Dr. Chen is an attending physician who's sacrificed everything for her career. Recently fired for a misdiagnosis that resulted in a patient's death, Chen returned when she was able to prove Dr. Weaver's negligence in the case. Their relationship remains awkward at best. Dr. Chen also gave birth to an interracial baby, alienating her from her strict, traditional family. She gave the child up for adoption.
Ming-Na, who first won attention with her critically acclaimed performance as June in Wayne Wang's feature film “The Joy Luck Club,” plays attending physician Jing-Mei Chen.
Born in Macau, China, Ming-Na and her family immigrated to New York City when she was 4. There she learned English and discovered that acting was a great way to be accepted by her new peers when she performed in a third-grade Easter play. Having moved to Pittsburgh when she was 9, Ming-Na later graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University with high honors and a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater. Her family remains in Pittsburgh, where they run a successful Chinese restaurant.
Upon returning to New York, Ming-Na performed off-Broadway, where she was discovered and then cast on “As the World Turns,” in the first contract role for an Asian actor in daytime television. She also starred in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway production of David Henry Hwang’s “Golden Child,” in Lanford Wilson’s “Redwood Curtain,” in David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow” and in the world premiere of James Lapine’s “Luck, Pluck & Virtue” at the renowned La Jolla (California) Playhouse.
Through her work, Ming-Na has traveled extensively. After completing “The Joy Luck Club” in Shanghai, she toured with her family for the first time, throughout China. She has also traveled to Paris, Brussels, Hong Kong, Manila and Mexico and worked in Thailand and Australia on the film “Streetfighter,” in which she played the female lead, Chun-Li, opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme and the late Raul Julia.
In 1995, Ming-Na was cast as Trudy in NBC’s comedy “The Single Guy.” Three years ago, she provided the title voice for Disney's animated feature film “Mulan,” where she won the inaugural Annie Award for best lead vocal performance in a feature-length film. She also co-starred opposite Wesley Snipes in “One Night Stand,” director Mike Figgis’ followup to “Leaving Las Vegas,” and recently was featured as the lead voice of ‘Aki’ in “Final Fantasy,” a computer-generated image/animated feature film.
A few years ago, Ming-Na was included on People magazine's list of the 50 Most Beautiful People and was recently named as one of the 100 most influential Asian-Americans of the past decade by “A” magazine.
Ming-Na currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor/writer Eric Michael Zee, and their baby daughter. Her birthday is November 20.