Akiko Wakabayashi

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Akiko Wakabayashi
Akiko Wakabayashi.jpg
Akiko Wakabayashi in Akiko (1961)
Native name 若林 映子
Born (1939-12-13) 13 December 1939 (age 78)
Ōta, Tokyo, Japan
Occupation Actress
Years active 1958–1971
Known for You Only Live Twice as Bond girl Aki

Akiko Wakabayashi (若林 映子, Wakabayashi Akiko, born 13 December 1939) is a retired Japanese actress.

Career[edit]

She is best known in English-speaking countries for her role as Bond girl Aki in the 1967 James Bond movie You Only Live Twice. Before this, she had made many movies in her native Japan, especially Toho Studio's monster movies, such as Dagora, the Space Monster (1964) and Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), both of which were also released under various other titles. In Gidorah, she played a mystical princess, who could predict the future and was also a prophetess.

When production of You Only Live Twice began, Wakabayashi was originally slated to play the role of Kissy Suzuki whilst her co-star Mie Hama played Suki, one of Tiger Tanaka's top agents. When learning English proved to be a major hurdle to Hama, the women switched roles, with Hama now playing the smaller part of Kissy and Wakabayashi playing the larger part of Suki. At her suggestion, the character of Suki was renamed Aki. They had previously acted together in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) and Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: Kagi no kagi (1965).[1]

In 1971 she made an appearance in an episode of Shirley's World.[2] Wakabayashi made only one more film (and a guest TV appearance) before disappearing from both the big and small screen. In an interview in G-FAN magazine (No. 76), Wakabayashi said she retired from acting owing to injuries sustained while making a movie.

Selected filmography[edit]

  • Song for a Bride (1958)
  • Josei SOS (1958)
  • Yajû shisubeshi (1959)
  • Osorubeki hiasobi (1959)
  • Le orientali (1960) - Sadako
  • Shin santô jûyaku: Ataru mo hakke no maki (1960) - Haruko Momoyama
  • Akiko (1961) - Akiko
  • Girl from Hong Kong (1961) - Anna Suh
  • Yato kaze no naka o hashiru (1961) - Sawa
  • Ganba (1961)
  • Ai no uzu shio (1962)
  • Kurenai no sora (1962)
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) - Tamiye
  • Gekkyû dorobo (1962)
  • Ankokugai no kiba (1962)
  • Nippon jitsuwa jidai (1963)
  • Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: shirei dai hachigo (1963) - Mie Tsugawa
  • Walleyed Nippon (1963) - Nashiko
  • The Lost World of Sinbad (1963) - Yaya's maid
  • Kon'nichiwa akachan (1964) - Shizuko Nagata
  • Dogara, the Space Monster (1964) - Gangster Hamako[3]
  • Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: Kayaku no taru (1964) - Girl Taken at Haneda
  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) - Princess of Sergina
  • Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: Kagi no kagi (1965, footage used to make What's Up, Tiger Lily?) - Bai-Lan
  • Onna no naka ni iru tanin (1966) - Sayuri Sugimoto
  • Kiganjô no bôken (1966) - Spuria, Chamberlain's daughter
  • Arupusu no wakadaishô (1966)
  • You Only Live Twice (1967) - Aki
  • Diamonds of the Andes (1968) - Reiko

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Akiko Wakabayashi and Mie Hama: Bond girls live twice". classicdriver.com. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Shoji, Kaori (30 November 2012). "The gentleman in the tux and what he did for Japan". japantimes.co.jp. THE JAPAN TIMES LTD. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  3. ^ Stuart Galbraith IV (16 May 2008). The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography. Scarecrow Press. pp. 212–213. ISBN 978-1-4616-7374-3. 

External links[edit]