Mako : Biography, Pictures, Photos, Trivia, Address, Filmography (Hawaiian Heat)

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Major Taro Oshira in Hawaiian Heat

Photos Mako Birth name: Makoto Iwamatsu
Birth date: 1933/12/10
Date of death : 2006/07/21 (73 years old)
Birth place : kobe (japon)

French Traduire

Biography for Mako

Born in Japan, Mako was living there with his grandparents while his parents studied art in the United States, when Japan and the U.S. went to war in 1941. His parents remained in the U.S., working for the Office of War Information, and, at the cessation of the conflict, were granted U.S. residency by Congress. Mako joined his parents in New York and studied architecture. He entered the U.S. Army in the early 1950s and acted in shows for military personnel, discovering a talent and love for the theatre. He abandoned his plans to become an architect and instead enrolled at the famed Pasadena Community Playhouse in California. Following his studies there, he appeared in many stage productions and on television. In 1966, he won an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his first film role, as the coolie Po-Han in The Sand Pebbles (1966). Only occasionally since have his roles reached the level of his talents, but he has worked steadily in feature films ever since. He appeared on Broadway in the leading role in Stephen Sondheim's "Pacific Overtures" and he co-founded and served as artistic director for the highly-acclaimed East-West Players theatre company in Los Angeles. After a long battle and illness from cancer, he passed away on the twenty first of July in 2006, at the age of 72. He was survived by his wife, Shizuko Hoshi, who co-starred in episodes of "M*A*S*H" (1972), as well, and his children and grand-children.

Originally from Japan, Mako arrived in the United States shortly after the Second World War, to study architecture. Made American citizen in 1956, it was under the uniform of the army that he discovered a passion for theater and comedy: thus, when he returns to civil life, he abandoned his career as an architect and joins the ranks of the Pasadena Community Playhouse. After starting on television in various series, he illustrated in the cinema in the gunboat of the Yang-Tse by Robert Wise (1966), which earned him an appointment to the Oscar and the Golden Globe for the best supporting role. He will unfortunately be confined to the second roles thereafter, and will be illustrated among others in Conan Le Barbare (1982) and Conan Le Destructor (1983), Tucker (1988), window on Pacific (1991), Sidekicks (1992), sun Levant (1992), Crying Freeman (1995), seven years old in Tibet (1997) and more recently in Pearl Harbor (2001), the guardian of the Sacred Manuscript (2003) and Memoirs of a Geisha (2006). Died on July 21, 2006 in Ventura County, California, USA (esophagus cancer) he was 72 years old.

Mako Iwamatsu was a Japanese-American actor and theater artist born December 10, 1933 in Kobe, Japan. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1939, just before the Second World War. Mako began his artistic career in the 1950s by playing in Broadway theater productions, and won a Tony Award for his role in the Pacific Overture play in 1976.

He became famous for his roles in cinema and on television, especially in the films the shock of the Titans, Conan Le Barbare and the adventurers of the Lost Ark. Mako has also played in many television series, including Mash, The West Wing and Hawaii Five-O.

In addition to his acting work, Mako was also an active activist for the rights of people of Asian origin in the United States. He founded the East West Players, a theater company in Los Angeles who devoted himself to the representation of Asian-American artists. Mako died on July 21, 2006 in Los Angeles, California, from cancer.


Photos Mako n_2 Photos Mako n_2


Title Role
Avatar: The Last Airbender Uncle / ... (30 episodes, 2005-2007)
Rise (2007) Poe
TMNT (2007) (voice) Splinter
Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Master Offay (1 episode, 2005)
Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) Sakamoto
Duck Dodgers Happy Cat / ... (4 episodes, 2003-2005)
Sokoku (2005) (TV) Leo
Genndy's Scrapbook (2005) (V) (voice) (uncredited) Narrator
The West Wing Dr. Yosh Takahashi (1 episode, 2005)
Monk Master Zi (1 episode, 2005)
Cages (2005) Tan
Grim & Evil Narrator (1 episode, 2004)
Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku (2004) (VG) (voice) Aku
Samurai Jack Aku (14 episodes, 2001-2003)
Secret Weapons Over Normandy (2003) (VG) (voice) Imperial Japanese Voices #1
Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (2003) (VG) (voice) Masataka Shima
True Crime: Streets of LA (2003) (VG) (voice) General Kim
Bus Story (2003) Father Christmas
Charmed Sorcerer (1 episode, 2003)
What's New, Scooby-Doo? The Ancient One (1 episode, 2003)
Lionheart (2003) (VG) (voice) Grumdjum
Black Sash Master Li (4 episodes, 2003)
Bulletproof Monk (2003) Mr. Kojima
Lost at Home Mr. Li (1 episode, 2003)
Pearl Harbor (2001) Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto
Diagnosis Murder Lee Moy (1 episode, 2001)
Cruel Game (2001) Straw Hat
The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne Kajimori (1 episode, 2000)
Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
Talk to Taka (2000) Mr. Hiro
Walker, Texas Ranger Dr. Henry Lee / ... (2 episodes, 1997-2000)
7th Heaven Henry Muranaka (1 episode, 1999)
Fukuro no shiro (1999) (as Mako Iwamatsu) Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Martial Law Master Reng (2 episodes, 1999)
Kyohansha (1999) (as Mako Iwamatsu) Police
JAG Ichiro Higashimori (1 episode, 1998)
Chûgoku no chôjin (1998) Shen
AlegrĂ­a (1998) Old Momo
Seven Years in Tibet (1997) Kungo Tsarong
Riot (1997) (TV) Mr. Lee (segment Gold Mountain)
Sworn to Justice (1997) Mr. Young
Dexter's Laboratory Main Title Narrator (6 episodes, 1996)
Balance of Power (1996) Matsumoto
Midnight Man (1995) Buun Som
Crying Freeman (1995) Shido Shimazaki
Platypus Man Mr. Lou (1 episode, 1995)
A Dangerous Place (1995) Sensei
Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1994) Nakano
Red Sun Rising (1994) Buntoro Iga
Frasier Sam Tanaka (1 episode, 1994)
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Li Sung (1 episode, 1994)
Cultivating Charlie (1994) Katsu
Rising Sun (1993) Yoshida-san
RoboCop 3 (1993) Kanemitsu
Sidekicks (1992) Mr. Lee
My Samurai (1992) Mr. Tszing
Nightingale (1992) Narrator
Lovejoy Toshiro Tanaka (2 episodes, 1991)
Sutoroberi rodo (1991) Frank Machida
The Perfect Weapon (1991) Kim
Pacific Heights (1990) Toshio Watanabe
Taking Care of Business (1990) Mr. Sakamoto
Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes (1990) (TV) Sgt. Moritaki
Paradise (1 episode, 1990)
Murder in Paradise (1990) (TV) Capt. Kilalo
Fatal Mission (1990) Trang
An Unremarkable Life (1989) Max Chin
The Equalizer (1 episode, 1988)
The Wash (1988) Nobu Matsumoto
Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) Jimmy Sakuyama
Silent Assassins (1988) Oyama
Tour of Duty Tran (1 episode, 1987)
Spenser: For Hire Tommy Nguyen (1 episode, 1987)
Armed Response (1986) Akira Tanaka
Behind Enemy Lines (1986) Capt. Vinh
Kung Fu: The Movie (1986) (TV) The Manchu
Hawaiian Heat (1984) TV series Maj. Taro Oshira (unknown episodes, 1984)
Hawaiian Heat (1984) (TV) Major Oshira
Conan the Destroyer (1984) Akiro 'The Wizard'
Girls of the White Orchid (1983) (TV) Mori
Testament (1983) Mike
The A-Team Lin Duk Coo
The Last Ninja (1983) (TV) Aitaro Sakura
Faerie Tale Theatre (1 episode, 1983)
The Greatest American Hero Master of Flowers (1 episode, 1983)
Magnum, P.I. Tozan (1 episode, 1983)
Quincy M.E. John Moroshima / ... (2 episodes, 1977-1982)
Voyagers! Karauna Chief (1 episode, 1982)
Bring 'Em Back Alive (1 episode, 1982)
Conan the Barbarian (1982) The Wizard / Narrator
Flamingo Road (1 episode, 1982)
The Facts of Life Mr. Wakamatsu (1 episode, 1982)
The Bushido Blade (1981) Enjiro
An Eye for an Eye (1981) James Chan
Under the Rainbow (1981) Nakomuri
Fantasy Island Kwong Soo Luke (1 episode, 1981)
H Dr. Lin Tam / ... (4 episodes, 1974-1980)
The Big Brawl (1980) Herbert
A Man Called Sloane (1 episode, 1979)
When Hell Was in Session (1979) (TV) Maj. Bai
The Incredible Hulk Li Sung (2 episodes, 1978-1979)
Supertrain Kirby (1 episode, 1979)
Salvage 1 Tishiro (1 episode, 1979)
Wonder Woman Mr. Brown (1 episode, 1979)
Columbo: Murder Under Glass (1978) (TV) Kanji Ousu
Visions Masu Murakami (1 episode, 1976)
Farewell to Manzanar (1976) (TV) Fukimoto
Hawaii Five-O Kazuo Tahashi (1 episode, 1976)
The Killer Elite (1975) Yuen Chung
Prisoners (1975) Sgt. Nguyen
Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders (1974) (TV) Tao Gan
The Island at the Top of the World (1974) Oomiak
Mannix Tami Okada (1 episode, 1974)
Ironside Phil (1 episode, 1974)
Love, American Style (segment Love and the Fortune Cookie) (1 episode, 1973)
Kung Fu Wong Ti Lu (1 episode, 1973)
Yokahama Mama (1972) (voice)
The Streets of San Francisco Kenji (1 episode, 1972)
The Streets of San Francisco (1972) (TV) Kenji
If Tomorrow Comes (1971) (TV) Tadashi
Chinmoku (1971) (as Mako Iwamatsu)
The Hawaiians (1970) Mun Ki
The Challenge (1970) (TV) Yuro
Fools (1970) Psychiatrist
The Great Bank Robbery (1969) Secret Agent Fong
The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell (1968) Calvin Coolidge Ishimura
The F.B.I. Yoshimura (1 episode, 1968)
The Big Valley Wong Lo (1 episode, 1968)
Vacation Playhouse Simba (1 episode, 1967)
The Time Tunnel Lt. Nakamura (1 episode, 1967)
F Troop Samurai Warrior (1 episode, 1967)
The Sand Pebbles (1966) Po-han
The Green Hornet Low Sing (1 episode, 1966)
The Ugly Dachshund (1966) Kenji
I Spy Jimmy / ... (3 episodes, 1965-1966)
Gidget Casey (1 episode, 1965)
Burke's Law Happy Tuava / ... (2 episodes, 1964-1965)
I Dream of Jeannie 4. Kato (1 episode, 1965)
McHale's Navy Captain Uzaki / ... (7 episodes, 1962-1964)
77 Sunset Strip Iko Nakayama (1 episode, 1963)
The Gallant Men Frank Fakuda (1 episode, 1963)


Became a naturalized citizen in 1956.

Frequently cast by Chuck Norris.

Was nominated for Broadway's 1976 Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "Pacific Overtures."

Artistic Director Emeritus of the nation's premier Asian American theatre organization, East West Players, located in the "Little Tokyo" area of Los Angeles, California, USA.

Passed away one day after being officially announced as the voice of "Master Splinter" in TMNT (2007).

In the months before his death, he was preparing to appear with his wife in an East West production of the comedy "Motty Chon." Instead of recasting the part, the company, out of respect, canceled the production.

Pioneer of Asian American theater in Los Angeles.

Wife Shizuko Hoshi is a dancer, choreographer and actress.

He was the East West Players' first artistic director in 1965. He also taught acting classes there to help pay the company's bills. The company's first home was a basement in a Silver Lake church secured by co-founder Beulah Quo. Later, it moved to a storefront on Santa Monica Blvd. Since 1998, it has been housed in the historic Union Center for the Arts and performs in a 240 seat theater.

Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch).

Received a special tribute as part of the Annual Memorial tribute at The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) (TV).

One of six Asian actors nominated for an Academy Award in an acting category. The others are Haing S. Ngor who won Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Killing Fields (1984), Miyoshi Umeki who won for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Sayonara (1957), Sessue Hayakawa nominated for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Ken Watanabe nominated for The Last Samurai (2003), and Rinko Kikuchi nominated for Babel (2006).

One of eight actors of Asian descent nominated for an Academy Award in an acting category. The others are Miyoshi Umeki who won Best Supporting Actress nominated for Sayonara (1957), Sessue Hayakawa nominated for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Ben Kingsley who won Best Actor for Gandhi (1982), Haing S. Ngor who won Best Supporting Actor for The Killing Fields (1984), Pat Morita nominated for The Karate Kid (1984), Ken Watanabe nominated for The Last Samurai (2003) and Rinko Kikuchi nominated for Babel (2006).



Spouse : Shizuko Hoshi (? - 21 July 2006) (his death) 2 children

Children: daughters Sala and Mimosa.

Author of the card

  • Creation date: 13/01/2008 by franckenstein

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