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...
Portrayed one of the mothers in the family drama "The Joy Luck Club"; based on the novel by Amy Tan
Cast opposite Charlton Heston in the film "Diamond Head"
Featured in "The Battle of Shaker Heights"
Again cast opposite William Shatner in an episode of "Star Trek" as the memorable Elaan of Troyius
Had a recurring role on "Knots Landing"
Made theatrical debut in the title role of "The World of Suzie Wong" opposite William Shatner
Returned to feature films to play a leading role in "China Cry"
Discovered by the LIFE photographer Philippe Halsman on the beach
Made feature film debut in the adaptation of the Broadway musical, "South Pacific"
Featured in the fifth and final film "Battle for the Planet of the Apes"
Appeared on the NBC daytime drama "Santa Barbara"
Moved to New York from Marseilles to begin a career as a model
Had a recurring role on the final two seasons of "St. Elsewhere" (NBC) as Dr. Paulette Kiem
Appeared in the film "A Girl Named Tamiko" opposite Laurence Harvey
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).