France Nuyen began her acting career when she appeared as Liat in the 20th Century-Fox film SOUTH PACIFIC (1958), directed by Joshua Logan. This was followed by the title role in the original Broadway stage production of The World of Suzie Wong, also directed by Joshua Logan, for which she received the Theatre World Award in 1959.
Among her numerous screen credits are Diamond Head (1963), Man in the Middle (1963), Satan Never Sleeps (1962), A Girl Named Tamiko (1962) and The Joy Luck Club (1993). She has over a hundred guest star appearances on television programs, beginning with The Ed Sullivan Show and The Perry Como Show and including Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, The Merv Griffin Show, The Dick Cavett Show, This Is Your Life – Charlton Heston, and The Tonight Show. She also co-starred on NBC’s award-winning series St. Elsewhere as Dr. Paulette Kiem.
Educated in her native country France at the Lycée Longchamp and École des Beaux-Arts, she came to America in 1956 and became a member of the Lee Strasberg Actors Studio in New York City.
At the height of her career, she decided to pursue further education and attended California State University, Los Angeles and Antioch University, earning a master’s degree in psychology. She pursued her work with abused children, women in prison, delinquent youth, prostitutes and substance abusers in the Los Angeles area and, as a result, was awarded the Woman of the Year commendation from the City of Los Angeles in 1989. In 1990, she was appointed to the Inter-Agency Council of Child Abuse and Neglect Policy Committee by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Since 1981, she has received 17 commendations and awards for her dedicated work from L.A. County, the Governor of California, and the California State Senate, among other agencies. Other awards include the Mensa Society, the Woman Warrior Award, the PACE Setter Award and the Artivist Award.
Ms. Nuyen has extensive studies in cross-cultural religion, Shamanism and folklore. She has donated countless hours as a volunteer worker in fields ranging from nature interpretation in the Santa Monica Mountains to workshops on self-image with children who are wards of the court, as well as in philosophy, Shamanism and spiritual healing.
She has taught and counseled at the Women’s Penitentiary in Chino, California, and lectured throughout the United States in connection with her work and philosophy and on the dynamics of domestic violence and child abuse. In that capacity, she has been a frequent guest on television and radio talk shows.
She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and serves on the Hollywood Board and the National Board of the Screen Actors Guild. She continues to enjoy acting and performing whenever possible.