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Gordon Wong Wellesley (8 December 1894 – 1980) was an Australian-born screenwriter and writer of Chinese descent. Born in Sydney in 1894 He wrote over thirty screenplays in the United States and Britain, often collaborating with the director Carol Reed. He began his career in Hollywood in the early 1930s and worked in Britain beginning about 1935. He was married to the scriptwriter Katherine Strueby. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story at the 1942 Oscars for Night Train to Munich, which was based on his novel, Report on a Fugitive.
Gordon Wellesley Wong was born in Australia, of English and Chinese descent and was educated in London.
By 1923 his short stories such as A Lesson in Cocktails were appearing in magazines. A biography around this time called him "one of the best known commercial men in the Federated Malay states."
In 1931 he was living in Kuala Lumpur. (Another article says he was from Singapore.) He was reportedly "a business man as well as a traveler, writer, explorer and official film producer for the Malayan government." A 1931 profile said he was educated at the University of London and had directed a Malayan picture called Black Sands "which created a lot of excitement in Europe".
He travelled to Hollywood in 1931, when he was 36 years old. He sold the film rights to his novel, Pagan River to Universal. He also sold a story he wrote about the Sino-Japanese war called Shanghai Interlude which was going to be made by director John Ford and star Lew Ayres.
He was using the name "Wong Wellesley" around this time. He says he did this "because with a Chinese surname I might be expected to write nothing but Chinese stories."
In early 1939 a short story of his was published, Report on a Fugitive. It was bought by 20th Century Fox who turned it into Night Train to Munich (1940), directed by Reed and written by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat. The film was very successful in the UK and the US. In February 1942, Wellesley earned an Oscar nomination for his story for Night Train. It was the only nomination given to a British film that year.
^According to the researcher Steve Holland, he may have been born in China, the son of Florence Edith Wellesley and an unknown father named Wong. Holland suggests that Wellesley reversed his last name and middle name.
^According to a 1952 article, Wellesley was born in Sydney in 1906 and lived there until 1933 when he moved to Malaya. "This Week's Films". Northern Standard. 7 (332). Northern Territory, Australia. 31 October 1952. p. 3. Retrieved 2019 – via National Library of Australia. However considering he was regularly publishing stories in the 1920s, it is more likely his birthdate was earlier.
^Richards, Jeffrey (2010). The Age of the Dream Palace: Cinema and Society in 1930s Britain. I.B. Tauris. p. 198. ISBN9781848851221.
^Films of the Day: A Light Mixture
Campbell, George. The Bystander; London Vol. 135, Iss. 1755, (Aug 4, 1937): 192.
^Report on a Fugitive: A Drama of the Secret Service
Gordon Wellesley. Britannia and Eve; London Vol. 18, Iss. 2, (Feb 1939): 49, 48, 50-51, 110, 112-114.
^CITATIONS LISTED FOR FILM AWARDS: Selection of l0 Best Pictures Among 50 Nominations Made by Academy PRESENTATIONS ON FEB. 26 Bette Davis Receives Mention Again -- Screen Writers and Directors Honored
New York Times 09 Feb 1942: 18.
^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL New York Times 3 Oct 1941: 27.
^"The Silver Fleet": The Film Roosevelt Suggested to Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands The Tatler and Bystander; London Vol. 165, Iss. 2151, (Sep 16, 1942): 365.