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James Shigeta ACTOR


James Shigeta was born on June 17th, 1933 in Hawaii to a family with six children total.  After completing school he moved to New York City and studied drama and English at New York University.  He then decided after earning his degree to take a break from pursuing a career in acting to serve his country and therefore, he joined the United States Marine Corps and fought in Korea during the Korean War. 
After completing his military duty, Shigeta began finding work as an actor.  He had a talent for singing and dancing and first became involved in entertaining when he won first place on a television talent show called, "Original Amateur Hour".  He began performing at a variety of clubs under a different name, the stage name, Guy Brion which he later decided in his career not to keep.
When he was given the chance to relocate to Japan and share his musical talents there, he chose to take the opportunity and became very well known in radio, television and stage.  Shigata then traveled to Australia to perform at the Empire Theatre in the, "Cherry Blossom Show" which was highly successful.
Shigeta now felt as though he was ready to share his talents with Hollywood.  He relocated back to the United States and first began appearing in more stage productions such as, "Holiday in Japan" and "The King and I". 
He first appeared on screen was in 1959 in, "The Crimson Kimono" co-starring Glenn Corbett and Victoria Shaw followed by a role in 1960 in the film, "Walk Like a Dragon".  He received a Golden Globe Award in 1960 for, "most promising newcomer".  As his career progressed he was being cast in larger roles and added a number of films to his resume such as, "Cry for Happy" (1961) starring with Glenn Ford, Miyoshi Umeki and Donald O'Connor, "Flower Drum Song" (1961) starring Nancy Kwan, Jack Soo, Benson Fong and Miyoshi Umeki, "Bridge to the Sun" (1961) starring alongside Carroll Baker, "Paradise, Hawaiian Style" (1965) starring Elvis Presley, Suzanna Leigh and Philip Ahn and the World War II epic, Midway (1976) starring Charlton Heston, Robert Mitchum, Glenn Ford, Hal Holbrook, James Coburn, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Wagner, Cliff Robertson, Pat Morita, Dabney Coleman, Christopher George, Ed Nelson, Tom Selleck, Monte Markham, Robert Weber, Mitch Ryan and Henry Fonda and "Die Hard" (1988) starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, William Atherton and Bonnie Bedelia.
Shigeta was beginning to prove himself in Hollywood to be one of the biggest Asian-American stars.  Some of his early television appearances were on, "Hawaii Five-O", "Dr. Kildare", "Burke's Law", "Naked City", "Ironside", "Emergency!" and "Murder, She Wrote".

James Shigata did not slow down in his career appearing on even more series later in his career such as, "Hart to Hart", "The Love Boat", "Renegade", "Magnum, P.I.", "Dragnet", "Beverly Hills, 90210", "Perry Mason", "Medical Center" and one of his latest film roles was in, "Avatar: The Last Airbender" (2005).
Along with his career as a stage actor, television and film actor he also did some voice over work for projects such as Disney's animated film, "Mulan" in 1998.  His last known role to date was in 2009 in, "The People I Have Slept With".    

James Shigeta passed away at age 81 peacefully in his sleep on July 28, 2014 at his home in Los Angeles, California.


2009 The People I've Slept With 
2005 Avatar: The Last Airbender 
2004 Threat Matrix 
2002 A Ribbon of Dreams 
2000 Brother
1999 Beverly Hills, 90210
1998 Mulan 
1997 Drive 
1997 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest 
1997 Space Marines
1996 Cybill 
1995 Midnight Man 
1994 Cage II
1994 Babylon 5
1993-1994 Renegade
1994 Hart to Hart: Old Friends Never Die
1994 SeaQuest 2032
1987-1992 Murder, She Wrote
1990 China Cry: A True Story
1989 Jake and the Fatman
1989 Dragnet
1989 A Peaceable Kingdom
1989 Cage 
1989 Mission: Impossible 
1988 Die Hard 
1984-1988 Simon & Simon 
1987 The Hitchhiker 
1983-1986 Magnum, P.I.
1986 The Family Martinez
1985 Airwolf
1984 Matt Houston
1983 Masquerade
1983 The Love Boat
1983 T.J. Hooker
1982 The Renegades 
1982 Strike Force 
1982 Tomorrow's Child 
1982 The Greatest American Hero 
1980 Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb
1979 Samurai 
1979 Fantasy Island
1978 The Rockford Files 
1978 Police Woman 
1977 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries 
1977 Little House on the Prairie 
1976 Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers
1976 Once an Eagle 
1976 Midway
1976 The Streets of San Francisco
1976 The Killer Who Wouldn't Die
1976 S.W.A.T.
1976 Ellery Queen
1975 Matt Helm 
1975 Khan!
1974-1975 Kung Fu
1974 The Yakuza
1974 Emergency!
1974 The Questor Tapes 
1973 Lost Horizon 
1969-1972 Medical Center
1969-1971 Ironside
1970 Mission: Impossible
1969 The Young Lawyers 
1968 Hawaii Five-O
1968 Escape to Mindanao 
1968 It Takes a Thief 
1968 Nobody's Perfect
1968 Manila, Open City 
1967 The Mystery of the Chinese Junk 
1966 Paradise, Hawaiian Style
1966 Tre pistole contro Cesare
1965 I Spy 
1964-1965 Ben Casey 
1965 Perry Mason 
1965 The Bing Crosby Show
1964 Carol for Another Christmas
1963-1964 The Outer Limits 
1964 The Lieutenant 
1964 Burke's Law
1963 Dr. Kildare 
1962 Naked City
1961 Playdate 
1961 Flower Drum Song 
1961 Alcoa Premiere
1961 Bridge to the Sun 
1961 Cry for Happy 
1960 Walk Like a Dragon 
1959 The Crimson Kimono

Matinee Classics - Matt Helm starring Anthony Franciosa, Ann Turkel, Laraine Stephens, Patrick Macnee, John Vernon, Val Bisoglio, Gene Evans, Michael C. Gwynne, Hari Rhodes, James Shigeta, Catherine Bach, Richard E. Butler, Frank Campanella, Charlie Picerni, Joan Shawlee and Marc Alaimo
Matinee Classics - Midway starring Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Hal Holbrook, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Mitchum, Cliff Robertson, James Shigeta, Pat Morita, Eddie Albert, Dabney Coleman, Glenn Corbett, Kevin Dobson, Erik Estrada, Christopher George, Monte Markham and Mitch Ryan
Matinee Classics - Midway starring Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Hal Holbrook, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Mitchum, Cliff Robertson, James Shigeta, Pat Morita, Eddie Albert, Dabney Coleman, Glenn Corbett, Kevin Dobson, Erik Estrada, Christopher George, Monte Markham and Mitch Ryan
Matinee Classics - Paradise - Hawaiian Style starring Elvis Presley, Suzanna Leigh, James Shigeta, Philip Ahn, Donna Butterworth, Marianna Hill, Irene Tsu, Linda Wong and Julie Parrish

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