Tagawa in 2011
|Nationality||Japanese, American, Russian|
|Other names||Cary Tagawa|
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Occupation||Actor, film producer, physiologist, martial artist|
(m. 1984; div. 2014)
His roles have also included the eunuch Chang in The Last Emperor, the voice of Sin Tzu for the video game Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, the evil soul-stealing sorcerer Shang Tsung in a film adaptation of the video game Mortal Kombat (a role he would reprise 18 years later for Mortal Kombat: Legacy and 24 years later in Mortal Kombat 11) and the evil mastermind Heihachi Mishima in the film adaptation of Tekken. He portrays Nobusuke Tagomi in The Man in the High Castle, the Amazon original series adaptation of the novel by Philip K. Dick, in season one, two and three.
Early life and education
Tagawa was born in Tokyo, Japan, the son of a Japanese actress and a Japanese-American father who served in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Polk, Louisiana and Fort Hood, Texas.
Tagawa was raised in various cities. He and his family finally settled in Southern California, where he began acting in high school while attending Duarte High School. He began training in Kendo while in Junior High, and later studied Shotokan karate. He attended the University of Southern California and was an exchange student in Japan, where he continued to study karate under Masatoshi Nakayama.
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Tagawa began acting in the mid-1980s, appearing in uncredited action roles in Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and Bulletproof (1987). He had a more substantial role in the Fred Olen Ray B-movie Armed Response, as a supporting villain opposite Mako Iwamatsu. His breakthrough as an actor came when he was cast as Chang, a loyal eunuch to Emperor Puyi, in the Academy Award-winning film The Last Emperor (1987).
In 1989, he played an undercover agent of the Hong Kong Narcotics Board in the James Bond film Licence to Kill. In 1991, he starred alongside Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee in the action film Showdown in Little Tokyo, where he played the role of Yakuza boss Yoshida. He also starred alongside James Hong and Jeff Speakman in the same year in the film The Perfect Weapon, where he played Kai, an assistant to the Korean mafia families.
He appeared in the movie Mortal Kombat (1995) as the sorcerer Shang Tsung; he would later reprise the role in the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy in 2013, and in the video game Mortal Kombat 11 in 2019. He also appeared as the deadly pirate leader Kabai Sengh in The Phantom (1996). Tagawa is among the actors, producers and directors interviewed in the documentary The Slanted Screen (2006), directed by Jeff Adachi, about the representation of Asian and Asian-American men in Hollywood.
Tagawa played Heihachi Mishima in Tekken, the film adaptation of the video game franchise. In 2006, he provided the voice of Brushogun in Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. He was in the film Johnny Tsunami (1999) and its sequel Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board (2007). In between those two films, Tagawa played Attar's mentor Krull in Tim Burton's version of Planet of the Apes (2001).
He played Satoshi Takeda in Revenge, a powerful CEO in Japan and Emily Thorne's former mentor in her quest for revenge. In season 2, Tagawa took over the role from Hiroyuki Sanada, who was unable to continue due to scheduling conflicts.
In 2015, Tagawa was cast as one of the lead characters, Nobusuke Tagomi, the Trade Minister of the Pacific States of America in Amazon's The Man in the High Castle based on Philip K. Dick's novel of the same name. Also in November 2015, both he and Taimak (The Last Dragon) were honorees for the Fists of Legends Legacy Award at the Urban Action Showcase & Expo.
In 2013, Tagawa started working with Orthodox Christian actors Pyotr Mamonov and Ivan Okhlobystin. On November 12, 2015, he was baptized as Panteleymon in the Russian Orthodox Joy of All Who Sorrow church in Moscow. In 2016, he also acquired Russian citizenship.
|1986||Big Trouble in Little China||Wing Kong Swordsman||Uncredited|
|1987||Bulletproof||Thug in Flashback||Uncredited|
|The Last Emperor||Chang|
|1989||The Last Warrior||Imperial Marine|
|Licence to Kill||Kwang|
|Showdown in Little Tokyo||Funekei Yoshida|
|The Perfect Weapon||Kai|
|American Me||El Japo|
|1993||Rising Sun||Eddie Sakamura|
|1994||Natural Causes||Major Somchal|
|Mortal Kombat||Shang Tsung|
|Soldier Boyz||Vinh Moc|
|1996||White Tiger||Victor Chow|
|The Phantom||The Great Kabai Sengh|
|Danger Zone||Monsieur Chang|
|1997||Top of the World||Captain Hefter|
|Mortal Kombat: Annihilation||Shang Tsung||Cameo appearance|
|1999||Bridge of Dragons||General Ruechang|
|Snow Falling on Cedars||Zenhichi Miyamoto|
|2000||The Art of War||David Chan|
|2001||Pearl Harbor||Cmdr. Minoru Genda|
|Planet of the Apes||Krull|
|Memoirs of a Geisha||The Baron|
|2006||The Slanted Screen||Himself||Documentary film|
|Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo||Brushogan (voice)|
|2007||Balls of Fury||Mysterious Asian Man|
|Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter||Alibek|
|2008||Lost Warrior: Left Behind||Detective Yoshide|
|Bodyguard: A New Beginning||Kai|
|2009||By the Will of Chingis Khan||Bodyguard|
|Hachi: A Dog's Tale||Ken|
|The Tomb||Len Burris|
|2012||Black Cobra||Goro Tanaka|
|2013||47 Ronin||Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi|
|2014||Hype Nation 3D||Sammy Kata|
|Priest-San||Father Nikolai (Takuro) Nakamura|
|Tekken 2: Kazuya's Revenge||Heihachi Mishima|
|Skin Trade||Senator Khat|
|The Man with the Iron Fists 2||The Mayor|
|2016||Showdown in Manila||Aldric Cole|
|Beyond the Game||Detective Yoshida|
|Kubo and the Two Strings||Hashi (voice)|
|The Whole World at Our Feet||Khazar|
|2020||Duel of Legends||Sting||Post-production|
|TBA||Sky Sharks||Michael Morel|
|2005||True Love & Mimosa Tea||Andreas Kanaka|
|The Sand Island Drive-In Anthem||Uncle C|
|2009||The Legend of Chang Apana||Chang Apana|
|2015||Genghis Khan Conquers the Moon||Genghis Khan|
|2016||Overwatch: Dragons||Narrator/Sojiro Shimada (voice)|
|1987||MacGyver||Asian Buyer||Episode: "Dalton, Jack of Spies"|
|The Colbys||Mr. Sung||Episode: "Devil's Advocate"|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation||Mandarin Bailiff||Episode: "Encounter at Farpoint"|
|1987-89||Miami Vice||Kenji Fujitsu, Tegoro||Episode: "The Rising Sun of Death" & "Asian Cut"|
|1988||Hotel||Inspector Chin||Episode: "Double Take"|
|1989||L.A. Takedown||Hugh Denny||Television film|
|Superboy||Detective Jed Slade||Episode: "Terror from the Blue"|
|Knots Landing||Mr. Toyo||Episode: "Giganticus II: The Revenge"|
|A Peaceable Kingdom||Coach||Episode: "Chimp"|
|Alien Nation||Yamato||Episode: "The First Cigar"|
|Mission: Impossible||Vang Kai||Episode: "Countdown"|
|1990||Jake and the Fatman||Raymond Char||Episode: "Chinatown, My Chinatown"|
|Hardball||Episode: "Wedding Bell Blues"|
|The Bakery||Kim Lee||Television film|
|Vestige of Honor||Thai Major|
|1991||Baywatch||Mason Sato||Episode: "War of Nerves"|
|Not of This World||Shikido||Television film|
|Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis||Shoji Hashimoto|
|1992||Raven||Osato||Episodes: "Return of the Black Dragon" and "Reunion"|
|1993-94||Space Rangers||Zylyn||6 episodes|
|1994||Day of Reckoning||Prakit||Television film|
|1995||Babylon 5||Morishi||Episode: "Convictions"|
|Thunder in Paradise 3||Mason Lee||Television film|
|1996||Cybill||Kenji||Episode: "Cybill and Maryann Go to Japan"|
|Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Tai Wei Tse||Episode: "Sweet & Sour Victory"|
|1996-97||Nash Bridges||Lt. A.J. Shimamura||12 episodes|
|1997||Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||King Young-Jin||Episode: "The Little Mermaid"|
|Raven: Return of the Black Dragon||Osato||Television film|
|Stargate SG-1||Turghan||Episode: "Emancipation"|
|1998||Poltergeist: The Legacy||Sam Tanaka||Episode: "The Internment"|
|Vengeance Unlimited||Aung Myint||Episode: "Ambition"|
|1999||Seven Days||Peter||Episode: "Walter"|
|Johnny Tsunami||Johnny Tsunami||Television film|
|2000||Walker, Texas Ranger||Master Ko||Episode: "Black Dragons"|
|2003||Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding||Mason Sato||Television film|
|2004||Hawaii||Captain Terry Harada||Main cast; Season 1|
|2005||Faith of My Fathers||Cat||Television film|
|2007||Heroes||The Swordsmith||Episodes: "Chapter Six 'The Line'" and "Chapter Seven 'Out of Time'"|
|Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board||Johnny Tsunami||Television film|
|2008||Ghost Voyage||The Steward|
|2009||Beyond the Break||Xander||Episodes: "One 'Elle' of a Party" and "Cast Away"|
|2010||Hawaii Five-0||Hiro Noshimori||Episodes: "Ke Kinohi" and "Pahele"|
|2012-13||Revenge||Satoshi Takeda||Recurring role; Season 2|
|2014||Teen Wolf||Katashi/Silverfinger||Episode: "Silverfinger"|
|The Librarians||Mr. Drake||Episode: "And the Apple of Discord"|
|2015-18||The Man in the High Castle||Nobusuke Tagomi||Main cast; Seasons 1-3|
|2016||Grimm||Takeshi Himura||Episode: "Inugami"|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||Sumo Kuma (voice)||Episodes: "Yojimbo" and "Kagayake! Kintaro"|
|2017||Star Wars Rebels||Alrich Wren (voice)||2 episodes|
|2018-present||Lost in Space||Hiroki Watanabe||Recurring role; Season 1|
|2013||Mortal Kombat: Legacy||Shang Tsung||2 episodes|
|1997||Soldier Boyz||Vinh Moc|
|2003||Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu||Sin Tzu|
|2019||Mortal Kombat 11||Shang Tsung||DLC|
- Paul, Louis (2008). "Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa". Tales From the Cult Film Trenches; Interviews with 36 Actors from Horror, Science Fiction and Exploitation Cinema. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 254–261. ISBN 978-0-7864-2994-3.
- "Web Series 'Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2′ Hitting February 17th". Latino Review. Archived from the original on 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- Keck, William (August 15, 2012). "Keck's Exclusives: Revenge Recasts a Role" (TV Guide); retrieved August 16, 2012.
- "47 Ronin: trama, recensione, cast e trailer del film con Keanu Reeves". Controcampus. 2019-06-14. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
- "2015 Urban Action Showcase International Action Film Festival & Honoree Awards". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
- "This is just the beginning of my Russian career"[permanent dead link], rbth.asia; accessed March 30, 2016.
- Mortal Kombat’s Shang Tsung Goes Orthodox in Russia, rt.com, November 12, 2015.
- Seeking new citizenship: 10 foreign celebrities that now call Russia home
- Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa profile, filmreference.com; accessed March 30, 2016.
- Profile, starbulletin.com, May 25, 2011; accessed March 30, 2016.
- Profile, starbulletin.com, September 11, 2003; accessed March 30, 2016.
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