Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (田川 洋行 Tagawa Hiroyuki) is a Japanese-American actor, sports physiologist, martial artist, and stuntman.
In addition to his extensive film work, he has appeared on television in Thunder in Paradise (1995), Nash Bridges (1996), Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding (2003), and Heroes (2007). He also provided the voice of Sin Tzu for the video game Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu. He played the part of Earth Alliance security officer Morishi in Babylon 5 ("Convictions"). He played the evil soul-stealing sorcerer Shang Tsung in a film adaptation of the video game Mortal Kombat, a role he would reprise 18 years later for Mortal Kombat Legacy. He also played the evil mastermind Heihachi Mishima in the film adaptation of Tekken.
Tagawa was born in Tokyo, Japan, the son of a Japanese actress and a Japanese-American father who served in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Polk, Louisiana, and Fort Hood, Texas. He speaks both English and Japanese and is also fluent in Korean and Spanish. He was raised in various cities. He and his family finally settled in Southern California, where he began acting in high school while attending Duarte High School. He attended the University of Southern California, and he was an exchange student in Japan.
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.
He appeared in the movie Mortal Kombat (1995) as the shapeshifting sorcerer Shang Tsung, and as the deadly pirate leader Kabai Singh 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 also played the role of Satoshi Takeda in the television series 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.
In 2013, Tagawa started working with Orthodox Christian actors Pyotr Mamonov and Ivan Okhlobystin. On November 12, 2015, he was baptized as Panteleymon in the Russian Orthodox Joy of All Who Sorrow church in Moscow. In a press conference for ITAR-TASS, Tagawa said he is seeking to receive Russian citizenship.
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. Also in November 2015, both he and Taimak from The Last Dragon Movie were honorees for the Fists of Legends Legacy Award at the Urban Action Showcase & Expo at HBO.
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