Sessue Hayakawa is a Actor, Director, Story and Producer Japonais born on 10 june 1889 at Chiba (Japon)
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Birth name Kintarō HayakawaNationality JaponBirth 10 june 1889Sessue Hayakawa (早川 雪洲, Hayakawa Sesshū, June 10, 1889 – November 23, 1973) was a Japanese Issei actor who starred in American, Japanese, French, German, and British films. Hayakawa was active at the outset of the American film industry. He was the first Asian actor to find stardom in the United States and Europe. He is the first Asian American as well as the first Japanese American movie star and the first Asian American leading man. His "broodingly handsome" good looks and typecasting as a sinister villain with sexual dominance made him a heartthrob among American women, and the first male sex symbol of Hollywood, several years in advance of Rudolph Valentino.
at Chiba (Japon
)Death 23 november 1973
(at 84 years) at Tokyo (Japon
During those early years, Hayakawa was as well known and as popular as Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, although today his name is largely unknown to the public.
His popularity, sex appeal, and extravagant lifestyle (e.g., his wild parties and his gold-plated Pierce-Arrow) may have fed tension within segments of American society which was already filled with feelings of the "yellow peril". While at the time Chinese actors were treated in a demasculinized way, Hayakawa's example directly contrasts with this. However, with the rising tensions with Japan, Japanese actors were no longer welcome in Hollywood. Following the end of the war, Asian characters were depicted in a desexualized fashion, something that continues to today in Modern Hollywood and in the wider society, as exemplified by the controversial character of I.Y. Yunioshi in Breakfast At Tiffany's. Hayakawa refused to adopt the negative stereotypes. He abandoned Hollywood for European cinema and there he was treated equally. Hayakawa's friendships with American actors led him to return to Hollywood. He was one of the highest paid stars of his time, earning $5,000 per week in 1915, and $2 million per year through his own production company during the 1920s. He starred in over eighty movies, and two of his films stand in the United States National Film Registry. Of his English-language films, Hayakawa is probably best known for his role as Colonel Saito in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai, for which he received a nomination for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1957. He also appeared in the 1950 film Three Came Home and as the pirate leader in Disney's Swiss Family Robinson in 1960.
In addition to his film acting career, Hayakawa was a theatre actor, film and theatre producer, film director, screenwriter, novelist, martial artist, member of the French Resistance, and a Zen master.
On May 1, 1914, Hayakawa married fellow Japanese actress Tsuru Aoki, who co-starred in several of his movies. Hayakawa's first child, a son, was born in New York in 1929, to a white actress named Ruth Noble. The boy was known as Alexander Hayes, but the name was changed to Yukio after Sessue and his wife Tsuru adopted the child and took him to be raised and educated in Japan. Later, Hayakawa had two daughters: Yoshiko, an actress, and Fujiko, a dancer. Aoki died in 1961, after which Hayakawa moved back to Japan and became a Zen master. Hayakawa was known for his discipline and martial arts skills. While a student at the University of Chicago, he played quarterback for the football team and was once penalized for using jujitsu to bring down an opponent.
While filming The Jaguar's Claws, in the Mojave Desert, Hayakawa played a Mexican bandit, with 500 cowboys as extras. On the first night of filming, the extras drank all night and well into the next day. No work was being done, so Hayakawa challenged the group to a fight. Two men stepped forward. Hayakawa said of the incident, "The first one struck out at me. I seized his arm and sent him flying on his face along the rough ground. The second attempted to grapple and I was forced to flip him over my head and let him fall on his neck. The fall knocked him unconscious." Hayakawa then disarmed yet another cowboy. The extras returned to work, amused by the way the small man manhandled the big bruising cowboys.