Ken Watanabe (Watanabe Ken, born October 21, 1959) is a Japanese stage, film, and television actor. To English-speaking audiences, he is known for playing tragic hero characters, such as General Tadamichi Kuribayashi in Letters from Iwo Jima and Lord Katsumoto Moritsugu in The Last Samurai, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Among other awards, he has won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Actor twice, in 2007 for Memories of Tomorrow and in 2010 for Shizumanu Taiy__. He is also known for his roles in director Christopher Nolan's Hollywood films Batman Begins and Inception. Watanabe was born in Koide, Niigata. His mother was a school teacher and his father taught calligraphy.
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