Mako

Actor, Director, Playwright
Born and raised in Japan, Mako moved to the USA after WWII. An architecture student, he got into set design and later acting through some friends in off-Broadway theater and later studied at the Pasadena Playhouse. He ... Read more »
Born: 12/09/1933 in Japan

Filmography

Actor (78)

TMNT 2007 (Movie)

Voice of Splinter (Actor)

Avatar: The Last Airbender 2005 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Voice

Duck Dodgers 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Voice

Martial Law 1996 - 1999, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Memoirs of a Geisha 2005 (Movie)

Sakamoto (Actor)

Monk 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

The West Wing 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Walker, Texas Ranger 1996 - 2000, 2004 - 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Black Sash 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Bulletproof Monk 2003 (Movie)

Mr Kojima (Actor)

Charmed 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Lost At Home 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Samurai Jack 2000 - 2003 (TV Show)

Voice

History Vs. Hollywood 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Pearl Harbor 2001 (Movie)

Admiral Yamamoto (Actor)

Rugrats in Paris - The Movie 2000 (Movie)

of Mr Yamaguchi (Voice)

7th Heaven 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Alegria 1998 (Movie)

Old Momo (Actor)

JAG 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Riot 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Seven Years in Tibet 1997 (Movie)

Kungo Tsarong (Actor)

Sworn to Justice 1996 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Bird People of China 1996 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Sea Wolf 1996 (Movie)

(Actor)

Balance of Power 1995 (Movie)

(Actor)

Crying Freeman 1995 (Movie)

Shudo Shmizaki (Actor)

Highlander III: The Final Dimension 1995 (Movie)

Nakano (Actor)

Platypus Man 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

A Dangerous Place 1994 (Movie)

Sensei (Actor)

Blood for Blood 1994 (Movie)

(Actor)

Cultivating Charlie 1994 (Movie)

Katsu (Actor)

Frasier 1994 (Tv Show)

Actor

Rising Sun 1993 (Movie)

Yoshida-San (Actor)

Robocop 3 1993 (Movie)

Kanemitsu (Actor)

Shaky Ground 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Sidekicks 1993 (Movie)

Mr Lee (Actor)

My Samurai 1991 (Movie)

Mr Tszing (Actor)

Strawberry Road 1991 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Perfect Weapon 1991 (Movie)

Kim (Actor)

Fatal Mission 1990 (Movie)

Trang (Actor)

Pacific Heights 1990 (Movie)

Toshio Watanabe (Actor)

Taking Care of Business 1990 (Movie)

Sakamoto (Actor)

An Unremarkable Life 1989 (Movie)

Max Chin (Actor)

The Wash 1988 (Movie)

Nobu (Actor)

Tucker: the Man and His Dream 1988 (Movie)

Jimmy Sakuyama (Actor)

Silent Assassins 1987 (Movie)

Dyama (Actor)

Armed Response 1986 (Movie)

Akira Tanaka (Actor)

P.O.W. the Escape 1986 (Movie)

Captain Vinh (Actor)

Conan the Destroyer 1984 (Movie)

Akiro "The Wizard" (Actor)

Girls of the White Orchid 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Testament 1983 (Movie)

Mike (Actor)

Conan the Barbarian 1982 (Movie)

Akiro the Wizard (Actor)

The Bushido Blade 1981 (Movie)

Friend (Actor)

Under the Rainbow 1981 (Movie)

Nakamuri (Actor)

An Eye For an Eye 1980 (Movie)

James Chan (Actor)

The Big Brawl 1979 (Movie)

Herbert (Actor)

The Killer Elite 1974 (Movie)

Yuen Chung (Actor)

The Streets of San Francisco 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

If Tomorrow Comes 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Chinmoku 1971 (Movie)

Girl (Actor)

The Challenge 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

The Hawaiians 1970 (Movie)

Mun Ki (Actor)

The Great Bank Robbery 1969 (Movie)

Eliot Fong (Actor)

The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell 1968 (Movie)

Calvin Coolidge Ishimura (Actor)

The Sand Pebbles 1966 (Movie)

Po-Han (Actor)

The Ugly Dachsund 1965 (Movie)

Kenji (Actor)

Never So Few 1959 (Movie)

(Actor)

Farewell to Manzanar (TV Show)

Actor

Hawaiian Heat (TV Show)

Actor

Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes (TV Show)

Actor

Kung Fu: The Movie (TV Show)

Actor

Murder in Paradise (TV Show)

Actor

Red Sun Rising (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Ferry Home (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Ninja (TV Show)

Actor

The Nightingale (Movie)

Narrator (Voice)

When Hell Was in Session (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Born and raised in Japan, Mako moved to the USA after WWII. An architecture student, he got into set design and later acting through some friends in off-Broadway theater and later studied at the Pasadena Playhouse. He co-founded an Asian-American theater company, the East/West Players, with six other actors in 1965 and was noticed by Hollywood shortly thereafter. Mako's first major film role won him an Oscar nomination and remains his most memorable: that of Po-Han, the funny, tragic engine-room attendant and surprise boxing champ in "The Sand Pebbles" (1966), starring Steve McQueen.

A martial arts expert, Mako later appeared in many standard-issue action films such as "Armed Response" (1986), "Silent Assassins" (1988) and "The Perfect Weapon" (1991), and played many Hawaiians onscreen, as in--appropriately enough--"The Hawaiians" (1970) and the TV series "Hawaiian Heat" (1984). He played Akiro the wizard in Arnold Schwarzenegger's two "Conan" extravaganzas, but his more interesting roles have been in such offbeat items as "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" (1988); "The Wash" (1988), about the effects of divorce on a Japanese-American family; and "An Unremarkable Life" (1989), as a Chinese-American garage owner who disrupts the lives of two elderly sisters. More recently, he co-starred in one segment of the Showtime TV-movie "Riot" (1997), which examined the 1992 L.A. riots from the points of view of various city residents.

Relationships

Shizuko Hoshi

Wife
married until his death in 2006 had two daugthers together

Mimosa Iwamatsu

Daughter
mother, Shizuko Hoshi

Sala Iwamatsu

Daughter
mother, Shizuko Hoshi

EDUCATION

Pratt Institute

Brooklyn , New York

Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena , California
studied acting with Nola Chilton

Milestones

2007

Provided the voice of Splinter in "TMNT"; completed his recording before his death

2005

Guest-starred in an episode of the NBC political drama, "The West Wing," as an economics professor and former rival of President Bartlet

2005

Had a cameo role in "Memoirs of a Geisha," the feature adaptation of the best-selling novel

2003

Voiced Commander Shima in the video game "Medal of Honor: Rising Sun"

2001

Cast as Admiral Yamamoto in the film, "Pearl Harbor"

2001

Voiced the evil demon, Aku in the animated series "Samurai Jack" on the Cartoon Network

2000

Appeared in the Nickelodeon movie "Rugrats in Paris," as Coco’s boss

1997

Co-starred in one segment of the Showtime TV-movie "Riot"

1994

Portrayed the sorcerer, Nakano in "Highlander III"

1993

Played Kanemitsu in "Robocop 3"

1989

Starred in "An Unremarkable Life," as a Chinese-American garage owner who disrupts the lives of two elderly sisters

1988

Co-starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s "Tucker: The Man and His Dream"

1986

Cast in the action film, "Armed Response"

1984

Played Major Taro Oshira on the short-lived ABC police drama, "Hawaiian Heat"

1984

Reprised role as the narrator for "Conan the Destroyer"

1982

Appeared as the a wizard/narrator in "Conan the Barbarian," starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

1976

Made Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim's "Pacific Overtures", for which he received a Tony nomination

1974

Appeared on the CBS series, "M*A*S*H," in multiple roles such as a Chinese doctor, North Korean soldier, and South Korean Major

1969

Portrayed the Chinese contract laborer Mun Ki in the epic movie "The Hawaiians," starring Charlton Heston and Tina Chen

1967

TV acting debut, "Alfred of the Amazon"

1966

First notable film role, "The Sand Pebbles"; Earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor

1965

Co-founded, with six other actors the East West Players theatre company, in Los Angeles

1959

Feature debut in the American feature film, "Never So Few"

1949

Moved to New York at age 15 (date approximate)

Turned down a walk-on role in the Broadway musical "The World of Suzie Wong"

Was in school studying architecture when friends asked him to get involved with the set design for an off-Broadway production in the early 1950s

Settled in Los Angeles after serving for two years in the Korean War

Bonus Trivia

.

He is a holder of a black belt in karate.

.

Mako is a recipient of the Margaret Harford Award, bestowed by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Association, for his work with East/West Players.

SIMILAR ARTICLES