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Professor Toru Tanaka Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (8)

Overview (4)

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NameCharles Kalani
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Built like the proverbial Patton tank, Professor Toru Tanaka was arguably the successor to Harold Sakata as the archetypal Asian henchman who possessed incredible strength, and clobbered those foolish enough to tangle with him. Born Charles Kalani, he was a successful wrestler and served for over ten years in the US Armed Forces attaining the rank of sergeant. Tanaka first appeared playing a Japanese sumo wrestler on the TV series Little House on the Prairie, however his first film role pitched him as an insidious villain in the chop socky An Eye for an Eye (1981) in which he faces down Chuck Norris before being kicked through a large table. In total, Tanaka appeared in only 23 films including appearing alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger twice in The Running Man (1987) and Last Action Hero (1993).

Appearing in The Perfect Weapon (1991) with 6th degree Kempo black belt, Jeff Speakman, Tanaka comes to a fiery end courtesy of an LPG tank!! In reality, Tanaka was far removed from his own screen persona, and was known to be a kind & generous man to all who knew him. He passed away in August, 2000 from heart failure.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44

Spouse (1)

Doris Kalani (1953 - 1987) (divorced) (3 children)

Trade Mark (1)

As a wrestler, was notorious for throwing salt into the eyes of his opponents.

Trivia (8)

Professional wrestler/actor.
Former 3-time WWF (now WWE) Tag Team Champion, with Mr Fuji.
In contrast to his villainous in-ring and on-screen persona, Charlie Kalani was a kind-hearted and generous individual.
Honorably served in the US Army from 1955 through 1966, attaining the rank of Sergeant.
Was considered for the role of Master Tatsu in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).
Professional wrestler turned character actor.
Tanaka appeared in the 1980s 'Just a Gigolo' music video by artist David Lee Roth.
Is the uncle of Leif Einarsson.

See also

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