June 26, 1955
Ogden, Utah, USA
Life and career 
Watanabe was born Ogden, Utah. He was in several dramatic productions in high school, both acting and singing. After graduation, Watanabe left Ogden for San Francisco, where he hoped to make his living as a street musician while honing his acting skills.
He appeared on Broadway in 1976 in Pacific Overtures, originating the role of the Boy in a Tree, and has appeared in a number of films and television series. Watanabe appeared on Sesame Street from 1988 to 1991 and had a recurring role on ER from 1998 to 2002. In 1998 he was the voice for Ling in the Disney film Mulan and reprised the role for the 2004 direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II.
Watanabe's acting parts have been mostly caricatured East Asians with heavy accents (he does not speak Japanese). Jason Buchanan wrote for Allmovie, "The character that Gedde Watanabe is most remembered for is Long Duk Dong, the clumsy foreign exchange student in Sixteen Candles.
"I was making people laugh. I didn't realize how it was going to affect people," Watanabe said in retrospect. "It took me a while to understand that. In fact, I was working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I was accosted a couple of times by a couple of women who were just really irate and angry. They asked, 'How could you do a role like that?' But it's funny, too, because at the same time I laugh at the character. It's an odd animal."
Watanabe's role of Long Duk Dong was decried by Asian-American groups as "stereotypical, racist and part of a long history of Hollywood's offensive depictions of Asian men."
He had a starring role in both the film and ABC-TV versions of Gung Ho. The television series was scheduled against the soap opera Dallas and was quickly canceled. Watanabe has provided the voice for Japanese characters on TV's The Simpsons. From 1996 to 2003 he made occasional appearances as gay nurse Yosh Takata on the television drama ER. He appeared in the film That Thing You Do as a photographer working for studio boss Sol Siler.
Watanabe co-starred as Kuni, a karate instructor, in the 1989 movie UHF starring "Weird Al" Yankovic. He played the abusive host of a TV game show called Wheel of Fish, a cross between Wheel of Fortune and Let's Make a Deal. Watanabe reprised this role on the Weird Al Show.
- The Long Island Four (1980)
- Sixteen Candles (1984) as Long Duk Dong
- Volunteers (1985) as At Toon
- Gung Ho (1986) as Oishi Kazuhiro
- Vamp (1986) as Duncan
- The Spring (1989) as Matty
- UHF (1989) as Kuni
- Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) as Mr. Katsuji
- Boys on the Side (1995) as Steve
- Perfect Alibi (1995) as Det. Onoda
- That Thing You Do (1996) as Play-Tone Photographer
- Psycho Sushi (1997) as Yoshi
- Nick and Jane (1997) as Enzo
- Booty Call (1997) as Chan
- Mulan (1998) as Ling (voice)
- Armageddon (1998) as Asian Tourist (uncredited)
- Frank in Five (1999) as Waiter
- Guinevere (1999) as Ed
- EDtv (1999) as Greg
- Thank You, Good Night (2001) as Cafe Owner
- Slackers (2002) as Japanese Proctor
- On the Couch (2004) as Charlie
- Alfie (2004) as Wing
- Mulan II (2004) as Ling (voice)
- Two for the Money (2005) as Milton
- Fortune Hunters (2007) as Mr. Yu
- Sunny & Share Love You (2007) as Eliza's Dad, The Doctor
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) as Hotel Manager
- The Onion Movie (2008)
- Not Forgotten (2009) as Agent Nakamura
- Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword (2009) as Kenji
- Parental Guidance (2012) as Mr. Cheng
- Gung Ho (1986) as Kaz Kazuhiro
- Sesame Street (1969) episodes in (1988), as Hiroshi
- Booker (1986) "Someone Stole Lucille" episode, as Max
- On the Television (1990) "Babe Watch" and "My Five Dads" episodes, Various
- Grand (1990) "An Obtuse Triangle" episode, as Taki Mifune
- Down Home (1990) as Tran
- Murphy Brown (1988) "The Bitch's Back" episode, as Guru Prem
- Newhart (1990) "The Last Newhart" episode, as Mr. Takadachi
- Duckman (1994) "The Mallardian Candidate" (1996) episode
- Seinfeld (1996) "The Checks" episode, as Mr. Oh
- Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (1997) "The Little Mermaid" episode, as Nuri
- The Weird Al Show (1997) "Back to School" episode, as Kuni
- Rugrats (1998) "Chuckie's Duckling/A Dog's Life" episode, as Kangaroo (voice)
- Home Improvement (1999) "Home Alone" episode, as Nobo Nakamura
- The Simpsons (1989) "In Marge We Trust" (1997) episode, as Factory Foreman (voice), "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" (1999) episode, as Japanese Father (voice)
- Secret Agent Man (2000) "Uncle S.A.M." episode, as Ling
- Batman Beyond (1999) "Revenant" (1999) episode, as Principal Nakamura, "Untouchable" (2000) episode, as Dr. Suzuki
- L.A. Law: The Movie (2002) as Cyril
- My Wife and Kids (2002) "Diary Of A Mad Teen" episode, as Dr. Phil Ling
- What's New, Scooby-Doo? (2003) "Lights! Camera! Mayhem!" episode, as Vincent Wong (voice)
- ER (1997 - 2003) as Nurse Yosh Takata
- Mulan II (2004) as Ling
- Everwood (2005) "Oh, The Places You'll Go" episode, as Art
- Model Family (2006) as Terrence
- Kim Possible (2002) "Attack Of The Killer Bebes" (2002) and "Graduation: Part I" (2007) episodes, as Prof. Bob Chen
Video games 
- Ji, Hyun Lim (22 - 28 June 2001). "Backstage with Gedde Watanabe". Asian Week (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on 4 August 2001. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Buchanan, Jason. "Gedde Watanabe Biography". Starpulse.com. Starpulse.com. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Macadam, Alison (24 March 2008). "Long Duk Dong: Last of the Hollywood Stereotypes?". NPR. Retrieved 10 February 2013.