The Female Villains Wiki

Crime Queen "Dragon Lady" is an evil character in the comic "Terry and The Pirates".  She was also known as Madam Deal.  Her real name is Lai Choi San, a real-life 20th century pirate.

The character was created by Milton Caniff, and appeared in the movie serial, comic books, and TV series. The original comic [including character introduction] ran from Oct 21, 1934 to Feb 25, 1973.

In the original story Terry Lee is a 10 year old American boy who turns up in China to find a lost treasure left by his grandfather; by the time he leaves the east nearly 25 years later he is a grown man and a Captain; he raises to the rank of Colonel and in his last mission manages to being down a smuggler of illegal drugs from entering the United states. The Dragon Lady first appeared in December 1934, in the first Sunday strip story.  

She began as a stereotypically beautiful seductive and evil Asian, but as the comic strip became more realistic, the character grew more complex.


She is a woman who is dedicated to two things: making herself rich [succeeds] and tries to seduce all American hero Terry Lee [fails]. As a comic relief she has a stereotype sidekick who is blind without his glasses; reads gambling forms; and dresses like Chinese people did in 1900!

Various actresses played the Dragon Lady in the radio series of Terry and the Pirates (1937-1948), including Agnes Moorehead, Adelaide Klein and Marion Sweet.  In the 1940 film serial, the part was played by Sheila Darcy.  Gloria Saunders (1927-1980) was cast as the Dragon Lady in the brief 1953 television series, with John Baer in the title role.


  • The original cartoonist also was Milton Caniff who also drew the stereotypical all American hero Colonel Steve Canyon.