Ming-Na Wen (Chinese: 温明娜; pinyin: Wēn Míngnà; born November 20, 1963) is an American actress. (She has been credited with and without her family name "Wen", but most credits since the late 1990s have been without it. She has been known by such variants of her name as Ming-Na, Ming Na, Ming Na Wen and Ming Wen.) She is known for voicing Fa Mulan, one of the Disney Princesses, in the films Mulan and Mulan II, the video game Kingdom Hearts II, and more recently on a guest appearance in the Disney animated series Sofia the First.
Wen is also known for her role as Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen on the medical drama series ER. She was the series lead of the show Inconceivable, a medical drama that was aired on NBC, but the show was short-lived. The show is one of the few American television shows with an Asian American series lead. She is also known for her roles on the main casts of the animated series The Batman and the sci-fi series Stargate Universe. Since 2013, she has starred as Melinda May in the ABC action drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Besides television, she is notable for starring in the films The Joy Luck Club, Street Fighter, and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
Her parents fled Suzhou during the Cultural Revolution and moved to Macau, then under Portuguese rule, during the 1960s. Wen was born on Wednesday, November 20, 1963, on Coloane and lived in Hong Kong with her mother, Lin Chan, who worked as a nurse, and her older brother, Jonathan. She later moved to the United States as a child with her mother, brother, and stepfather Soo Lim Yee, first to Harlem, New York, where her younger brother, Leong, was born, and then to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Wen attended high school in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. During her teen years she worked at her stepfather's family's restaurant called Chinatown Inn in downtown Pittsburgh's Chinatown, which her family still runs today.
She enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University where she graduated with high honors and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre.
Wen's first television role was in the children's television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in 1985. From 1988 to 1991, she played Lien Hughes on the soap opera As the World Turns.
After starring in the acclaimed 1993 film The Joy Luck Club, she landed the role of Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen on the NBC drama series ER. She first starred in a recurring role during the 1994-1995 season before returning in 1999 as a series regular, remaining on the show until midway through Season 11 in 2004. Wen also played Chun-Li in Street Fighter and co-starred on the sitcom The Single Guy from 1995 to 1997.
She provided the voice for the title character in Disney's 1998 animated movie Mulan, its direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II, and the video game Kingdom Hearts II, subsequently winning an Annie Award. She also voiced Aki Ross in the computer animated film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and Detective Ellen Yin in the animated series The Batman. She was also the voice actress for Jade, a minor character in the HBO animated series Spawn.
In 2004, she took part in a Hollywood Home Game on the World Poker Tour, and won. In fall 2005, she starred on the NBC drama series Inconceivable as the lead character, Rachel Lu. However, the series was canceled after only two episodes. Her next TV role was an FBI agent in the Fox kidnap drama series Vanished, which premiered in the fall of 2006 then was canceled roughly three months later. She also has played a small role as a college professor in the comedy series George Lopez.
On October 8 through October 29, 2007, Wen (billed as Ming Wen) appeared in a four-episode arc of CBS' Two and a Half Men playing Charlie Sheen's love interest, a judge closer to his own age. In November 2008, she guest-starred on two ABC series: Private Practice and Boston Legal. From December 5–6, 2008, Wen starred in a benefit production of the musical Grease with "Stuttering" John Melendez at the Class Act Theatre.
She was cast as a regular in the Stargate Universe television series as political attaché Camile Wray from October 2009 to May 2011. Wen made an appearance in "Disney Through the Decades", a short documentary about the history of the Walt Disney Company through to the present, as the hostess of the 1990s section.
Wen appeared on the Syfy series Eureka as the inquisitive U.S. Senator Michaela Wen, beginning in Season Four in 2011 and serving as a major villain in the fifth and final season in 2012.
Wen plays Agent Melinda May in the ABC action drama series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which premiered on September 24, 2013.
In August 2014, Wen reprised her role as Mulan for the first time since Kingdom Hearts II in the Disney Channel show Sofia the First. Her daughter Michaela Zee has a recurring role on the show as Princess Jun.
From 1985 to 1989 Wen was in a relationship with Australian actor Brett Hinch and juggled her commitments between the USA and Australia. In 1990, Wen married American film writer Kirk Aanes. They divorced in 1993. On June 16, 1995, Wen married her second husband, Eric Michael Zee. Together they have two children, a daughter, Michaela Kitlin, born on November 21, 2000, and a son, Cooper Dominic Zee, born on October 12, 2005. As of 2007, Wen and her family live in Calabasas, California. Michaela has followed her mother's footsteps in voice-acting, and voices Princess Jun in the Disney Channel show Sofia The First.
I am thought to be exiled gentry, a vagabond, a scandalous rogue, a troubadour, armchair tactician, amateur grifter, self taught mechanic, would be author, adventurer, rogue scholar, traveler of strange lands, and an all round near do well.