Taka as Hana-ogi with Marlon Brando
July 24, 1925 |
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Other names||Betty Ishimoto|
|Spouse(s)||Dale Ishimoto (1944-1958)
Lennie Blondheim (1963-Present)
Taka was born in 1925 in Seattle, but raised in Los Angeles, California as a Nisei; her parents had immigrated from Japan. In 1942, she was interned with her family at the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona.
After director Joshua Logan's first choice for the role of Hana-ogi, Audrey Hepburn, turned him down, he looked to cast an unknown actress. Taka, who at the time was working as a clerk at a travel agency in Los Angeles, was discovered by a talent scout at a local Nisei festival. Although she had no previous acting experience, Variety gave her a positive review in their review of the film. Warner Bros. gave her a term contract as a result of her performance in Sayonara.
After Sayonara, she steadily worked in various movies starring James Garner, Bob Hope, Cary Grant, and Toshirō Mifune (whom she also worked alongside of in the 1980 television miniseries, Shõgun). She also served as an interpreter for Mifune as well as Akira Kurosawa when they visited Hollywood 
She married Los Angeles TV news director Lennie Blondheim in 1963.
|1957||Sayonara||Hana-ogi||Screen debut, co-star with Marlon Brando|
|1958||Panda and the Magic Serpent||Fish Spirit||voice: English version|
|1960||Hell to Eternity||Ester||Stars Jeffrey Hunter|
|1961||Cry for Happy||Chiyoko||Reunites with Sayonara co-star Miyoshi Umeki|
|1961||Operation Bottleneck||Ari||Shares top billing with Ron Foster and Norman Alden|
|1963||A Global Affair||Fumiko||Stars Bob Hope|
|1965||The Art of Love||Chou Chou||Reunites with Sayonara co-star James Garner|
|1966||Walk Don't Run||Aiko Kurawa||Final film of Cary Grant's career|
|1968||The Power||Mrs. Van Zandt|
|1975||Paper Tiger||Madame Kagoyama||first movie working with Toshirō Mifune|
|1978||The Big Fix||Saleswoman||Stars Richard Dreyfuss|
|1982||The Challenge||Yoshida's wife||Last film to date|
- Makino, Jimmy. "A Japanese-American Nisei in the 20th Century". Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- Scott, John L. (May 5, 1957). "Fortune Bolt puts Miiko in Top Film Spot". Los Angeles Times. p. E3.
- Capote, Truman (November 9, 1957). "The Duke in His Domain". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- "National Archives: Miiko Shikata". Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Sayonara". Variety. January 1, 1957. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- Scheuer, Philip K. (November 17, 1958). "Faulkner Story Lifted Off Shelf, Cycle Looms; Miiko Taka to Stay On". Los Angeles Times. p. B7.
- Beyette, Beverly (August 12, 1983). "Toshiro Mifune Takes Up the Samurai Role Again". Los Angeles Times. p. G1.
- Thomas, Kevin (November 28, 2002). "WORLD CINEMA; An edgy, epic collaboration; Director Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune made 16 films together; 13 will be screening at the Nuart". Los Angeles Times. p. E16.
- "Actress Miiko Taka of Movies Wins Divorce". Los Angeles Times. November 18, 1958. p. B1.
- "Miiko Taka Gets Divorce". New York Times. November 17, 1958.
- Paddleford, Clementine (November 17, 1963). "Barbecue at the Table". Los Angeles Times.
- "Miiko Taka Filmography". fandango.com. Retrieved 2007-08-10.
- "Miiko Taka". imdb.com. Retrieved 2007-08-10.
- "Biography for Miiko Taka". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
- Miiko Taka at the Internet Movie Database
- Video of Miiko Taka as a presenter at an awards show on YouTube
- Trailer of Sayonara introduced by Miika Taka