Born to a wealthy Cantonese merchant father, Yang Naimei was named Yang Lizhu and attended the first girl’s school founded by the Chinese in Shanghai: Wuben. As a student, Yang witnessed Pearl Ing’s stunning appearance in her screen debut—Sea Oath—in 1922. When Star Film Company’s Orphan Rescues Grandfather was playing in theaters in 1923, she was deeply moved by Helen Wang’s role. According to her biographer, Shen Ji, Yang immediately had the urge to perform on screen herself (100).
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