Tatsuya Nakadai

Active - 1957 - 2015  |   Born - Dec 13, 1932   |   Genres - Drama, Action, Adventure

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Biography by AllMovie

Svelte leading man Tatsuya Nakadai has worked with some of the most respected directors in Japan during his 50-year acting career. His first notable role was as the hero of Masaki Kobayashi's trilogy, Ningen No Joken (The Human Condition). Completing the trilogy in 1961, he became an international star and began a longtime collaboration with legendary director Akira Kurasawa. In Yojimbo, he played the villainous foil to leading man Toshiro Mifune, a position he would often repeat throughout his career. Though he would continue to work with Kobayashi throughout the '60s for Kwaidan, Harakiri, and Rebellion, he also worked under director Hiroshi Teshigahara for the moody Frankenstein story The Face of Another. He began starring in several films from director Kon Ichikawa, starti`ng with the docudrama Enjo. In the '70s, he did a string of films with director Hideo Gosha starting with the samurai film Goyokin. During this time, actor Mifune and director Kurosawa finally severed their ties after experiencing difficulties working together. Kurosawa waited for Nakadai to finish up on a theater project, seeing him as the only possible leading man to replace Mifune for the starring double role in Kagemusha in 1980. Kurosawa picked him again as the lead for the King Lear counterpart role in the Shakespeare-inspired Ran. Other than minor roles, he didn't work that much in the '90s after losing his wife of 40 years, Tomoe Ryu, which proved to be an experience that would inform his later work. After granting interviews to a few Kurosawa documentaries, Nakadai returned to leading man status for To Dance With the White Dog in 2002, a drama about an elderly man coping with the loss of his wife.

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