Tuesday, July 29, 2014

James Shigeta, 1933-2014

The death has bene announces of actor James Shigeta, who died yesterday at the age of 81. Shigeta actually started off as a singer, which would explain how he got the role in Flower Drum Song. His first starring role, however, was as a police detective in the pretty darn good movie The Crimson Kimono

Another of Shigeta's movies that I'd really recommend is Bridge to the Sun, in which Shigeta plays a Japanese diplomat stationed in Washington just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Before the two countries go to war, however, the diplomat marries an American (Carroll Baker) and fathers a child by her. So when all of the Japanese are expelled after December 7, 1941, the wife makes the fateful decision to follow her husband to Japan.

In his later career, Shigeta played a banker who gets killed by Alan Rickman in the first of the Die Hard movies when he refuses to open up the bank vault for the villians, and did the voices in Mulan, one of those Disney princess movies that I obviously have no interest in.

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