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Jennie Kwan (born September 9, 1973) is an American actress and singer. She played Samantha "Sam" Woo on California Dreams, Satoko Hōjō in When They Cry, and voiced the character Suki on Avatar: The Last Airbender.


Kwan began acting at age 11, when she started performing with the touring company, "Kids of the Century". Her first television role was in 1991 as the voice of Audrey in Little Shop, a series based on the 1986 film Little Shop of Horrors.

Kwan played Samantha Woo on NBC's hit show, California Dreams. In 1992, she auditioned for the lead role as Tiffani, but lost out to Kelly Packard. However, the incident led to them being best friends until this day. In that same year, she also appeared in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. In January 1993, she began performing the role as Kim in Chicago's production of Miss Saigon. Later that year, the producers of California Dreams called her back to join the main cast, playing the role of Sam, a foreign exchange student. Kwan replaced Heidi Noelle Lenhart (who, coincidentally, played the role of "Jenny") in the main cast and remained with the show until its cancellation in 1996.

During that year, Kwan appeared as a guest star on Family Matters, playing a snooty sorority girl, and on The Nanny, playing Mai Ling, Fran's UNICEF foster daughter. She also starred in the role of "Trish" in the film Trojan War.

In addition, Kwan played the role of student Diane in the Los Angeles production of musical Bare, a Pop Opera as well as a starring role in the one-woman play, Faces of America. Other stage credits include a brief appearance in Jewtopia as well as time playing the role of Jasmine in Aladdin. Kwan is also considered a pioneer in the web series genre for her work in the online series Fear of a Punk Planet.

In 2001, Kwan left acting for a while to join the girl group Nobody's Angel. In 2002, the members of the group received a Gold Record for their work on two songs featured on the soundtrack of The Princess Diaries. She is credited as being one of the creators of the Nobody's Angel television show for the ABC Family Network, but the series was never picked up. With the group's popularity quickly declining, highlighted by the show's failure, Nobody's Angel split up for good later that year.

Kwan returned to acting in 2005, when she played the role of female warrior Suki on the Asian-influenced animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. She starred in the Las Vegas original cast of the musical Avenue Q, and spent time starring in the national tour as an understudy for the role of Christmas Eve. In 2007, she voiced as Satoko Hojo for the English dub of Higurashi When They Cry's first season. In late 2008, Kwan was let go from the cast and released from her contract. Her bio was quickly taken off the show's site. No press release was issued announcing whether or not it was her decision to leave.

In 2009, she provided the voice for Bitgirl, Myang Myang and Edu in Random! Cartoons.

On the March 4, 2010 episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Kwan participated in the California Dreams reunion with most of her former castmates. While introducing herself, Kwan blushed after she suddenly became tongue-tied as she tried to discuss her recent television and stage work. She is presently back in theater, playing the role of Teruko in the 25th anniversary production of Tea, With Music at East West Players.

Kwan played the role of Lu Chang in the 2015 comedy, Promoted.

Personal life

Kwan, a Filipino American, was born in Los Angeles, California. She graduated high school in 1991 from Alemany High school in Mission Hills, CA. Soon after she appeared on California Dreams and other shows including ITV's Funhouse. Kwan says she was often embarrassed in high school because despite being famous, she never had a boyfriend. She is currently married to a local musician, Matthew Garrett.


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