James Shigeta

Active - 1959 - 2009  |   Born - Jun 17, 1933 in Hawaii  |   Died - Jul 28, 2014   |   Genres - Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction, War, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Hawaii-born leading man James Shigeta made his first film appearance in 1959. Generally cast as everything but Hawaiian--Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan--Shigeta alternated between heroes and villains, depending on the requirements of the script (e.g. whether or not the plot is set during World War II). He briefly became a fan-magazine heartthrob when he played the romantic lead in the 1961 filmization of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song and had a memorable supporting role as a Nakatomi executive in Die Hard (1988). Though he was never a television series regular, he frequently popped up as a TV guest star. His final film role was 2009's The People I've Slept With. Shigeta died in 2014 at age 81.

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