Die Hard actor James Shigeta has died at the age of 81.
James Shigeta was one of the first prominent Asian-American actors in the early 1960s.
He made his debut in 1959 as a detective in The Crimson Kimono and starred in Rodgers and Hammerstein adaptation Flower Drum Song in 1961.
James Shigeta’s career later focused on the small screen, appearing in dozens of shows.
He is probably best remembered for his role in Die Hard as Mr. Takagi, the ill-fated boss of the Nakatomi corporation.
James Shigeta was one of the first prominent Asian-American actors in the early 1960s
After refusing to give up the security code to his company’s bank vault, the executive met a grisly end at the hands of villain Hans Gruber, played by Alan Rickman.
Born in Hawaii, James Shigeta studied acting at New York University before joining the Marines where he entertained troops during the Korean War.
He became a singing star in Japan before making his big screen debut, a talent which helped land him the lead role of Wang Ta in Flower Drum Song.
James Shigeta won the Golden Globe for most promising newcomer in 1960, sharing it with George Hamilton, Troy Donahue and Barry Coe.
Other films he appeared in the early 1960’s included Walk Like a Dragon opposite Jack Lord and Cry for Happy alongside Glenn Ford.
After bit parts in TV series such as I Spy, Hawaii Five-O, Mission: Impossible and Ironside, James Shigeta secured a recurring role as a doctor on drama Medical Center from 1969 to 1972.
He later appeared mainly as a character actor in shows including Kung Fu, Little House on the Prairie, Airwolf, Magnum PI and Dragnet, as well as the 1982 TV movie The Renegades opposite Patrick Swayze.
James Shigeta last appeared on screen in 2009 indie film The People I’ve Slept With.
His publicist Jeffrey Leavitt announced James Shigeta died in Los Angeles, but did not give the cause of death.
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John McTiernan has been released from prison in South Dakota after being convicted of lying to the FBI.
The 63-year-old Die Hard director spent 328 days behind bars after pleading guilty to making false statements during investigations into celebrity private detective Anthony Pellicano.
John McTiernan’s wife Gail said he had returned to his home in Wyoming, where he is under house arrest until April 3.
He plans to appeal his conviction.
A spokeswoman for John McTiernan said he was filing a complaint with the Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility to have his conviction reversed and erased, saying the director believes he was treated unfairly.
John McTiernan has been released from prison in South Dakota after being convicted of lying to the FBI
His lawyer Hank Hockeimer said his client had been in prison “not only for a crime he did not commit, but for conduct that simply is not a crime”.
“McTiernan, though incarcerated, has never been given proof of any evidence the government alleged to have against him.”
John McTiernan pleaded guilty in 2006 to hiring Anthony Pellicano to wiretap film producer Charles Roven after they worked on the 2002 movie Rollerball, and then lying to FBI agents about it.
Shortly after, John McTiernan sought to reverse the plea, claiming he was drunk and jetlagged, but he was sentenced to four months in jail and fined $100,000.
In 2008, an appeals court allowed his not guilty plea and quashed the fine, however he was charged on federal offences a year later.
John McTiernan was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison in October 2010, but stayed free until last year pending appeals in the case.
Anthony Pellicano was convicted of 78 crimes at two separate trials in 2008 for obtaining the private records of a number of Hollywood stars including Sylvester Stallone. He is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for racketeering, conspiracy and wiretapping.
A Good Day to Die Hard, the latest installment in Bruce Willis’s Die Hard action franchise, has received a largely frosty response from critics.
“Last is least,” bemoaned the Hollywood Reporter, while The Scotsman called it a “limp parody” of the 1988 original.
“The sense of exhilaration and fun that marked the best of the series has gone unaccountably AWOL,” opined Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times.
A Good Day to Die Hard, the plot of which sees Bruce Willis’s John McClane travel to Russia, is out now in the US and UK.
Reviews were not published until the day of release at the request of 20th Century Fox, the film’s distributor.
Bruce Willis has reprised his signature character, a wise-cracking New York cop with a talent for foiling complex criminal schemes, on four occasions since his introduction in the original Die Hard movie.
His latest outing, directed by Ireland’s John Moore, sees him join forces with his adult son Jack (Jai Courtney) to protect a Russian whistleblower with links to a nuclear conspiracy.
According to USA Today’s Claudia Puig, the “obnoxious, over the top and often dull” result constitutes “a feeble attempt to rehash action-hero glories”.
“Opening this bullet-riddled snoozefest on Valentine’s Day [14 February] seems particularly wrong-headed,” the reviewer continued.
“A trip outside the US does the franchise few favors,” wrote Empire‘s Kim Newman, saying the film’s “few reasonable action sequences are mired in family soap”.
A Good Day to Die Hard, the latest installment in Bruce Willis’s Die Hard action franchise, has received a largely frosty response from critics
Yet the film did get a kinder reception from the Daily Telegraph’s Robbie Collin, who singled out “a roaringly silly car chase which lasts around 15 minutes” for qualified praise.
“The special effects sequences are put together with some ingenuity,” agreed The New York Times‘ A O Scott.
“But everything that made the first Die Hard memorable – the nuances of character, the political subtext, the cowboy wit – has been dumbed down or scrubbed away entirely.”
While promoting the film in London last week, Willis confirmed he would be back for a sixth installment but would not be drawn on plot details.
“I heard there is a group of bad guys that hang out in the Seychelles,” he joked to reporters.
“So we should go there and just get a tan.”
Die Hard films to date:
- Die Hard (1988), directed by John McTiernan, with Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
- Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990), directed by Renny Harlin, with Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Sadler
- Die Hard: With A Vengeance (1995), directed by John McTiernan, with Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, Jeremy Irons
- Die Hard 4.0, aka Live Free Or Die Hard (2007), directed by Len Wiseman, with Bruce Willis, Justin Long, Timothy Olyphant
- A Good Day to Die Hard (2013), directed by John Moore, with Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch