James Shigeta, Actor, 1929 - 2014
Actor James Shigeta passed away on July 28, 2014, in Hollywood, CA, at the age of 85, due to pulmonary failure. Shigeta was born in Hawaii but first became an acting and singing star in Japan in the 1950’s while taking Japanese language lessons. His fame in Japan ultimately led to appearances Las Vegas, and then on TV and movies. His first role in Hollywood was in 1959 in The Crimson Kimono, where he was the leading man against Victoria Shaw. Subsequent leads included Bridge to the Sun and Flower Drum Song, but while Shigeta had a long career in Hollywood, he never broke out to become a major star. He did some voiceover work in Disney’s Mulan as General Li in 1998, and then as a character in Nickelodeon’s Avatar the Last Airbender.