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Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe

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Also Known As: Kensaku Watanabe Died:
Born: October 21, 1959 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Koide, Niigata, JP Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

It is no wonder that actor Ken Watanabe has played many roles as a Japanese samurai throughout much his career. Like the warriors of old, Watanabe has practiced a code of humility, honor and modesty with his approach to acting and stardom-even his first name is a common moniker meaning modesty. Watanabe has also faced death with the fearlessness of the samurai when he was diagnosed with leukemia in 1989. Though he would eventually recover, Watanabe spent the first half of the 1990s in and out of the hospital. But he never despaired and once healthy, Watanabe continued his venerable acting career with the same command for respect and integrity of the most ardent warrior.

It is no wonder that actor Ken Watanabe has played many roles as a Japanese samurai throughout much his career. Like the warriors of old, Watanabe has practiced a code of humility, honor and modesty with his approach to acting and stardom-even his first name is a common moniker meaning modesty. Watanabe has also faced death with the fearlessness of the samurai when he was diagnosed with leukemia in 1989. Though he would eventually recover, Watanabe spent the first half of the 1990s in and out of the hospital. But he never despaired and once healthy, Watanabe continued his venerable acting career with the same command for respect and integrity of the most ardent warrior.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Sea of Trees (2015)
2.
 Silence (2015)
3.
 Transformers 4 (2014)
4.
 Godzilla (2014)
5.
 Hayabusa (2012)
7.
8.
 Shanghai (2011)
9.
 Inception (2010)
10.
 Shizumanu Taiyô (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1978:
Studied acting in Tokyo after high school
1980:
Joined the training studio ENGEKI-SYUDAN EN
1981:
His first appearance on the stage was the main role of "Shitaya mannencho monogatari"
1982:
Made television debut in "Michinaru Hanran"
1982:
Starred in his first samurai TV drama series, "Mibu no koiuta"
1984:
Made his film debut in "Setouchi shonen yakyudan (MacArther's Children)"
1985:
Appeared in the comedy feature "Tampopo," billed as the first Japanese noodle Western, which offered a satirical view of the relationship between food and sex
1987:
Crossed over into stardom after playing the main character of "Dokuganryu Masamune (One eyed dragon, Masamune )," a one year-long TV samurai drama series
1988:
Starred in the film "Karate Warrior"
1989:
While acting in Haruki Kadokawa's "Heaven and Earth," in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, discovered he had leukemia
1990:
Recovered from illness and appeared in the film "Bakumatsu junjouden"
1994:
Suffered a relapse and returned to the hospital; overcame the illness and began appearing on TV dramas a year later
1998:
Returned to features in "Kizuna," co-starring Kouji Yakusho
2001:
Returned to the stage after 13 years
2002:
Played two Heian-period noblemen, Michinaga Fujiwara and the husband of Lady Murasaki in "Sennen no koi -hikaru genji monogatari (Genji, a thousand-year love )"
2003:
Mainstream debut, opposite Tom Cruise and Hiroyuki Sanada in "The Last Samurai"; earned a Golden Globe, SAG and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor
2005:
Cast as Ra's al-Ghul's decoy in "Batman Begins" opposite Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman
2005:
Cast as high-powered executive the Chairman in film version of Arthur Golden's best-selling novel "Memoirs of a Geisha," directed by Rob Marshall
2006:
Starred in the Clint Eastwood WWII epic "Letters from Iwo Jima," told from the Japanese viewpoint
2006:
Starred in the Japanese drama "Ashita no Kioku (Memories of Tomorrow)"
2006:
Published autobiography <i>Dare? ¿ Who Am I?</i>
2009:
Played Hibernius Tall in the feature adaptation of "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant"
2010:
Co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in the Christopher Nolan-directed sci-fi thriller "Inception"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Koide High School: - 1978

Notes

Ken was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People for 2004

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