Ken Watanabe

Actor
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 ... Read more »
Born: 10/21/1959 in Koide, Niigata, JP

Filmography

Actor (24)

Shanghai 2015 (Movie)

Tanaka (Actor)

The Sea of Trees 2015 (Movie)

Takumi Nakamura (Actor)

Godzilla 2014 (Movie)

Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Actor)

Transformers: Age of Extinction 2014 (Movie)

Drift (Voice)

Yurusarezaru Mono 2013 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hayabusa: The Long Voyage Home 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

Unforgiven 2012 (Movie)

Jubee kamata (Actor)

Women on the Edge 2012 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hayabusa 2011 (Movie)

Yamaguchi (Actor)

Inception 2010 (Movie)

Saito (Actor)

Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant 2009 (Movie)

Mr Tall (Actor)

Shizumanu Taiyô 2009 (Movie)

Hajime Onchi (Actor)

Memories of Tomorrow 2007 (Movie)

Masayuki Saeki (Actor)

Letters From Iwo Jima 2006 (Movie)

General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Actor)

Batman Begins 2005 (Movie)

Ra's Al-Ghul (Actor)

Memoirs of a Geisha 2005 (Movie)

The Chairman (Actor)

The Last Samurai 2003 (Movie)

Katsumoto (Actor)

Supaas Torabaraazu 2000 (Movie)

Sakamati (Actor)

Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald 1999 (Movie)

Truck Driver (Actor)

Violent Zone 1988 (Movie)

Old Mishima (Actor)

Tampopo 1987 (Movie)

Gun (Actor)

Uni to Dokuyaku 1987 (Movie)

Toda (Actor)

MacArthur's Children 1985 (Movie)

Teetsuo Nakai (Actor)

The 69th Annual Tony Awards (TV Show)

Performer

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.

Relationships

Kaho Minami Actor

Wife
Married Dec. 3, 2005

Anne Watanabe

Daughter
Born April 14, 1986

Dai Watanabe Actor

Son
Born Aug. 1, 1984

Yumiko Watanabe

Wife
Divorced in April 2005

EDUCATION

Koide High School

Niigata 1978

Milestones

2010

Co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio in the Christopher Nolan-directed sci-fi thriller "Inception"

2009

Played Hibernius Tall in the feature adaptation of "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant"

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 Dare? – Who Am I?

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

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

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 )"

2001

Returned to the stage after 13 years

1998

Returned to features in "Kizuna," co-starring Kouji Yakusho

1994

Suffered a relapse and returned to the hospital; overcame the illness and began appearing on TV dramas a year later

1990

Recovered from illness and appeared in the film "Bakumatsu junjouden"

1989

While acting in Haruki Kadokawa's "Heaven and Earth," in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, discovered he had leukemia

1988

Starred in the film "Karate Warrior"

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

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

1984

Made his film debut in "Setouchi shonen yakyudan (MacArther's Children)"

1982

Made television debut in "Michinaru Hanran"

1982

Starred in his first samurai TV drama series, "Mibu no koiuta"

1981

His first appearance on the stage was the main role of "Shitaya mannencho monogatari"

1980

Joined the training studio ENGEKI-SYUDAN EN

1978

Studied acting in Tokyo after high school

Bonus Trivia

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

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In 2006, Watanabe revealed in his autobiography Dare? – Who Am I? that he had the Hepatitis C virus.

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The actor announced he was taking 2012 off from film work to assist with rebuilding efforts in Japan, after a tsunami struck the island nation in March 2011.

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