Ming-Na Wen was born on the island of Macau, forty miles from Hong Kong. She moved to Queens, New York in the United States when she was 4 years old, and then to Pittsburgh when she was 9. She found a love for acting while appearing in a third grade Easter play, where she played a klutzy bunny and made everyone laugh. Her mother was not excited about her desire to pursue acting, She preferred that she go into medicine. Nonetheless, Ming-Na graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in theatre.
Ming-Na Wen got her first acting job in 1988 on the soap opera As the World Turns (1956). Her big break came when she was cast in The Joy Luck Club (1993). She co-starred in a successful sitcom, The Single Guy, then starred as a doctor in the mammoth ER, standing out among a superb cast. She had recurring roles in hits such as SGU Stargate Universe, Two and a Half Men and Eureka. She starred as an FBI agent in Vanished, and played another tough doctor in Miami Medical. While she worked on camera, she was constantly doing amazing (and award-winning) voiceover work from the classic Mulan, to shows such as Final Fantasy, Batman, Phineas and Herb and Robot Chicken.
Ming-Na Wen plays two of the toughest heroines in film or TV. She created the indelible voice portrait of the warrior princess, Mulan, and she is the enforcer of enforcers, Melinda May, in Marvel’s Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., where she is the perfect warrior back up for the laconic, tougher-than-he-looks, Agent Carlson. Ming-Na Wen does her own fight stunts, and brings an intensity to her character that is unique and thrilling. Her character is indomitable and powerful, yet compassionate and caring.
She won the 1998 Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production for Mulan (1998) and the Online Film & Television Association Best Family Actress also for Mulan. The Artemis Women in Action Film Festival 2018 honored Ming-Na Wen with the Artemis Action Paladin Award for consistently portraying characters who use their skills to protect and help others.
Ming-Na Wen met her husband after asking her acting teacher for help getting a ride to a premiere. Her instructor sent one of his students, Eric Michael Zee. Zee and Wen began dating in 1994 after Ming-Na moved permanently to Los Angeles and they married in 1995, dropping her last name, Wen, at that time. She says she is now like Ann-Margret. Eric Michael Zee is a screenwriter and, with Ming-Na, manages At Last, a boy band.