Ken was born on October 21, 1959 in a small mountain village in Niigata Prefecture. Ken’s parents were teachers, but their two children preferred cinema: Ken’s sister, Yuki Watanabe, also an actress. Ken Watanabe was born in Japan. Domestic stars over 50 without makeup (photo) For some time, Watanabe learned to play the trumpet, but due to lack of musical abilities, he did not succeed. In 1982, he chose theatrical activity for himself and, without any professional education and courses, joined the theater troupe En. In the same year, he first played the main role of a samurai in the television movie “Mibu no koiuta”, and in 1984 he first appeared in a feature film (“Children of Mac Arthur”) in the same role. Since then, the role of the samurai for several years has become the main one in the actor’s movie life. FILMOGRAPHY In Japan, Ken Watanabe’s fame brought the main role of the samurai in the 1987 television series One-Eyed Dragon Masamune. In the same 1987, Ken received his first film award from the Japanese Society of Film and Television Producers in the Best Newcomer category for his role in the film Sea and Poison. Ken Watanabe in his youth What the first wives of Hollywood handsome men look like (photo) In 1989, Watanabe was diagnosed with acute myelocytic leukemia, which caused a break in filming. In that year, the actor successfully overcame a disease, which, however, returned again – in 1994. Then Watanaba took another 2 years to overcome the terrible enemy.
World famous came to Watanaba in 2003, after the release of the film directed by Edward Zwick’s “The Last Samurai”, where you can safely say that Ken outplayed Tom Cruise, although he was practically unknown in the States before. In 2004, he was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. From that moment on, the role of courageous Japanese was entrenched on an ongoing basis to Watanabe. This was facilitated by the fact that the actor often within the framework of a narrow role can create a deep dramatic character.
The year 2005 was extremely fruitful for the talented Japanese. He first starred with Christopher Nolan (in the movie “Batman: The Beginning,” the role of the fake Ras al Ghul). The female love drama “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Rob Marshall, in which he perfectly played the dramatic role of the Chair, the subject of unattainable interest of the main character, contributed much more to Watanabe’s popularity. The film received 3 Oscars.
In 2006, the actor starred in Clint Eastwood’s war drama Letters from Iwo Jima as the actual Japanese general Kuribayashi. The piercing controversial film about the meaninglessness and brutality of the war in 2007 received an Oscar for the best sound and Golden Globe Award. In the same year, in Japan, the drama “Memories of Tomorrow” was released about the manager of a large company with Alzheimer’s disease. For this role, Ken Watanabe received the highest award from the Japanese Film Academy.
In 2010, Christopher Nolan invited Ken to one of the leading roles – wealthy businessman Saito – in his science fiction thriller “The Beginning”. The film received an Oscar in 4 nominations and raised $ 825 million in worldwide box office.
In 2014, the fantastic film Gareth Edwards “Godzilla” was released, where Watanabe played the scientist Ichiro Serizawa. And in 2015, the film “Sea of Trees” directed by Gus Van Saint put on the Cannes Film Festival. The tape narrated about the American tourist (Matthew McConaughey) and the failed suicide (Ken Watanabe) who were lost in the Japanese “suicide forest”.
In 2016, an examination of the actor revealed early cancer of the stomach. Due to his illness, he postponed his performance in the King and Me Broadway musical and went to surgery in a leading cancer clinic in Japan.
In total, Ken Watanabe has played in more than 70 films and dramas in his entire life, and has also participated in several projects as a producer and co-producer. Fearless samurai, a brilliant prince, a brave general – whoever he depicted in his cinematic life. A talented Japanese actor has repeatedly been able to overcome a serious illness and reach the heights of world popularity. KEN WATANABE’S PERSONAL LIFE In the late 80s, the actor married for the first time. Yumiko Watanabe became a wife, in a marriage with whom he had two children: son Dai Watanabe and daughter Anna, who works as a model in Tokyo and in 2016 made Ken the grandfather of two pretty twin granddaughters, and in 2017 gave him a grandson.