~Sessue Hayakawa~

Born: June 10, 1889 in Nanaura, Chiba, Japan
Died: November 23, 1973 in Tokyo, Japan
Best remembered by international audiences for his Oscar-nominated turn as Japanese POW camp
commander Sato in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Sessue Hayakawa was one of the first
Japanese actors to have a successful Hollywood career. Born Kintaro Hayakawa in the city of Chiba
on the island of Honshu, he originally aspired to join the navy but was prevented by a partial hearing
loss. Instead, he joined his uncle's acting troupe. At age 19, Hayakawa enrolled at the University of

Upon his return to Japan, he created the Japanese Imperial Company, an international touring
troupe that came to the western U.S. in 1913. Hayakawa broke into films in 1914 after producer
Thomas Ince, the father of the studio system, saw Hayakawa perform and signed him to a film
contract. The first film in which he appeared was The Hateful God (1913). A young Hollywood had
never seen the likes of an actor such as Hayakawa. Forgoing the tendency of other silent stars to
broaden every movement, he brought an unprecedented subtlety to his exotic and initially
sympathetic roles. Hayakawa became a star after appearing in The Typhoon (1914) with his wife,
Tsuru Aoki. He played a villain in Cecil B. De Mille's The Cheat (1915). Again, he distinguished
himself by giving a naturalistic performance. While he continued to try to play romantic roles, he was
most frequently cast in villainous roles and occasionally produced films himself. In 1921, he penned a
novel and a play. He also wrote a screenplay for The Swamp.

By 1923, Hayakawa's popularity in Hollywood had waned and he moved to Europe to appear in films
such as J'ai Tué (I Have Killed) (1924). He appeared in his first sound appearance in the Hollywood
thriller Daughter of the Dragon (1931), playing Fu Manchu. The film did poorly and Hayakawa spent
the '30s working in Europe. He returned to Hollywood in the late '40s and reestablished himself as a
character actor in such films as Three Came Home (1950) and Swiss Family Robinson (1960). In the
mid-'60s, Hayakawa retired from acting, moved to Japan, and became a Zen priest and a drama

Biography by Sandra Brennan, AllMovie.com
J'ai tué! (1924) .... Hideo the antiquarian
... aka Fidélité (France)
... aka I Have Killed (USA)
The Danger Line (1924) .... Marquis Yorisaka
... aka The Battle (International: English title)
Sen Yan's Devotion (1924) .... Sen Yan
The Great Prince Shan (1924) .... Prince Shan
La bataille (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 Gray Horizon (1919) .... Yamo Masata
The Man Beneath (1919) .... Dr. Chindi Ashutor
His Debt (1919) .... Goto Mariyama
The Courageous Coward (1919) .... Suki Iota
A Heart in Pawn (1919) .... Tomaya
Banzai (1918) .... The American General
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
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 Ragamuffin (1916)...(uncredited)
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 Last of the Line (1914)
Mother of the Shadows (1914)
The Vigil (1914) .... Kenjiro
Nipped (1914)
The Hateful God (1914) (unconfirmed)
The Typhoon (1914) .... Tokorama
The Death Mask (1914)
The Village 'Neath the Sea (1914)
The Curse of Caste (1914)
Star of the North (1914)
A Relic of Old Japan (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)