People who are half white and half Asian are sometimes called Eurasians or hapas, which is a Hawaiian term that comes from the English word half. Here are some famous ones – Americans, mainly (famous means famous enough to be in the Wikipedia):
Ann Curry, Keanu Reeves, Eddie Van Halen, Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark”; born Dean Tanaka), Miranda Cosgrove (“iCarly”), Vanessa Hudgens (“High School Musical”), Steve Berra, Maya Soetoro (Obama’s sister), Rob Schneider, Tommy Chong (of Cheech & Chong), Stacy Kamano (“Baywatch Hawaii”), Jennifer Tilly, Meg Tilly (born Margaret Chan), Lindsay Price (“Lipstick Jungle”), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (“Saved by the Bell”), Phoebe Cates, Liz Cho (ABC News), Jessica Gomes (Australian model), Enrique Iglesias, Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville”), Nancy Kwan (“The World of Suzie Wong”), Vanessa Minnillo (“TRL”), Russell Wong, Betty Nguyen (CNN), Lina Teoh (Malaysian beauty queen), Devon Aoki, Maggie Q and Lisa Joyner (TV Guide).
Those listed above were half East Asian. These are half South Asian:
Norah Jones, Boris Karloff, Sir Ben Kingsley and Yasmeen Ghauri.
These are part Asian and part white, but not necessarily half-and-half:
Bruce Lee, Yul Brynner (“The King and I”), Nicole Scherzinger (Pussycat Dolls), Patricia Ford, Michelle Branch and KT Tunstall.
As far as I know Miley Cyrus (“Hannah Montana”) is not part Asian, but she sure looks it to me, just as Hudgens and Cosgrove do:
She was caught in a picture pulling her eyes up at the corners, something white children do to Asians for some racist laughs. For someone so much in the public eye I thought she would know better, but if she is secretly part Asian it starts to make sense in a backwards way.
But my powers of observation are pretty poor when it comes to part Asians. I thought that Eddie Van Halen and Rob Schneider were plain white and Nancy Kwan was plain Asian, for example.
I once had Yasmeen Ghauri and Ann Curry on a list of white women but I was dutifully informed that they were not pure enough to count as white. The white race is the poorer for it. I remember looking at Ann Curry on the morning news – I could look at her forever – wondering if she was white or what. I did not see the Japanese in her. I thought maybe she was from Tennessee and part Cherokee or something.
To be hapa in America is different than being either White American or Asian American. For one it means having to deal with two different worlds, one white and one Asian American, belonging to both and yet belonging to neither.
Some can pass easily between the two worlds or at least within one of them, but others feel like outsiders forever in both, never fully accepted by either whites or by Asian Americans. That is the biracial experience. On top of that your parents do not understand what you are going through. So it helps if some of your friends are hapas too.