More Hiroyuki Sanada Bios & Profiles
Biography #2 (for The Last Samurai)Hiroyuki Sanada made his movie debut at the age of five. At 13, he began studying acting, Karate, horseback riding and Japanese traditional dance. After graduating from Nihon University College of Art, he appeared in the historic action film Shogun's Ninja, performing his own stunts, a feat that earned him acclaim. In 1984, his groundbreaking work in Mahjong Vagrant Life (Mahjong Horoki) boosted him to stardom.
Since then, he has been in many movies and plays and appeared in over 50 films including We are not Alone (Bokura ha minna ikiteiru), Sharaku (submitted to the Cannes Film Festival in 1995), the original Ring series, Round Midnight and Sukeroku.
Sanada played the leading role in various theatrical works including Romeo and Juliet, Big River (with Ron Richardson), Little Shop of Horrors , Hamlet and The Orchestra Pit. In 1999, he became the first Japanese actor to join the British Royal Shakespeare Company, in which he played the Fool in King Lear, with Sir Nigel Hawthorne. For this performance, he received an auspicious honor, Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) from the Queen.
In 2002, Sanada played a pivotal part in The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei), which brought him many major Japanese movie awards including the Japanese Academy Award for Best Leading Actor. The film was also submitted to the Berlin Film Festival this year.
Bio courtesy Warner Bros. for "The Last Samurai" (02-Dec-2003)