Barrier breaking actress Irene Tsu shares stories from her Hollywood heydays … including that time she dated Frank Sinatra for two years

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If you didn’t know Irene Tsu’s name, fans of film and tv definitely recognize her face. She has worked beside some of Hollywood’s biggest icons and started at a time when there were not many actresses on screen that looked like her.

Considered one of the very first Asian-American performers to break through Hollywood’s rigid diversity barriers, Irene has played many roles that were not originally written for an Asian woman.

Irene’s new memoir, A Water Color Dream: The Many Lives of Irene Tsu, is a passport to an anthemic personal story artistically recounted using the metaphor of watercolor brushstroke to describe the flawed beauty of life. It’s the story of a fierce soul born in Shanghai who longed to be a ballerina. Her dreams and a painfully complex relationship with her father spurred her toward greatness and success in life. 

Still working regularly today, Irene was personally handpicked by the legendary animator Glen Keane to play the role of ‘Grandma’ in his Netflix animated musical, Over the Moon – streaming this fall. And speaking of Netflix, Irene will then be seen in the upcoming Netflix drama series Away, starring Oscar winner Hilary Swank.

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