Ken Watanabe was born on October 21, in Uonuma, Japan. Both of his parents were teachers: his mother taught general education and his dad taught calligraphy. He became interested in acting at the age of 24, when a director of England's National Theater Company, where he was studying, told him that acting was his special gift. In , he moved to Tokyo to pursue acting. He drew the attention of the critics when Yukio Ninagawa , a famous Japanese director, chose him for the lead role in one of his plays, even though Ken was still an acting student. He made his first TV appearance in His big career breakthrough came when he was chosen to play the lead in the Japanese national TV drama series called "Dokugan ryu Masamune". He played a samurai leader hero, making him a household name in Japan. In , he collapsed while filming a movie in Canada due to leukemia.
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There, at a place called Cajamarca, Pizarro invites Atahualpa played now by Hio Miyazawa to a feast in his honor — only to slaughter thousands of his followers and take the emperor prisoner. As he opts for the latter, the doomed ruler tells Pizzaro not to worry unduly because he, Atahualpa, is descended from the sun and will revive the next day, just as the celestial body does time and again. For this production, along with an almost strong Japanese cast, Parco invited the English choreographer, director and former Royal Ballet soloist Will Tuckett to stage the grand-scale historical drama for which he has commissioned a massive staircase set on which to present tumultuous battles and crowd scenes. And in continuing to get into the mind of his character, as any actor must, Watanabe has encountered something of himself. Although these brought him a certain amount of fame and fortune, he was still searching for his own personal sense of worth. Then he returned again from Spain and sailed down to Peru. And that was when he met Atahualpa and some entirely different values. For instance, it has given him pause to wonder how long he will be able to do this work he loves — and what his career target actually is. Such flexibility proved especially useful when Watanabe started to work in the U.
Japanese actor Ken Watanabe returns to 'Pizarro' 35 years after his last performance in the play, this time in the lead role as the titular Spanish conquistador. Actor Koichi Sato discusses his role in "Fukushima 50," a film which looks at the events that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake. Ken Watanabe and Koichi Sato star in the first film dramatization of the meltdown at the Fukushima No. Though he rarely acknowledges the fact in public, Dai Watanabe is the son of Ken Watanabe: arguably Japan's most internationally known actor since Toshiro Mifune. Among Japanese media, the fact is common knowledge, though in interviews with Watanabe junior, the subject is often off-limits. Words of encouragement poured in for swimming star Rikako Ikee on Tuesday after she revealed she had been diagnosed with leukemia. Ikee, an year-old Tokyo Olympic gold medal hopeful who became the first female athlete to be named MVP at the Asian Games, Whether it's regular theater that gets you going these days — or you're skipping along more to musicals — as 's curtains rise, variety will be the spice of live stages this coming year.