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Actor James Shigeta dies at 81

Actor James Shigeta dies at 81

Miyoshi Umeki and James Shigeta star in "Flower Drum Song" in 1961. Photo: WENN

Die Hard actor James Shigeta has died at the age of 81.

The Asian-American actor passed away on Monday, but the cause of his death has yet to be revealed.

The Honolulu-born star studied acting at New York University before joining the United States Marines and serving during the Korean War.

His career initially started in Japan as a recording artist, but had his big break in 1959 noir film The Crimson Kimono. The following year, he won the 1960 Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer along with George Hamilton, Troy Donahue and Barry Coe.
He went on to become the top Asian-American actor in the 1960s, starring in such films as “Walk Like a Dragon,” “Cry for Happy,” “Bridge to the Sun,” and “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” with Elvis Presley.

Another one of Shigeta’s memorable roles came in 1961, in the feature adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway hit musical “Flower Drum Song.”

Later in his career, he went on to appear in hit movies such as “Lost Horizon,” “Midway”, “Cage,” Disney’s “Mulan,” and “Die Hard,” in which he played ill-fated executive Joseph Takagi.

Shigeta also had roles on the small screen, including drama “Medical Center,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Fantasy Island,” “T.J. Hooker,” “The Love Boat,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “Simon & Simon” and “Murder, She Wrote.”

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