Ken Watanabe

Description   [from Freebase]

Ken Watanabe (渡辺 謙, Watanabe Ken, born October 21, 1959) is a Japanese stage, film, and television actor. To English-speaking audiences he is known for playing tragic hero characters, such as General Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Letters from Iwo Jima and Lord Katsumoto Moritsugu in The Last Samurai, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Among other awards, he has won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Actor twice, in 2007 for Memories of Tomorrow and in 2010 for Shizumanu Taiyō. He is also known for his roles in director Christopher Nolan's Hollywood blockbusters Batman Begins and Inception. Watanabe was born in Koide, Niigata prefecture. His mother was a school teacher and his father taught calligraphy. Ken has two children. His daughter Anne Watanabe is a model. After graduating from high school in 1978, Watanabe moved to Tokyo to begin his acting career, getting his big break with the Tokyo-based theater troupe En. While with the troupe, he was cast as the hero in the play Shimodani Mannencho Monogatari, under Yukio Ninagawa's direction. The role attracted critical and popular notice.
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