February 13, 1929|
|Died||June 10, 1996
From his days at Keio University, Sakai worked as a jazz drummer at American Army camps during the Occupation of Japan, often doing comic routines with his music. Becoming a professional comedian, he appeared in many famous film comedies such as Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate and the Shachō and Ekimae series at the Toho Studios. He was named best actor at the Blue Ribbon Awards for his work in Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate and Shiawase wa orera no negai.
He also appeared in musicals such as Kimi mo shusse ga dekiru, serious dramas such as I Want to Be a Shellfish, and kaiju eiga like Mothra. He was also known for his personal study of the ukiyo-e artist Sharaku and helped produce the film Sharaku directed by Masahiro Shinoda. He is best known to American audiences for his dramatic role in the 1980s television production of Shōgun (TV miniseries) in which he played the part of Lord Yabu.
- Midori haruka ni (緑はるかに Midori haruka ni) (1955)
- Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate (幕末太陽伝 Bakumatsu taiyōden) (1957)
- I Want to Be a Shellfish (私は貝になりたい Watashi wa kai ni naritai) (1959)
- Hanayome-san wa sekai-ichi (1959)
- Mothra (モスラ Mosura) (1961)
- The Last War (世界大戦争 Sekai daisensō) (1961)
- Kimi mo shusse ga dekiru (君も出世ができる Kimi mo shusse ga dekiru) (1964)
- Shinran: Path to Purity (親鸞 白い道 Shinran: Shiroi michi) (1987)
- Sharaku (写楽 Sharaku) (1995)
- Frankie Sakai at the Internet Movie Database
- Frankie Sakai at the Japanese Movie Database (Japanese)