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Mie Hama Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (17) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (2)

Born in Tokyo, Japan
Height 5' 4½" (1.64 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mie Hama was born in Tokyo, Japan on November 20, 1943 in a blue-collar Tokyo family whose small cardboard factory burned down in World War II. She grew up poor. She first started out working as a bus fare collector. While working, she was spotted by producer Tomoyuki Tanaka when she was only sixteen years old, and was soon employed at Toho Studios. She appeared in a bevy of drama and sci-fi films, including King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), where she became the Giant Ape's "Damsel in Distress." She is probably best known in Western Cinema as Bond girl Kissy Suzuki, starring alongside actor Sean Connery in the 007 film You Only Live Twice (1967). That same year, King Kong Escapes (1967) was released, thus, she portrayed the spellbinding "Bond-girlish" villainess Madamn Piranha. Her extended wardrobe and enchanted bed chambers contributed to the film's "James Bond-ish" atmosphere. In addition, Hama would sometimes be referred to as "Funny Face," due to her appearances in Japan's "Crazy Cats" movies.

She became one of the most popular actresses in Japan's "Golden Age" of Cinema, but has done little acting when Japan's cinema world experienced severe financial problems. However, she did return to appear in a few films in the 1970s and 1980s, and she is seen, most recently, working as an active environmentalist, radio and television talk show host. She also married a television executive with whom she has four children.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Oliver Chu

Trivia (17)

Because of illness during filming, Mie Hama (as "Kissy Suzuki") was doubled in a diving scene (in You Only Live Twice (1967)) by, no less than, Diane Cilento - Sean Connery's wife at the time.
Had actually appeared in almost 70 movies before she got married to 007 in You Only Live Twice (1967).
Was the first Asian actress to play the main James Bond girl in You Only Live Twice (1967). Thirty years later, Michelle Yeoh became the second Asian actress to play the main Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
Has been called the Japanese Brigitte Bardot.
Her first name is pronounced "Mee-yay."
When producers for You Only Live Twice (1967) warned Mie that because she wasn't learning English quickly enough, she was going to be fired from the film, she solemnly told them that, because of her shame, she would then commit ritual suicide. Whether she was bluffing or not, the producers decided not to risk it, and instead that she switch roles with the other actress in the film Akiko Wakabayashi, since this role didn't require much dialogue.
In 2017, she fondly recalled working with Sean Connery on You Only Live Twice (1967). She described as a kindred spirit from a working-class background, who became a role model. He was a professional who was down to earth off camera, but who could magically turn into the dapper superspy at the shout of "Action!" She still respectfully calls him "Sean Connery-san." She said she now regrets not trying to speak with him more or get to know him. She never met him again after the movie's release.
Her home, made from century-old lumber that she collected from old farmhouses, is decorated like a museum of Japanese traditional crafts, with large pottery urns, stenciled fabrics and paintings of nearby Mt. Fuji on display. Absent is any poster, photograph or other hint of her prolific film career in Japan, or of her brief moment in the world limelight as the main James Bond girl in You Only Live Twice (1967). In 2017, she said she has stored them somewhere in the basement, because she doesn't like to dwell in the past.
She is a a connoisseur of folk art.
She is the author of 14 books - on child-rearing, manners and self-discovery - that have proven enormously popular among women. In 2017, she released her book "Solitude Can Be a Wonderful Thing," where she encourages other women to live in a way that is true to themselves, even if others oppose it.
When she was 40, she was driving through rural Japan. She came across an old farming village that was being torn down to build a dam. She yelled at her driver to pull over and was heartbroken to meet an old woman being forced out of her home. It became a turning point in Hama's life. She said, ""Japan was giving up its real self in its rush for economic development. I realized that Japan had to get back to its real self. And so did I." She became an advocate for preserving old farms and farming techniques.
She promoted You Only Live Twice (1967) by appearing in Playboy, but she turned down Hollywood films because they were similar to what she had already played. She then appeared in only Japanese films. A few years later, she walked out of her contract with the Japanese studio Toho to marry and raise a family, telling dumbfounded executives that she wanted "a normal life.".
She married a television executive with whom she has four children.
She thought the director, Lewis Gilbert, picked her for the main James Bond girl role in You Only Live Twice (1967) because he had seen King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), a Japanese monster movie in which she had played Kong's love interest. She had never seen a James Bond film before and had no idea what a huge hit the franchise was.
She became a television and radio host after she quit acting in films.
She didn't realize what she had gotten herself into when she signed on to do the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967) until she had arrived in London, when someone from the studio demanded a look inside her suitcase. She obligingly opened it to reveal some T-shirts and bluejeans. The studio representative told her "You're a Bond girl now. The clothes you wear, the jewelry you put on, we will manage all of that." The next day, expensive dresses began appearing at her hotel room door.
Is the first non-Caucasian actress to play the main James Bond girl in You Only Live Twice (1967). The previous main James Bond girls were Caucasian: Ursula Andress in Dr. No (1962), Daniela Bianchi in From Russia with Love (1963), Honor Blackman in Goldfinger (1964), and Claudine Auger in Thunderball (1965) .

Personal Quotes (5)

Sean Connery is a very great person; I cherish him like a sister cherishes an older brother. He could take time off work and be himself, pretty natural. He has a very humane personality. He probably affected me most. He was very concerned with the harmony of the production team of You Only Live Twice (1967) It was a long production, but I really liked him.
[In 2017, she recalled working with Sean Connery warmly, even though she hadn't seen him in 50 years]I was just a girl. Every morning, he asked if I was having any trouble. He also had a tough life before becoming a star, so he understood me.
[In 2017, 50 years after the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967) was released ] It was an honor to be a Bond girl, but once was enough. I didn't want that image to stick with me. I am actually a subdued and steady person, but I felt that somewhere beyond my control, others were creating a character named 'Mie Hama.'
[In 2017, recalling her time as a James Bond girl] Everything from my weight to the height of my heels was decided. It may have looked glamorous, but for me, it was all a huge ordeal.
It can be lonely to live on your own terms, but it is the way to real happiness. My experiences have taught me that.

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