Personal Info

Known For Acting

Known Credits 158

Gender Male

Birthday 1931-02-16

Day of Death 2014-11-10 (83 years old)

Place of Birth Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Also Known As

  • Goichi Oda
  • 高倉健
  • 高仓健
  • Кэн Такакура

Login to report an issue

Biography

Ken Takakura (高倉 健, Takakura Ken), born Gouichi Oda (February 16, 1931, in Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan), was a Japanese actor best known for his brooding style and the stoic presence he brings to his roles. Takakura gained his streetwise swagger and tough-guy persona watching yakuza turf battles over the lucrative black market and racketeering in postwar Fukuoka. This subject was covered in one of his most famous movies, Showa Zankyo-den (Remnants of Chivalry in the Showa Era), in which he played an honorable old-school yakuza among the violent post-war gurentai.

A graduate of Meiji University in Tokyo Takakura happened by an audition in 1955 at the Toei Film Company, and decided to look in. Toei found a natural in Takakura as he debuted with Denko Karate Uchi (Lightning Karate Blow) in 1956. Japan experienced a boom in gangster films in the 1960s as the Japanese people struggled with the generational differences between those raised in pre-war and post-war Japan and these were Takakura's stock and trade. His breakout role would be in the 1965 film Abashiri Prison, and its sequel Abashiri Bangaichi: Bokyohen (Abashiri Prison: Longing for Home, also 1965), in which he played an ex-con antihero. By the time Takakura would leave Toei in 1976, he had appeared in over 180 films.

Takakura gained international recognition after starring in the 1970 war film Too Late the Hero as the cunning Imperial Japanese Major Yamaguchi, the 1975 Sydney Pollack sleeper hit The Yakuza with Robert Mitchum and is probably best known in the West for his role in Ridley Scott's Black Rain (1989) where he surprises American cops played by Michael Douglas and Andy García with the line, "I do speak fucking English". He again proved himself bankable to Western audiences with the 1992 Fred Schepisi comedy Mr. Baseball starring Tom Selleck.

While he has slowed down a bit in his older years, he is still active. His most recent film was the 2005 Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles by Chinese director Zhang Yimou.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Ken Takakura, licensed under CC-BY-SA,full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Acting

2016
2012
2006
2005
2001
1999
1995
1994
1992
1991
1989
1989
1988
1985
1983
1983
1982
1981
1980
1980
1978
1978
1977
1977
1976
1975
1975
1975
1975
1974
1974
1974
1973
1973
1973
1972
1972
1972
1972
1972
1971
1971
1971
1971
1971
1971
1971
1970
1970
1970
1970
1970
1970
1970
1970
1970
1970
1970
1969
1969
1969
1969
1969
1969
1969
1969
1969
1969
1969
1969
1968
1968
1968
1968
1968
1968
1968
1968
1968
1967
1967
1967
1967
1967
1967
1967
1967
1966
1966
1966
1966
1966
1966
1966
1966
1966
1966
1965
1965
1965
1965
1965
1965
1965
1965
1965
1965
1964
1964
1964
1964
1964
1964
1963
1963
1963
1963
1963
1963
1962
1962
1962
1962
1962
1962
1962
1962
1961
1961
1961
1961
1961
1961
1961
1960
1960
1960
1960
1960
1960
1960
1960
1959
1959
1959
1958
1958
1958
1958
1958
1958
1958
1958
1957
1957
1957
1956
1956

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.

Can't find a movie or TV show? Login to create it.

Global

s focus the search bar
p open profile menu
esc close an open window
? open keyboard shortcut window

On media pages

b go back (or to parent when applicable)
e go to edit page

On TV season pages

(right arrow) go to next season
(left arrow) go to previous season

On TV episode pages

(right arrow) go to next episode
(left arrow) go to previous episode

On all image pages

a open add image window

On all edit pages

t open translation selector
ctrl+ s submit form

On discussion pages

n create new discussion
w toggle watching status
p toggle public/private
c toggle close/open
a open activity
r reply to discussion
l go to last reply
ctrl+ enter submit your message
(right arrow) next page
(left arrow) previous page

Want to rate or add this item to a list?

Login