Watanabe Ken

Kensaku Watanabe

Details

  • First Name: Kensaku
  • Family Name: Watanabe
  • Native name: 渡辺謙
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Gender: Male
  • Born: October 21, 1959
  • Age: 60

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Kensaku Watanabe

Watanabe Ken

  • Name: Watanabe Ken
  • Native name: 渡辺謙
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Gender: Male
  • Born: October 21, 1959
  • Age: 60
Ken Watanabe is a Japanese stage, film, and television actor. To English-speaking audiences, he is known for playing tragic hero characters, such as General Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Letters from Iwo Jima and Lord Katsumoto Moritsugu in The Last Samurai, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Among other awards, he has won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Actor twice, in 2007 for Memories of Tomorrow and in 2010 for Shizumanu Taiyō. He has also known for his roles in director Christopher Nolan's Hollywood blockbusters Batman Begins and Inception.
After graduating from high school in 1978, Watanabe moved to Tokyo to begin his acting career, getting his big break with the Tokyo-based theater troupe En. While with the troupe, he was cast as the hero in the play Shimodani Mannencho Monogatari, under Yukio Ninagawa's direction. The role attracted critical and popular notice.
In 1989, while filming Haruki Kadokawa's Heaven and Earth, Watanabe was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. He returned to acting while simultaneously undergoing chemotherapy treatments, but in 1991 suffered a relapse.
As his health improved his career picked back up. He co-starred with Koji Yakusho in the 1998 Kizuna, for which he was nominated for the Japanese Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Watanabe was introduced to most Western audiences by the 2003 film The Last Samurai. His performance as Katsumoto earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Watanabe appeared in the 2005 films Batman Begins, playing Ra's Al Ghul, and Memoirs of a Geisha, playing Chairman Iwamura. In 2006, he starred in Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, playing Tadamichi Kuribayashi. He reprised his role as Ra's Al Ghul in the Batman Begins video game. He has filmed advertisements for American Express, Yakult, and NTT DoCoMo. In 2004, he was featured in People Magazine 's 50 Most Beautiful People edition. In 2009, he appeared in The Vampire's Assistant. In 2010, he co-starred in Inception, playing Saito.
In 2005 Watanabe married Japanese actress Kaho Minami. His first wife was Yumiko Watanabe. With Yumiko, Watanabe has a son, Dai Watanabe (born 1984), and a daughter, Anne Watanabe (born 1986). His son Dai is an up-and-coming actor in Japan. Dai is married and has two children. His daughter Anne is currently a fashion model.
Drama
Year Title # Role Rating
2018 Sego-don
Japanese Drama, 2018, 47 eps
Shimazu Nariakira (Support Role)
47
Shimazu Nariakira
Support Role
8.6
2014 Oyaji no Senaka
Japanese Drama, 2014, 10 eps
Takamura Kouji (Ep.7) (Main Role)
10
Takamura Kouji (Ep.7)
Main Role
7.6
2012 Makete, Katsu
Japanese Drama, 2012, 5 eps
Yoshida Shigeru (Main Role)
5
Yoshida Shigeru
Main Role
9.5
2004 Suna no Utsuwa
Japanese Drama, 2004, 11 eps
Imanishi Shuichiro (Main Role)
11
Main Role
8.0
2000 Ikebukuro West Gate Park
Japanese Drama, 2000, 11 eps
Yokoyama Ichirou (Main Role)
11
Main Role
8.1
1993 Homura Tatsu
Japanese Drama, 1993, 35 eps
35
Main Role
7.8
1990 Baian: The Assassin
Japanese Drama, 1990, 8 eps
Fujieda Baian (Main Role)
8
Main Role
6.5
1987 Dokuganryu Masamune
Japanese Drama, 1987, 50 eps
Date Masamune (Main Role)
50
Main Role
8.0
1986 Hanekonma
Japanese Drama, 1986, 156 eps
Genzo (Support Role)
156
Genzo
Support Role
9.5
Movie
Year Title Role Rating
2020 Fukushima 50
Japanese Movie, 2020,
Masao Yoshida (Main Role)
Main Role
0.0
2016 Anger
Japanese Movie, 2016,
Maki Yohei (Main Role)
Main Role
8.1
2013 Unforgiven
Japanese Movie, 2013,
Jubei Kamata (Main Role)
Main Role
7.6
2012 Hayabusa: The Long Voyage Home
Japanese Movie, 2012,
Main Role
0.0
2010 Shanghai
Chinese Movie, 2010,
(Main Role)
Main Role
7.2
2009 The Unbroken
Japanese Movie, 2009,
Onchi Hajime (Main Role)
Onchi Hajime
Main Role
7.4
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima
Japanese Movie, 2006,
General Kuribayashi (Main Role)
Main Role
8.3
2006 Memories Of Tomorrow
Japanese Movie, 2006,
Masayuki Saeki (Main Role)
Main Role
8.3
2005 Year One In The North
Japanese Movie, 2005,
Main Role
7.5
2003 T.R.Y.
Japanese Movie, 2003,
Azuma Masanobu (Support Role)
Azuma Masanobu
Support Role
0.0
2002 Dawn of a New Day: The Man Behind VHS
Japanese Movie, 2002,
Okubo (Support Role)
Okubo
Support Role
7.5
2001 Genji: A Thousand Year Love
Japanese Movie, 2001,
Fujiwara no Michinaga/Fujiwara no Nobutaka (Support Role)
Fujiwara no Michinaga/Fujiwara no Nobutaka
Support Role
7.1
2001 Oboreru Sakana
Japanese Movie, 2001,
Miyota (Support Role)
Miyota
Support Role
7.3
2000 Zawa Zawa Shimokitazawa
Japanese Movie, 2000,
Ishida (Support Role)
Ishida
Support Role
0.0
2000 Space Travelers
Japanese Movie, 2000,
Sakamaki ("Crusher") (Support Role)
Sakamaki ("Crusher")
Support Role
7.4
1998 Kizuna
Japanese Movie, 1998,
Detective Sako Akio (Unknown)
Detective Sako Akio
Unknown
0.0
1986 Sea and Poison
Japanese Movie, 1986,
Toda (Main Role)
Toda
Main Role
0.0
1985 Tampopo
Japanese Movie, 1985,
Gun (Support Role)
Gun
Support Role
7.5
1985 Kekkon Annai Misuteri
Japanese Movie, 1985,
Main Role
0.0
1984 MacArthur's Children
Japanese Movie, 1984,
(Support Role)
Support Role
0.0
Special
Year Title # Role Rating
2019 You're a Genius!
Japanese Special, 2019, 1 eps
1
Main Role
6.0
2019 An Artist Of The Floating World
Japanese Special, 2019, 1 eps
Ono Masuji (Main Role)
1
Main Role
0.0
2017 Shiawase no Kioku
Japanese Special, 2017, 1 eps
Miura Taro (Main Role)
1
Main Role
7.8
2016 Gonenme no Hitori
Japanese Special, 2016, 1 eps
(Unknown)
1
Unknown
0.0
2016 A Man's Fifth Year Since The 3.11 Earthquake/Tsunami
Japanese Special, 2016, 1 eps
Shuji (Main Role)
1
Shuji
Main Role
0.0
2014 Hakugin Jack
Japanese Special, 2014, 1 eps
Kurata Reiji (Main Role)
1
Main Role
6.6
2011 Ai Inochi - Shinjuku Kabukicho Kakekomidera
Japanese Special, 2011, 1 eps
Hirayama Hidemori (Main Role)
1
Main Role
0.0
2010 A School Behind Bars
Japanese Special, 2010, 1 eps
Kawada Kibou (Support Role)
1
Kawada Kibou
Support Role
8.2
2007 Hoshi Hitotsu no Yoru
Japanese Special, 2007, 1 eps
Nonoyama Hiroji (Main Role)
1
Main Role
6.7
2000 Hatsuru Soko Naki
Japanese Special, 2000, 1 eps
Iki Haruka (Main Role)
1
Main Role
0.0
1994 The Locksmith 2
Japanese Special, 1994, 1 eps
Mizutani Kouji (Main Role)
1
Mizutani Kouji
Main Role
0.0
1993 The Locksmith
Japanese Special, 1993, 1 eps
Mizutani Kouji (Main Role)
1
Main Role
0.0
TV Show
Year Title # Role Rating
2008 Shabekuri 007
Japanese TV Show, 2008, 400 eps
(Guest)
400
Guest
10.0
2002 Gyoretsuno dekiru horitsu sodanjo
Japanese TV Show, 2002, 0 eps
(Regular Member)
0
Regular Member
0.0
1983 Mibu no Koiuta
Japanese TV Show, 1983, 23 eps
(Unknown)
23
Unknown
0.0
1976 Tetsuko's Room
Japanese TV Show, 1976, 1854 eps
(Guest)
1854
Guest
0.0
Articles
Backlash Erupts after Actor Masahiro Higashide Cheats On Wife Anne Watanabe
News - Jan 29, 2020

Backlash Erupts after Actor Masahiro Higashide Cheats On Wife Anne Watanabe...

A Year in Dramaworld: The 2018 Wrap Up
Editorials - Oct 23, 2019

What are the most surprising, exciting and shocking moments of the past year in the world of Asian dramas? Let's check out the 2018 wrap up!

MDL Choice: Heisei Dramas and Movies
Editorials - May 10, 2019

The end of Heisei era was on 30th April and the beginning of Reiwa era just started, so here is a look back into the Heisei in terms of movies and dramas according to MDL.

Ken Watanabe and Kaho Minami Divorce After 13 Years of Marriage
News - May 23, 2018

Legendary Japanese actor Ken Watanabe and veteran actress Kaho Minami divorce after 13 years spent together.

A Stalker's Guide to Nagase Tomoya
Editorials - Jul 28, 2016

A newbie's guide to Nagase Tomoya, an idol who knows how to light up our day!

A Stalker's Guide to Kubozuka Yosuke
Editorials - Dec 7, 2015

Being famous for his eccentric, unique and weird choices of roles, this guy has climbed up to the top and became one of the most recognizable Japanese actors ever. And I'm gonna show you why he is one of the finest out there.