James Shigeta

American actor and singer (1929-2014)

James Shigeta (June 17, 1929 – July 28, 2014) was an American actor, singer, musician, musical theatre/nightclub performer, and recording artist. He was best known for his roles in the movies Flower Drum Song (1961) with Nancy Kwan and Die Hard (1988) with Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. He started his career in the early 1960s and his last role was in 2009.

James Shigeta
Shigeta in 1968
Shigeta in 1968
Background information
Birth nameJames Shigeta
Born(1929-06-17)June 17, 1929
Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
DiedJuly 28, 2014(2014-07-28) (aged 85)
Los Angeles, California
Years active1959–2014
LabelsToho Records, Choreo Records, Decca, Ava Records

He shared the 1960 Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Male Newcomer with actors George Hamilton, Troy Donahue and Barry Coe.

Shigeta was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was a Sansei or third-generation American of Japanese ancestry. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for two-and-a-half years during the Korean War.

Shigeta died on July 28, 2014 in Los Angeles, California from respiratory failure, aged 85.[1]


  1. Yardley, William (July 28, 2014). "James Shigeta, 85, Leading Man in 'Flower Drum Song,' Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2014.

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