07-31 Happy birthday to France Nuyen, Born: July 31, 1939.
France Nuyen is the French actress who played the title role in “Elaan of Troyius”, a third season episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. She is also remembered for her role as Dr. Paulette Kiem on the NBC series St. Elsewhere.
She was born as France Nguyen Van-Nga in Marseille, France to a French mother and Vietnamese father.
Nuyen made her film debut portraying Liat in the hit 1958 film version of the stage musical South Pacific. Nuyen won the Daniel Bloom Award for her role in South Pacific. Nuyen followed this with a role in the 1958 film adaptation of In Love and War.
Later that same year, Nuyen began starring on Broadway opposite William Shatner in The World of Suzie Wong, with Nuyen playing the title role. She won the 1959 Theatre World Award for her performance in the play, which ran for a total of 508 performances. She was to reprise her role in the 1960 film adaptation of the play and even shot half the film, but she was suddenly replaced with Nancy Kwan. She went on to work with William Shatner again on Star Trek and at least two more times afterward: on a 1972 episode of Kung Fu and in the 1973 CBS TV movie, The Horror at 37,000 Feet.
After ending her run on Suzie Wong, Nuyen starred in such films as Diamond Head and Dimension 5. Nuyen’s television credits included a guest appearance on an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., two episodes of Gunsmoke, and a few episodes of I Spy. It was on this series that Nuyen met actor Robert Culp, whom she married in 1967 and divorced in 1970.
Nuyen has since appeared on television shows such as Hawaii Five-O, The Six Million Dollar Man, Charlie’s Angels, Fantasy Island, Trapper John, M.D. , Magnum, P.I., Murder, She Wrote, and the 1990s version of The Outer Limits. From 1986 through 1988, Nuyen starred as Dr. Paulette Kim on the series St. Elsewhere. In 1990, she had a recurring role on the long-running prime-time soap, Knots Landing.
Her later film credits include Battle for the Planet of the Apes, The Joy Luck Club, and The Battle of Shaker Heights. She also starred in the 1994 film A Passion to Kill and in 1995’s Angry Cafe. She was also seen in the 2007 drama The American Standards.
In addition to acting, Nuyen is also a certified psychologist. She received a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in 1986 and became a psychological counselor for abused women and children, women in prison, and drug abusers. She was named “Woman of the Year” in 1989 for her psychological work, in addition to numerous commendations and awards.
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