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[FILM] Sessue Hayakawa - An Asian American Superstar

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  • madchinaman
    Sessue Hayakawa Birth name - Kintaro Hayakawa http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0370564/bio http://silentgents.com/PHayakawa.html (pictures) Mini biography Sessue
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 12, 2005
      Sessue Hayakawa
      Birth name - Kintaro Hayakawa
      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0370564/bio
      http://silentgents.com/PHayakawa.html (pictures)


      Mini biography
      Sessue Hayakawa was born on June 10, 1889 in Chiba, Japan, the son
      of the provincial governor and a member of an aristocratic family of
      the Samurai class. The young Hayakawa wanted to follow in his
      father's footsteps and become a career officer in the Japanese Navy,
      but he was turned down due to problems with his hearing.

      The disappointed Hayakawa decided to make his career on the stage.
      He joined a Japnese theatrical company that eventually toured the
      United States in 1913. The producer Thomas H. Ince spotted Hayakawa
      and offered him a movie contract. Turns in "The Wrath of the Gods"
      (1914) and "The Typhoon" (1914) turned Hayakawa into an overnight
      success. The first Asian-American star of the American screen was
      born.

      He married actress Tsuru Aoki on May 1, 1914. The next year, his
      appearance in Cecil B. DeMille's sexploitation picture The Cheat
      (1915) made Hayakawa a silent screen superstar. Playing an ivory
      merchant who has an affair with the Caucasian Fannie Ward, audiences
      were titillated when he branded her as a symbol of her submission to
      their passion. The movie was a blockbuster for Famous Players-Lasky
      (Paramount), turning Hayakawa into a romantic idol for millions of
      American women regardless of their race.

      Both garden-variety racists and those opposed to miscegenation
      between the races were outraged. Also outraged was the Japanese-
      American community, which was dismayed by DeMille's unsympathetic
      portrayal of a member of their race. The Japanese-American community
      protested the film and attempted to have it banned when it was re-
      released in 1918.

      The popularity of Hayakawa rivaled that of Caucausian male movie
      stars in the decade of the 1910s, and he became one of the highest
      paid actors in Hollywood. Hayakawa made his career in melodramas
      playing romantic heroes and charismatic heavies. He co-starred with
      the biggest female stars in Hollywood, all of whom were, of course,
      Caucasian. His pictures often co-starred Jack Holt as his Caucasian
      rival for the love of the white heroine. (Holt would later become a
      top cowboy star in the 1920s.)

      Hayakawa left Famous Players-Lasky (Paramount) to go independent,
      establishing his own production company, which was called Haworth
      Pictures. Through the end of the decade, Haworth Pictures produced
      Asian-themed films starring Hayakawa and his wife, Tsuru Aoki, that
      proved very popular. These movies elucidated the immigrant's desire
      to `crossover' or assimilate into society at large and and pursue
      the American Dream in a society free of racial intolerance. Most of
      these films are now lost.

      With the dawn of a new decade came a rise in anti-Asian sentiment,
      particularly over the issue of immigration due to the post-World War
      I economic slump. Hayakawa's films began to perform poorly at the
      box office, bringing his first American movie career to an end in
      1922.

      He moved to Japan but was unable to get a career going. Moving to
      France, he starred in "La Bataille" (1923), a popular melodrama
      spiced with martial arts. He made "Sen Yan's Devotion" (1924)
      and "The Great Prince Shan" (1924) in the U.K.

      In 1931, Hayakawa returned to Hollywood to make his talking picture
      debut in support of Anna May Wong in "Daughter of the Dragon"
      (1931). Sound revealed that he had a heavy accent, and his acting
      got poor reviews. He returned to Japan before once again going to
      France, where he made the geisha melodrama "Yoshiwara" (1937) for
      director Max Orphuls. He also appeared in a remake of "The Cheat"
      called "Le Forfaiture" (1937), playing the same role which over 20
      year earlier had made him one of the biggest stars in the world.

      After the Second World War, he took a third shot at Hollywood. In
      1949, he relaunched g himself as a character actor with "Tokyo Joe"
      (1949) in support of Humphrey Bogart and "Three Came Home" (1950)
      with Claudette Colbert. Hayakawa reached the apex of this, his third
      career, with his role as the martinet prisoner-of-war camp
      commandant in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), which brought him
      an Academy Award nomination for Best Suporting Actor. His
      performance as Colonel Saito was essential to the success of David
      Lean's film, built as it was around the battle of wills between
      Hayakawa's commandant and Alec Guinness's Colonel Nicholson, head of
      the Allied POWs. The film won the Best Picture Academy Award while
      Lean and Guiness also were rewarded with Oscars.

      Hayakawa continued to act in movies regularly until his retirement
      in 1966. He returned to Japan, becoming a Zen Buddhist priest while
      remaining involved in his craft by giving private acting lessons.

      Sessue Hayakawa died on Novemeber 23, 1973 in Tokyo, Japan of
      cerebral thrombosis. Ninety years after achieving stardom, he
      remains one of the few Asians to assume superstar status in American
      motion pictures.



      Spouse
      Tsuru Aoki (May 1914 - 18 October 1961) (her death)


      Trivia
      His father had been the governor of the Chiba Prefecture in Japan.

      His father belonged to the military nobility, but he left the Navy
      Academy for a theatrical stage career. He worked with the female
      tragic star, Sada Yacco. Then, he travelled through Europe, studying
      the classics and returned to Japan where he presented works by
      Shakespeare ("Otelo" in his own translation), Ibsen, and others, in
      the Imperial Dramatic Company. During a USA tour in 1913, 'Thomas
      Harper Ince' noticed him, and prompted him into a film career of
      exotic vilains.


      =====


      THE LEGEND
      The life of Hollywood idol Sessue Hayakawa was as glorious as the
      legend that has grown up around his Hollywood career.
      http://goldsea.com/Personalities/Hayakawas/hayakawas.html


      -

      To uphold his family's samurai tradition, Hayakawa stabbed himself
      in the abdomen more than 30 times.

      -


      Luring Hollywood's silent screen era Japanese screen star Sessue
      Hayakawa rivaled Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and John
      Barrymore in popularity with film audiences.

      Hayakawa was one of the highest paid Hollywood stars of his time,
      making over $5,000 a week in 1915, then $2 million a year through
      his own production company in 1920s. He was handsome and flamboyant
      and gave some of Hollywood's legendary parties. Hayakawa was also
      Paramount's first choice for the role of The Sheik that launched
      Rudolph Valentino's career in 1918.

      Not bad for a student from Japan who stumbled into acting during a
      vacation. in Los Angeles.

      Hayakawa was a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life. He
      was an actor, producer, author, martial artist and an ordained Zen
      monk. He starred in over 80 movies and achieved stardom on three
      continents. In one night during the peak of his success, he gambled
      away $1 million at Monte Carlo, shrugging off the loss while another
      Japanese gambler who lost a fortune committed suicide. From the
      gaudy heights of Hollywood in the early 20s, to occupied France in
      the 30s and 40s, to his academy-award nomination in 1957, Hayakawa's
      movie-like life brimmed with extraordinary adventures and
      accomplishments.

      The future matinee idol was born Hayakawa Kintaro on June 10,
      1890 in Chiba, Japan, the second eldest son of the provincial
      governor. From early on he was groomed for a career as a naval
      officer. But in 1907, at 17, he took a schoolmate's dare to swim to
      the bottom of a lagoon and ruptured an eardrum. He was studying at
      the Naval Academy in Etajima but his perfect health was now
      shattered and he failed the navy's rigorous physical. His proud
      father became depressed, humiliated and shamed. Consequently, the
      father-son relationship suffered.

      The strained relationship between the Kintaro's drove the 18-
      year-old to decide to commit harakiri. One quiet night after dinner
      Hayakawa entered a garden shed on his parents' property, locked his
      favorite dog outside and spread a white sheet on the ground. To
      uphold his family's samurai tradition, Hayakawa stabbed himself in
      the abdomen more than 30 times. But death wasn't ready for him. The
      dog's barking alerted Hayakawa's family and his father smashed
      through the shed door with an axe in time to save his son.

      Hayakawa enrolled at the University of Chicago to study
      political economics. His family decided that if he couldn't become a
      naval officer, he would become a banker. He quarterbacked the
      university's football team. He was once penalized for using jujitsu
      to bring down a rival player.

      Three years after arriving in the U.S., Hayakawa returned
      briefly to Japan to attend his father's funeral. His older brother
      tried to entice him to stay but saw no future for himself in Japan.

      Hayakawa was on vacation in Los Angeles when he drifted into The
      Japanese Playhouse in Little Tokyo and became caught up in acting
      and staging plays. That was when he first assumed the name Sessue
      Hayakawa. One of the productions Hayakawa staged was called The
      Typhoon. A movie producer named Thomas Ince saw the production and
      offered to turn it into a silent movie using the original cast.
      Anxious to return to his studies at the University of Chicago,
      Hayakawa decided to discourage Ince by called the absurdly high fee
      of $500 a week. Ince agreed to pay it. "The second man attempted to
      grapple and I was forced to flip him over my head and let him fall
      on his neck."

      The Typhoon was filmed in 1914. Meanwhile, on May 1 of that
      year Hayakawa met and married Tsuru Aoki, a Hollywood star in her
      own right who had descended from a family of performers. The Typhoon
      was a hit. Hayakawa made two more films with Ince, The Wrath of the
      Gods with Aoki as his co-star, and The Sacrifice, before signing
      with the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company which later became
      Paramount Pictures.

      In his second film for Paramount, The Cheat, directed by Cecil
      B. DeMille, Hayakawa played a predatory Japanese art dealer who
      burns a brand on the shoulder of leading lady Fannie Mae. With this
      role Hayakawa's dashing good looks and acting styl made him an
      instant matinee idol. By 1915 his salary soared to over $5,000 a
      week. In 1917 he had the money to build as his residence a castle on
      the corner of Franklin Avenue and Argyle Street which became a
      landmark until being torn down in 1956.

      Critics of the day hailed Hayakawa's Zen-influenced acting
      style. Hayakawa sought to bring muga, or the "absence of doing," to
      his performances, in direct contrast to the then-popular studied
      poses and broad gestures.

      In the more than 20 films Hayakawa made with Paramount, he was
      typecast as the exotic lover or villain forced to relinquish the
      heroine in the last act--unless the heroine was his wife, Aoki. The
      titles of some of his films suggest Hayakawa's roles--The White
      Man's Laws, Hidden Pearls, and The Call of the East. Hayakawa played
      a South Sea Islander in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Bottle Imp. His
      wife appeared with him in Alien Souls, The Honorable Friend, The
      Soul of Sura Kan, Each to His Own Kind and Hashimura Fog.

      Many of Hollywood's leading stars were Hayakawa's friend. He is
      even credited with launching the career of Rudolph Valentino.
      Hayakawa's contract with Paramount expired in May, 1918, but the
      studio asked him to star in The Sheik. Hayakawa turned down the
      picture in favor of starting his own company. The role went to the
      unknown Valentino who rose to overnight stardom.

      Hollywood's typecasting ultimately pushed Hayakawa to form his own
      production company. He borrowed $1 million from a former classmate
      at the University of Chicago and formed Hayworth Films in 1918, with
      offices on the corner of Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards. Over the
      next three years he pumped out 23 films and netted $2 million a
      year. Hayakawa controlled his material. He produced, starred in, and
      contributed to the design, writing, editing, and directing of the
      films. His films influenced the way the American public viewed
      Asians.

      In The Jaguar's Claws , filmed in the Mojave Desert, Hayakawa
      played .a Mexican bandit. He needed 500 cowboys as extras. On the
      first night of filming, the extras got drunk all night well into the
      next day. No work was being done. Hayakawa challenged the group to a
      fight. Two men stepped forward. "The first one struck out at me. I
      seized his arm and sent him flying on his face along the rough
      ground. The second attempted to grapple and I was forced to flip him
      over my head and let him fall on his neck. The fall knocked him
      unconscious." Hayakawa then disarmed yet another cowboy. The extras
      returned to work, amused by the way the small man manhandled the big
      bruising cowboys.

      The 1919 production, The Dragon Painter, starring his wife, is
      generally considered Hayakawa's best work from that era. It was
      based on a 1906 novel by Fenollosa who had lived in Japan with her
      husband. It is the story of a painter who searches for a dragon
      princess he believes was stolen from him in another life. He
      eventually finds her but loses his desire to paint. The story was
      set in Japan but was filmed mostly in Yosemite Valley.

      his was Hayakawa's Hollywood heyday. His popularity rivaled that of
      Douglas Fairbanks and John Barrymore. He drove a gold-plated Pierce-
      Arrow . He entertained lavishly in his Hollywood castle, the scene
      of some of the film community's wildest parties. Just before
      prohibition took effect in 1920 he bought a carload of booze.
      Hayakawa once claimed that he owed his social success to his liquor
      supply. "My one ambition is to play a hero."

      Hayakawa's work lives on today in various forms. Some of his later
      films-- Geisha Boy, Tokyo Joe, Three Came Home and The Bridge on the
      River Kwai-- are available on video. In 1989 a musical based on his
      life, Sessue, played in Tokyo.

      "My one ambition is to play a hero." Sound like a sentiment
      echoing in the hearts of today's Asian American actors?. Sessue
      Hayakawa said it back in 1949.

      In his autobiography, Zen Showed Me The Way, Hayakawa
      observes, "All my life has been a journey. But my journey differs
      from the journeys of most men." How true. The highwater mark left by
      this beautiful and inspired man has yet been equaled, even in this
      supposedly enlightened age.
      A bad business deal forced Hayakawa to leave Hollywood in 1921.
      The next 15 years saw him performing in New York, France, England
      and Japan. In 1924 he made The Great Prince Chan and The Story of Su
      in London. In 1925 he wrote a novel, The Bandit Prince, and turned
      it into a short play. In 1930 he performed in a one act play written
      especially for him, Samurai, for the King and Queen of England. He
      also became very popular in France thanks to the prevailing French
      fascination with anything Asian. In 1930 Hayakawa returned to Japan
      and produced a Japanese-language stage version of The Three
      Muskateers, and adopted two girls and one boy.

      In the 1930s his career began to suffer from the rise of
      talkies, movies with sound, and a growing anti-Japanese sentiment.
      Hollywood deemed his gifts unsuited to the new talkies. Hayakawa's
      talking film debut came in 1931 in Daughter of the Dragon starring
      opposite Anna May Wong.

      In 1937 Hayakawa went to France to act in Yoshiwara and found
      himself trapped for the balance of the war by the German
      occuopation. He made a few movies during those years, but supported
      himself mainly by selling his watercolors. He had also joined the
      French underground and aided allied flyers during the war. From 1937
      Hayakawa was separated from his family until 1949 when Humphrey
      Bogart's production company tracked him down and offered him a role
      in Tokyo Joe. Before issuing a work permit, the American Consulate
      investigated Hayakawa's activities during the war. They found that
      he had in no way contributed to the German war effort. Hayakawa
      followed Joe with Three Came Home before returning to France.

      His post-war screen persona remain relatively fixed as the
      honorable villain, perhaps best exemplified in his role as Colonel
      Saito in The Bridge on the River Kwai which won the 1957 Academy
      Award for best picture. Hayakawa's performance was nominated for a
      supporting actor category. He called this role the highlight of his
      career.

      Hayakawa's wife died in 1961. By then he had became a Zen
      priest in and had returned to Japan. There he continued acting,
      appearing in The Daydreamer in 1966. He died on November 23, 1973
      from a blood clot in the brain complicated by pneumonia. He was
      survived by his adopted son Yukio, an engineer, and two daughters,
      Yoshiko, an actress, and Fujiko, a dancer.


      ==========


      Sessue Hayakawa


      More photos
      Date of birth (location)
      10 June 1889
      Nanaura, Chiba, Japan
      Date of death (details)
      23 November 1973
      Tokyo, Japan. (cerebral thrombosis)
      Mini biography
      Sessue Hayakawa was born on June 10, 1889 in Chiba, Japan, the son
      of... (show more)



      Actor - filmography
      (1960s) (1950s) (1940s) (1930s) (1920s) (1910s)

      The Daydreamer (1966) (voice) .... The Mole
      The Big Wave (1961) .... The Old Man
      Swiss Family Robinson (1960) .... Kuala, Pirate Chief
      Hell to Eternity (1960) .... Gen. Matsui


      Green Mansions (1959) .... Runi
      The Geisha Boy (1958) .... Mr. Sikita
      The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) .... Col. Saito
      House of Bamboo (1955) .... Inspector Kito
      Re mizeraburu: kami to jiyu no hata (1950)
      Re mizeraburu: kami to akuma (1950)
      ... aka Les Miserables: Gods and Demons (Japan: English title:
      literal title)
      Harukanari haha no kuni (1950) .... Joe Hayami
      ... aka The Motherland Far Far Away (International: English title)
      Three Came Home (1950) .... Colonel Suga


      Tokyo Joe (1949) .... Baron Kimura
      Quartier chinois (1947) .... Tchang
      Cabaret du grand large, Le (1946) .... Professeur Wang
      Malaria (1943) .... Saïdi
      Soleil de minuit, Le (1943) .... Matsui
      Macao, l'enfer du jeu (1942) .... Ying Tchaï
      ... aka Enfer du jeu, L' (France: first screenings title)
      ... aka Gambling Hell (USA)
      ... aka Mask of Korea (USA)
      Patrouille blanche (1942) .... Halloway


      Tempête sur l'Asie (1938) .... Le prince Ling
      ... aka Storm Over Asia
      Forfaiture (1937) .... Prince Hu-Long
      ... aka The Cheat
      Yoshiwara (1937) (uncredited) .... Isamo, Kuli
      Atarashiki tsuchi (1937) .... Iwao Yamato
      ... aka The New Earth
      ... aka The New Soil
      ... aka Tochter des Samurai, Die (Germany)
      Taiyo wa higashi yori (1932) .... Kenji
      ... aka The Sun Rise From the East
      Running Hollywood (1932)
      Daughter of the Dragon (1931) .... Ah Kee


      J'ai tué! (1924) .... Hideo the antiquarian
      ... aka Fidélité (France)
      ... aka I Have Killed (USA)
      The Danger Line (1924) .... Marquis Yorisaka
      The Great Prince Shan (1924) .... Prince Shan
      Sen Yan's Devotion (1924) .... Sen Yan
      Bataille, La (1923)
      The Vermilion Pencil (1922) .... Tse Chan/The Unknown/Li Chan
      Five Days to Live (1922) .... Tai Leung
      The Swamp (1921) .... Wang
      Where Lights Are Low (1921) .... T''Su Wong Shih
      Black Roses (1921) .... Yoda
      The First Born (1921) .... Chan Wang
      An Arabian Knight (1920) .... Ahmed
      Li Ting Lang (1920) .... Li Ting Lang
      ... aka Traditions Altar (USA: copyright title)
      The Devil's Claim (1920) .... Akbar Khan/Hassan
      The Brand of Lopez (1920) .... Vasco Lopez
      The Beggar Prince (1920) .... Nikki/Prince


      The Tong Man (1919) .... Luk Chen
      The Illustrious Prince (1919) .... Prince Maiyo
      Bonds of Honor (1919) .... Yamashito/Sasamoto
      The Dragon Painter (1919) .... Tatsu, the Dragon Painter
      The Man Beneath (1919) .... Dr. Chindi Ashutor
      His Debt (1919) .... Goto Mariyama
      A Heart in Pawn (1919) .... Tomaya
      The Courageous Coward (1919) .... Suki Iota
      The Gray Horizon (1919)
      The Temple of Dusk (1918) .... Akira
      His Birthright (1918) .... Yukio
      The City of Dim Faces (1918) .... Jang Lung
      The Bravest Way (1918) .... Kara Tamura
      The White Man's Law (1918) .... John A. Genghis
      The Honor of His House (1918) .... Count Ito Onato
      ... aka Honor of the House (USA: informal English alternative title)
      The Hidden Pearls (1918) .... Tom Garvin
      Banzi (1918)
      The Secret Game (1917) .... Nara-Nara
      The Call of the East (1917) .... Arai Takada
      Hashimura Togo (1917) .... Hashimura Togo
      Forbidden Paths (1917) .... Sato
      The Jaguar's Claws (1917) .... El Jaguar
      The Bottle Imp (1917) .... Lopaka
      Each to His Kind (1917) .... Rhandah
      The Victoria Cross (1916) .... Azimoolah
      The Soul of Kura San (1916) .... Toyo
      The Honorable Friend (1916) .... Makino
      Alien Souls (1916) .... Sakata
      Temptation (1915) .... Opera Admirer
      The Cheat (1915) .... Hishuru Tori (original release)/Haka Arakau
      (in 1918 re-release)
      The Secret Sin (1915) .... Lin Foo
      The Clue (1915) .... Nogi
      The Chinatown Mystery (1915) .... Yo Hong
      The Famine (1915) .... Horisho
      After Five (1915) .... Oki, the Valet
      The Vigil (1914)
      The Hateful God (1914) (unconfirmed)
      The Typhoon (1914) .... Tokorama
      The Death Mask (1914)
      The Village 'Neath the Sea (1914)
      The Curse of the Caste (1914)
      A Tragedy of the Orient (1914)
      The Wrath of the Gods (1914) .... Lord Yamaki
      ... aka The Destruction of Sakura-Jima or The Wrath of the Gods
      The Ambassador's Envoy (1914)
      The Geisha (1914)
      The Courtship of O San (1914)
      O Mimi San (1914)
      The Last of the Line (1914)
      Star of the North (1914)



      Filmography as: Actor, Producer, Writer, Director, Himself, Archive
      Footage, Notable TV Guest Appearances

      Producer - filmography

      The Swamp (1921) (producer)
      Where Lights Are Low (1921) (producer)
      Black Roses (1921) (producer)
      The First Born (1921) (producer)


      =========================


      Sessue Hayakawa
      http://www.silentera.com/people/actors/Hayakawa-Sessue.html


      Born 10 June 1889 in Chiba, Japan.
      Died 23 November 1973 of cerebral thrombosis.

      Married to actress Tsuru Aoki on 1 May 1914.

      Sessue Hayakawa, actor, producer, star of Cecil B. DeMille's
      sexploitation shocker The Cheat (1915), has the distinction of being
      Hollywood's first Asian male film star. Born in Chiba, Japan, he
      reputedly came from aristocratic Samurai stock. Abandoning career
      plans as a naval officer, he turned to the Japanese stage and joined
      a theatre troupe that eventually toured the American West in 1913.
      He was discovered by producer Thomas H. Ince and offered a motion
      picture contract. He was an instant success in The Wrath of the Gods
      (1914) and The Typhoon (1914).

      Following his torrid, star-making performance as Tori, the ivory
      merchant who lusts after society matron Fannie Ward in DeMille's
      blockbuster, Hayakawa was the romantic idol of millions of American
      women in the late 1910s and early 1920s. The Japanese community
      vehemently protested the film's unsympathetic portrayal and tried to
      ban its 1918 rerelease. Despite the film's controversy, he rivaled
      many the top White male stars of the 1910s, alternating charismatic
      villain and romantic hero roles with versatile ease. Alien Souls
      (1916), The Call of the East (1917), Forbidden Paths (1917), The
      Secret Game (1917), The White Man's Law (1918) and The Bravest Way
      (1918) were among the romantic melodramas in which he costarred with
      some of the screen's top leading ladies (Florence Vidor, Jane Novak,
      Marin Sais, Marjorie Daw, Bessie Love) of the period. Jack Holt
      (1888-1951) was usually cast as Hayakawa's ideologically `correct'
      rival for the heroine's love. Holt moved on to greater fame as
      Paramount's top Western and action-adventure star in the 1920s.

      In 1918, Hayakawa quit Paramount to establish his own production
      company, Haworth Pictures. He produced and headlined a string of
      popular Asian-themed films: His Birthright (1918), The Dragon
      Painter (1919) and The Tong Man (1919). He costarred with his wife,
      Tsuru Aoki. With the exceptions of The Cheat, The Secret Game (with
      Vidor and Holt) and The Tong Man that are available on VHS and DVD
      home video, many of Hayakawa's films are presumed lost. Titles such
      as The Bravest Way and The Dragon Painter are held in film archives.

      The Haworth films, usually directed by William Worthington and Colin
      Campbell, often reflected Hayakawa's `crossover' fantasies and
      American Dream aspirations of interracial tolerance and social
      accommodation. The combination of anti-Japanese immigration
      sentiments and poor box-office films forced him off the screens in
      1922. Hayakawa would seek career asylum, first in Japan and then in
      France.

      In France, he starred in La Bataille [The Danger Line] (1923) with
      Aoki, another popular East-West marital melodrama based on a popular
      novel. Other films, Sen Yan's Devotion (1924) and The Great Prince
      Shan (1924), followed in Britain. Hayakawa eventually hit the
      Hollywood `comeback' trail in 1931, making his talkie debut in Anna
      May Wong's Daughter of the Dragon (1931). His performance as Ah Kee,
      a Scotland Yard detective was poorly received and revealed a heavy
      accent. He retreated again to Japan for Mansaku Itami's Atarashiki
      tsuchi [New Earth] (1937), and then to France for Max Ophuls' geisha
      melodrama Yoshiwara (1937), and Jean Delannoy's Macao, l'enfer du
      jeu [Gambling Hell] (1939). He, ironically, reprised his old role
      for a French remake of The Cheat, entitled Le Forfaiture (1937).

      Hayakawa returned to Hollywood in 1949, costarring with Humphrey
      Bogart in Tokyo Joe (1949) and with Claudette Colbert in Three Came
      Home (1950). He received an Academy Award nomination for his next
      role as the formidable Colonel Saito, the Japanese prison camp
      commander in David Lean's epic The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).

      He retired from acting in the mid-1960s, becoming a Zen priest and
      private drama coach until his death in 1973 of cerebral thrombosis.
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