February 4, 1925 - November 2, 2020 Maria was born in the Philippines to Tiaw Ping Lim and Siu Ngo Teh. She was the oldest of eight children. In the 1930s, the family moved to Shanghai, where Maria would study at St. John's University. Later, she attended Columbia University in New York. In the 1950s and 1960s, Maria worked as a film and television actress. Among her most memorable roles was as a royal wife in the film "The King and I," starring Yul Brynner. During her years in the entertainment industry, Maria met Booker McClay, who became the love of her life. Together, they enjoyed watching films and traveling around the world.Maria was known for her vivacious personality. She was a generous benefactor of many charitable organizations, including Saint John's Health Center Foundation in Santa Monica and the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena.Maria passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by her family. She is survived by her son, Lawrence, and his wife, Beverly; her siblings, William, Robert, Virginia and Lily; her siblings-in-law; and her nephews and nieces. She will be laid to rest together with Booker, who passed away in 2009, at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park.
Published in Los Angeles Times on Nov. 11, 2020.