Maggie Q, whose birthday this is — she’s thirty-four — was a model in Tokyo and Taipei, though not a particularly successful one; eventually she landed in Hong Kong, did some minor film work, and was noticed by Jackie Chan, who got her a small role in Rush Hour 2, which led to bigger things.
That sort of résumé might suggest to you that she pulled this stage name out of thin air, to replace some difficult-to-spell string of characters originating somewhere in the Pacific Rim. Um, no. Think “Margaret Denise Quigley.” Her father is of Irish and Polish extraction; her mother is Vietnamese.
In addition to her film and television work — she’s the lead in Nikita, currently running on the CW — she’s done promotional material for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.