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James Shigeta (1929–2014)


Hawaiian-born James Shigeta was, for a time, the biggest East Asian U.S. star the country had known for decades. His up-and-down career reflected the country's changing interest in films with East Asian themes, but, when called upon, he filled both A-movie starring roles and minor T.V. guest appearances with the same cool and classy style. An ... See full bio »

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Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

Known For

Die Hard
Die Hard Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi
(1988)
Mulan
Mulan General Li
(1998)
Flower Drum Song
(1961)
Brother
Brother Sugimoto
(2000)

Filmography

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Hide Hide Show Show Actor: TV (64 credits)
 2004 Threat Matrix (TV Series)
Kang Sok-Joo
- PPX (2004) ... Kang Sok-Joo
 1997 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest (TV Series)
Mr. Yamashiro / Japanese Prime Minister / Inspector Mantjur
- Night of the Zinja (1997) ... Mr. Yamashiro / Japanese Prime Minister (voice)
- Diamonds and Jade (1997) ... Inspector Mantjur (voice)
 1996 Cybill (TV Series)
Mr. Matsuzaki
- Cybill and Maryann Go to Japan (1996) ... Mr. Matsuzaki
 1994 Babylon 5 (TV Series)
Taro Isogi
- Spider in the Web (1994) ... Taro Isogi
 1993-1994 Renegade (TV Series)
Hideo Maruyama / Mr. Ota
- Black Wind (1994) ... Hideo Maruyama
- Samurai (1993) ... Mr. Ota
 1994 Hart to Hart: Old Friends Never Die (TV Movie)
Det. Whoo
 1987-1992 Murder, She Wrote (TV Series)
Luc Lee / John Sukahara
- Sugar & Spice, Malice & Vice (1992) ... Luc Lee
- The Corpse Flew First Class (1987) ... John Sukahara
 1989 Dragnet (TV Series)
Mr. Minn
- The Payback (1989) ... Mr. Minn
 1989 Jake and the Fatman (TV Series)
Mr. Koso Nakasone
- The Way You Look Tonight (1989) ... Mr. Koso Nakasone
 1989 A Peaceable Kingdom (TV Series)
Dr Okawa
- Snake Bite (1989) ... Dr Okawa
 1989 Mission: Impossible (TV Series)
Ki
- The Lions (1989) ... Ki
 1984-1988 Simon & Simon (TV Series)
Chen / Musashi Sato / Daniel Yoshiro
- Tale of the Tiger (1988) ... Chen
- Opposites Attack (1987) ... Musashi Sato
- Revolution #9-1/2 (1984) ... Daniel Yoshiro
 1987 The Hitchhiker (TV Series)
Nishi
- Perfect Order (1987) ... Nishi
 1983-1986 Magnum, P.I. (TV Series)
Mr. Obotu / Dr. Richard Enoka
- Paper War (1986) ... Mr. Obotu
 1986 The Family Martinez (TV Movie)
Judge Yamamoto
 1985 Airwolf (TV Series)
Colonel Tranh Van Zung
- The American Dream (1985) ... Colonel Tranh Van Zung
 1984 Matt Houston (TV Series)
Lin Ha
- Blood Money (1984) ... Lin Ha
 1983 Masquerade (TV Series)
Makko
- Girls for Sale (1983) ... Makko
 1983 T.J. Hooker (TV Series)
Chow Duc Khan
- Chinatown (1983) ... Chow Duc Khan
 1982 The Renegades (TV Movie)
Jimmy Lee
 1982 Strike Force (TV Series)
Leong
- Chinatown (1982) ... Leong
 1982 Tomorrow's Child (TV Movie)
Donald Shibura
 1982 The Greatest American Hero (TV Series)
Colonel Shawn Liang
- The Hand-Painted Thai (1982) ... Colonel Shawn Liang
 1980 Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb (TV Movie)
Field Marshall Abehata
 1979 Samurai (TV Movie)
Takeo Chisato
 1979 Fantasy Island (TV Series)
General Lin Sun
- Spending Spree/The Hunted (1979) ... General Lin Sun
 1978 The Rockford Files (TV Series)
Clement Chin
- Heartaches of a Fool (1978) ... Clement Chin
 1978 Police Woman (TV Series)
Bernie Kim
- The Human Rights of Tiki Kim (1978) ... Bernie Kim
 1977 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (TV Series)
Kapala
- Wipe-Out (1977) ... Kapala
 1977 Little House on the Prairie (TV Series)
Sam Wing
- To Live with Fear: Part 2 (1977) ... Sam Wing
 1976 Once an Eagle (TV Mini-Series)
Lin Tso-Han
- Part 4 (1976) ... Lin Tso-Han
- Part 3 (1976) ... Lin Tso-Han
- Part 2 (1976) ... Lin Tso-Han
- Part 1 (1976) ... Lin Tso-Han
 1976 Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers (TV Mini-Series)
Wizard Wong
- Part IV (1976) ... Wizard Wong
- Part III (1976) ... Wizard Wong (credit only)
- Part II (1976) ... Wizard Wong (credit only)
- Part I (1976) ... Wizard Wong (credit only)
 1976 The Streets of San Francisco (TV Series)
Prosecutor
- The Thrill Killers: Part 2 (1976) ... Prosecutor
- The Thrill Killers: Part 1 (1976) ... Prosecutor
 1976 The Killer Who Wouldn't Die (TV Movie)
David Lao
 1976 S.W.A.T. (TV Series)
Lieutenant Eddie Chew
- The Chinese Connection (1976) ... Lieutenant Eddie Chew
 1976 Ellery Queen (TV Series)
Stephen Yang
- The Adventure of the Judas Tree (1976) ... Stephen Yang
 1975 Matt Helm (TV Series)
Tom McCauley
- Matt Helm (1975) ... Tom McCauley
 1975 Khan! (TV Series)
- Triad (1975)
 1974-1975 Kung Fu (TV Series)
Col. Lin Pei / Master Kwan Li
- The Garments of Rage (1974) ... Master Kwan Li
 1974 Emergency! (TV Series)
Nathan O'Brien
- Foreign Trade (1974) ... Nathan O'Brien
 1974 The Questor Tapes (TV Movie)
Dr. Chen
 1969-1972 Medical Center (TV Series)
Resident Doctor / Dr. Osaka / Doctor Osaka / ...
- Conflict (1972) ... Doctor Osaka
- Deadly Encounter (1970) ... Dr. Osaka
- Brink of Doom (1970) ... Dr. Osaka
- The V.D. Story (1970) ... Dr. Osaka
 1969-1971 Ironside (TV Series)
Toshio Watari / Il Pak Soong
- No Motive for Murder (1971) ... Toshio Watari
- Love My Enemy (1969) ... Il Pak Soong
 1970 Mission: Impossible (TV Series)
Shiki
- Butterfly (1970) ... Shiki
 1969 The Young Lawyers (TV Series)
Lee Ahn
- The Young Lawyers (1969) ... Lee Ahn
 1968 Hawaii Five-O (TV Series)
Joseph Matsukino
- Deathwatch (1968) ... Joseph Matsukino
 1968 Escape to Mindanao (TV Movie)
Lt. Takahashi
 1968 It Takes a Thief (TV Series)
Fong Sing
- When Good Friends Get Together (1968) ... Fong Sing
 1965 I Spy (TV Series)
Tommy
- Three Hours on a Sunday Night (1965) ... Tommy
 1964-1965 Ben Casey (TV Series)
Dr. Harvey Lee / Father Michael Hsueh
- The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1964) ... Father Michael Hsueh
 1965 The Bing Crosby Show (TV Series)
Joe
 1964 A Carol for Another Christmas (TV Movie)
The Doctor
 1963-1964 The Outer Limits (TV Series)
AIO Capt. Newa / Maj. Jong
- The Inheritors: Part I (1964) ... AIO Capt. Newa
- Nightmare (1963) ... Maj. Jong
 1964 The Lieutenant (TV Series)
Capt. Myang Dee
- To Kill a Man (1964) ... Capt. Myang Dee
 1964 Burke's Law (TV Series)
Sidney Ying
- Who Killed the Paper Dragon? (1964) ... Sidney Ying
 1963 Dr. Kildare (TV Series)
Dr. Roy Shigera
- One Clear, Bright Thursday Morning (1963) ... Dr. Roy Shigera
 1962 Naked City (TV Series)
James Kam
- The Contract (1962) ... James Kam
 1961 Alcoa Premiere (TV Series)
Captain
- The Fortress (1961) ... Captain
 1961 Playdate (TV Series)
Major Ri
- The Cell 5 Experience (1961) ... Major Ri
Show Show Actor: Movie (24 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack: Movie (2 credits)
Show Show Thanks: Movie (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks: TV (1 credit)
Show Show Self: TV (12 credits)
Show Show Self: Documentary (2 credits)
Show Show Self: Video (2 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (3 credits)

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Personal Details

Height:

5' 9½" (1.77 m)
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Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

I think an actor's life is necessarily self-involved. And that's what I would like to get away from. See more »

Trivia:

On April 18, 2005, he was awarded a Visionary Award from East West Players, the nation's premier Asian American theatre organization. See more »

Star Sign:

Gemini

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