Hiroyuki Sanada

Hiroyuki Sanada was a Japanese actor who starred in the internationally popular horror film "Ringu" (1998) and appeared in several American films such as "The Last Samurai" (2003), "The Wolverine" (2013), and "47 Ronin" (2013). He was born Hiroyuki Shimosawa on October 12, 1960 in Tokyo, Japan. Growing up in the 1970s, when Asian-made martial arts movies were all the rage, he aspired to become an action star. At the age of 11, he joined Japan Action Club, a training school for aspiring martial arts film actors and stunt performers started by legendary Japanese film actor Sonny Chiba. He made his feature film debut in a Sonny Chiba karate movie, "Chokugeki! Jigoku-hen" (1974) and subsequently appeared in many more martial arts films during his early acting career. It wasn't until the early 1980s that Japanese audiences outside of that subgenre took notice of Sanada, most notably with his co-starring role in the critically-acclaimed "Mahjong Hourouki" (1984). As his popularity grew, he began starring in bigger movies, including the influential Japanese horror film "Ringu" and "Tasogare Seibei" (2002), for which he won Best Actor at the 2003 Japanese Academy Awards. For his international breakthrough, Sanada was cast alongside Tom Cruise in "The Last Samurai" (2003), which led to more roles in American films and television shows. He traded blows with iconic Asian action star Jackie Chan in the action comedy "Rush Hour 3" (2007), and later joined the casts of two popular TV dramas, the fantasy thriller "Lost' (ABC 2004-2010) and the soap "Revenge" (ABC 2011-). Western audiences saw even more of Sanada in 2013 as a key supporting player opposite Hugh Jackman in the Marvel comic book movie "The Wolverine," Keanu Reves' fantasy action movie "47 Ronin," the post-World War II drama "The Railway Man," starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. In the following year, Sanada was cast in executive producer Steven Spielberg's science fiction TV series "Extant" (CBS 2014-) alongside Halle Berry.