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Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Japanese: 田川 洋行) is an actor, film producer and martial artist of Japanese ethnicity.
His breakthrough as an actor came when he was cast as the Eunuch Chang in The Last Emperor (1987). In 1989, he played an undercover agent of the Hong Kong Narcotics Board in the James Bond film Licence to Kill. In 1991, he starred alongside Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee in the action film Showdown in Little Tokyo, where he played the role of Yakuza boss Yoshida. He also starred alongside James Hong and Jeff Speakman in the same year in the film The Perfect Weapon, where he played Kai, an assistant to the Korean mafia families.
In 1993, he starred as the wayward scion of a Japanese industrialist in Rising Sun, where Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, and Harvey Keitel played detectives holding various viewpoints about the murder of a young woman that Tagawa’s character was being framed for.
He appeared in the film Mortal Kombat (1995) as the sorcerer Shang Tsung; he would later reprise the role in the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy in 2013, and in the video game Mortal Kombat 11 in 2019. He also appeared as the deadly pirate leader Kabai Sengh in The Phantom (1996). Tagawa is among the actors, producers and directors interviewed in the documentary The Slanted Screen (2006), directed by Jeff Adachi, about the representation of Asian and Asian-American men in Hollywood.
Tagawa played Heihachi Mishima in Tekken, the film adaptation of the video game franchise. In 2006, he provided the voice of Brushogun in Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. He was in the film Johnny Tsunami (1999) and its sequel Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board (2007). In between those two films, Tagawa played Attar’s mentor Krull in Tim Burton’s version of Planet of the Apes (2001).
Tagawa reprised his role as Shang Tsung for the second season of the YouTube series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. This new version of the character was unrelated to Tagawa’s previous work as Tsung.
He played Satoshi Takeda in Revenge, a powerful CEO in Japan and Emily Thorne’s former mentor in her quest for revenge. In season 2, Tagawa took over the role from Hiroyuki Sanada, who was unable to continue due to scheduling conflicts.
Tagawa also plays the role of Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi in the 2013 film 47 Ronin.
In 2015, Tagawa was cast as one of the lead characters, Nobusuke Tagomi, the Trade Minister of the Pacific States of America in Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle based on Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name. Also in November 2015, both he and Taimak (The Last Dragon) were honorees for the Fists of Legends Legacy Award at the Urban Action Showcase & Expo.
In 2018, Tagawa appeared in the 2018 Netflix relaunch of Lost in Space in the recurring role of Hiroki Watanabe.