingzhu 殷明珠 (b.1904-d.1989). She worked for Cathay Pacific Airlines (not as a flight stewardess) prior to part taking in the Miss Hong Kong Beauty Contest.

Miss Hong Kong Beauty Contest, as it was known at its debut in 1946, was organized under the auspicious of the Hong Kong China Amateur Swimming Club 香港中華業余泳團 and the Royal Air Force Club, no more than 10 months after the Imperial Japanese Army surrendered to the Allied Forces in Hong Kong. The contest was staged at the Ritz Garden Nightclub 麗池花園夜總會 in North Point for the reason that club owner, Lee Choi Fat 李裁法, was in fact the organizer of the event. Lee, a protégés of Shanghai crime boss Du Yuesheng 杜月笙, was acquitted after being charged in 1945 for the crime of collaborating with the enemy during the Japanese occupation. He was well connected in the political circles in China.

At the Miss Hong Kong pageant 1952, Judy Dan was crowned by Prof. Wong Ching-Ting 王正廷 (man standing behind Dan in the photo). Prof. Wong is a very distinguished diplomat and statesman: Ph. D. from Yale University, Foreign Minister of the Nanjing Republic Government, Chinese Ambassador to USA, Chairman of Red Cross China, Life Member of IOC, etc. I have as yet found out what his relation with Lee Choi Fat was, but incidentally, Du Yuesheng was the Chairman of Red Cross Shanghai around the same time Prof. Wong was countrywide.

[1] Miss Universe was held the very first time in 1952 in Long Beach, California, USA. Number of entrants: 30. The results:

Miss Universe 1952: Armi Kuusela from Finland
1st runner-up: Elza Edsman from Hawaii
2nd runner-up Ntaizy Mavraki from Greece
3rd runner-up: Judy Dan from Hong Kong
4th runner-up: Renate Hoy from Germany

Here are some of the modern-day beauty pageants and the years when they got started:
1940Miss Shanghai, organized and held at DD’s Night Club on July 5, 1940
1946Miss Hong Kong
1951Miss World held in London and created by Eric Morley
1952Miss Universe
1952Miss USA, started off as a local “bathing beauty” competition organized by swimwear maker Catalina in Long Beach, California
1960Miss International, held in Long Beach, California after Miss Universe moved to Miami Beach

[2] Judy Dan's Filmography
1956The King and Imovie (21CF)Royal Wife (uncredited)
Flight to Hong Kongmovie (Rorvic Prod.; Sabre Prod.)Stewardess (uncredited)
Matinee Theater: The Lighted Window (June 25, s1e168)TV (NBC)unknown
The Lone Ranger: The Letter Bride (November 15, s5e10) TVMah Lin Soong
1957The Seventh Sinmovie (MGM)Mrs. Tim Waddington (uncredited)
Pal JoeymovieHat Check Girl
1958G.E. True Theater: The Cold Touch (s6e27)TVAirline Clerk
1960Wake Me When It's OvermovieGeisha Girl
Hawaiian Eye: Services RenderedTVKelly Chou
Hawaiian Eye: Services The Bequest of Arthur GoodwinTVSecretary
Pete and Gladys: No Man Is JapanTVFumiko
The Barbara Stanwyck Show: The Miraculous Journey of Tadpole ChanTVMiss Kow
Hong Kong: Blind BargainTVModel
77 Sunset Strip: The Wide-Screen CaperTVLotus Lee
Richard Diamond, Private Detective: East of DangerTVSally Fong
Johnny Ringo: Single DebtTVLisa Lu Chung
Rescue 8: Ti-Ling as KimTVKim
Sugarfoot: The HighbinderTVAh Yung
1961Bachelor Father: Peter's Punctured Wedding (November 21; s5e9)TV (ABC)Lu San
Adventures in Paradise: Queens Back to BackTVMei Ling
1962The Spiral Roadmovie (Universal Pictures)Laja
Stagecoach to Dancers' Rockmovie (Gray-Mac Prod.)
Loi Yan Wu
War Is HellmovieYung Chi Thomas
Perry Mason: The Case of the Weary Watchdog (November 29; s6e9)TV (CBS)Trixie Tong
1963My Three Sons: Honorable Grandfather (January 3; s3e16)TVMai Pah
1967Kill a Dragonmovie (Aubrey Schenck Prod.)Chunhyang
1969Get Smart: And Baby Makes Four Part 1 (November 7; s5e7)TV (NBC)
Nurse Suzie Hayakawa
Get Smart: And Baby Makes Four Part 2 (November 14; s5e8)

Appendix I

Miss Hong Kong, 1946 - 1973 (U/C)

Miss Hong Kong1st Runner-up2nd Runner-up
1946Lee Lan 李蘭, born  梁淑真Betty 白光, born 黃金鳳潘江楓
1947吳丹鳯陳安妮朱麗妍 and 白麗蓮 (dual winners)
1948鄧波兒, born 司馬音  
1952Judy Dan 但茱迪  
1954Virginia Lee 李慧珍桑蓮宜張慧珠
1959莫萍貞羅懿如王麗貞, alias 莫愁
1973Deborah Lee, born 李敏儀, alias 李嬙, alias 狄波拉  

Appendix II

Miss Hong Kong Organizaed by TVB, 1973 - 2012

Miss Hong Kong1st Runner-up2nd Runner-up
1973Elaine Sung 孫泳恩Judy Yung 容朱迪Ethel Lau 劉慧德
1974Jo Jo Cheung 張文瑛Judith Dirkin 杜茱迪Judith Dirkin 李錦文
1975Mary Cheung 張瑪莉Teresa Chu 朱翠娟Conny Kwan 關淑芬
1976Rowena Lam 林良蕙Christine Leung 梁靜文Margaret Tsui 徐美玲
1977Loletta Chu 朱玲玲Lui Shui-yung 呂瑞容Dorothy Yu 余綺霞
1978Winnie Chan 陳文玉Faustina Lin 連惠玲Regina Tsang 曾慶瑜
1979Olivia Cheng 鄭文雅Mary Ng 吳美麗Maria Chung 鍾慧冰
1980Wanda Tai 戴月娥Julia Chan 陳鳳芝Janet Wong 黃靜
1981Irene Lo 勞錦嫦Winnie Chin 錢慧儀 Deborah Moore 狄寶娜摩亞
1982Anglie Leon Leung 梁韻蕊Cally Kwong 鄺美雲 Isabella Kau 寇鴻萍
1983Cher Yeung 楊雪儀Maggie Cheung 張曼玉Eve Lee 李月芙
1984Joyce Mina Godenzi 高麗虹Margaret Ma 馬倩衡Joan Tong 唐麗球
1985Shallin Tse 謝寧Aleen Lo 羅錦如 Ellen Wong 王愛倫
1986Robin Lee 李美珊May Ng 吳婉芳 Patty Ngai 倪萱彤
1987Pauline Yeung 楊寶玲Elizabeth Lee 李美鳳Wing Lam 林穎嫺
1988Michele Monique Reis 李嘉欣Sheila Chin 陳淑蘭Cynthia Cheung 張郁蕾
1989Monica Chan 陳法蓉Donna Chu 朱潔儀Isabel Leung 梁佩瑚
1990Anita Yuen 袁詠儀Helen Yung 翁杏蘭 Noel Leung 梁小冰
1991Amy Kwok 郭藹明Valerie Chow 周嘉玲Ada Choi 蔡少芬
1992Emily Lo 盧淑儀Patsy Lau 劉殷伶Shirley Cheung 張雪玲
1993Hoyan Mok 莫可欣May Lam 林麗薇Middy Yu 余少寶
1994Halina Tam 譚小環Annamarie Wood 活麗明Theresa Lee 李綺虹
1995Winnie Young 楊婉儀Sofie Rahman  李嘉慧 Shirley Chau 周婉儀
1996Lee San-san 李珊珊Chillie Poon 潘芝莉Fiona Yuen 袁彩雲
1997Virginia Yung 翁嘉穗Vivian Lee 李明慧Charmaine Sheh 佘詩曼
1998Anne Heung 向海嵐Jessie Chiu 趙翠儀Natalie Ng 吳文忻
1999Sonija Kwok 郭羡妮Marsha Yuan 原子鏸Myolie Wu 胡杏兒
2000Vivian Lau 劉慧蘊Margaret Kan 簡佩堅 Maree Lau 劉嘉慧
2001Shirley Yeung 楊思琦Gigi Chung 鍾沛枝Heidi Chu 朱凱婷
2002Tiffany Lam 林敏俐Victoria Jane Jolly 左慧琪Cathy Wu 胡家惠
2003Mandy Lee Cho 曹敏莉Rabee'a Yeung 楊洛婷Priscilla Chi 戚黛黛
2004Kate Tsui 徐子珊Queenie Chu 朱慧敏Fu Sze-sze 符思思
2005Tracy Ip 葉翠翠Sharon Luk 陸詩韻 Carrie Lam 林莉
2006Aimee Chan 陳茵媺Janet Chow 周家蔚Koni Lui 呂慧儀
2007Kayi Cheung 張嘉兒Grace Wong 王君馨Loretta Chow 周美欣
2008Edelweiss Cheung 張舒雅Skye Chan 陳倩揚Sire Ma 馬賽
2009Sandy Lau 劉倩婷Germaine Lee 李姿敏Mizuni Hung 熊穎詩
2010Toby Chan 陳庭欣Sammi Cheung 張秀文Lisa Ch'ng 莊思明
2011Rebecca Zhu 朱晨麗Hyman Chu 朱希敏Whitney Hui 許亦妮
2012Carat Cheung 張名雅Jacqueline Wong 黃心穎Tracy Chu 朱千雪



Anonymous said...

Any updates on Judy after 1969? Did she have a role in Hong Kong's show business?

Rudi Butt said...

Thanks, but I do not have anything to add concerning Judy Dan at this time. Her acting career seemed to start and end in the United States; and nothing shows that she was ever involved in movie or television productions in Hong Kong.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a picture and the Name of Miss Hong Kong 1966 (or 1965) ?
Was it perhaps Lana Chow? Unfortunately I can not read the Chinese names!

Rudi Butt said...

Thanks for writing. Sorry, but I don't have a picture that you asked, and it wasn't Lana Chow. If you meant Lena Chow (of Hong Kong), I did find two articles about her, both dated 1965
Here's the links:
Hope she's the one you are looking for.

Dr. Norman Gold said...

I am watching an episode of the old "Lone Ranger" TV series in which Ms. Dan appeared as a mail order bride for Victor Sen Yung. She was absolutely beautiful! According to IMDB, she is still alive, and is 86 years old. As to Mr. Yung, who became very famous playing "Hop Sing" on Bonanza and had an illustrious career, his story is sad. He had opened a Chinese pottery business, and was killed by a gas leak from one of his kilns. It was estimated by the coroner that his body wasn't discovered until about ten days later. His Bonanza costar, the late Pernell Roberts, paid for his funeral.

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