Birthday: December 10, 1933 Birth
Place: Kobe, Japan Height: 5' 4"
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Mako. If you have any corrections or additions, please email
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Japanese actor Mako, born Makoto Iwamatsu, has spent most of his professional career in the United States. His first important film appearance was as Po-Han, Steve McQueen's assistant machinist, in The Sand Pebbles (1966), a performance that earned him an Oscar nomination. He remained in films into the 1990s, playing choice character parts in such films as Hawaiians (1967), Conan the Destroyer (1984), and Rising Sun (1993). Mako's TV credits include the role of Major Oshira on the weekly Hawaiian Heat (1984) and the 1990 TV movie Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes.
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 1 day after being officially announced as the voice of "Master Splinter" in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2007) movie.
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)
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