Gedde Watanabe (Actor) - Sixteen Candles
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Updated: 5/8/14

Name: Gedde Watanabe

Born: June 26, 1955, Ogden, Utah

Claim To Fame: He is known for Sixteen Candles (1984), Mulan (1998) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990).

Family Life: No info found.

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Info: In high school, Watanbe acted and sang in several dramatic productions. After graduation, he headed to San Francisco with the goal to work as a street musician while honing his acting skills.

His first role came in 1976, when he was a member of the original Broadway cast of Pacific Overtures, originating the roles of Priest, Girl, and The Boy.

He went on to appear in many films and TV series, including both the film Gung Ho and its television spinoff, the 1989 movie UHF starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, and from 1988 to 1991 on Sesame Street as Hiroshi.

He also had a recurring role as gay nurse Yoshi Takata on the television drama ER from 1998 to 2002. Watanbe provided the voice for various Japanese characters on the animated television comedy The Simpsons, and in 1998 he provided the voice for Ling in the Disney animated film Mulan. He later reprised this role for the 2004 direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II and the 2005 video game Kingdom Hearts II.

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Trivia: Many of Watanabe's characters are caricatured East Asians with heavy accents, though he does not speak Japanese himself.

Studied at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California.

For Mulan (1998), he had another person do his singing voice because his own voice was too good.

In his audition for the film Sixteen Candles (1984), he went through the entire process pretending he did not speak any English, imitating a Korean friend. After he was finished, he eloquently thanked the casting director in perfect English. He was soon cast.

His mother was interned by the United States during World War II.

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Where Are They Now: Most recently, Watanabe appeared in the 2013 action film 47 Ronin as a troupe leader. In 2012, he appeared in the comedy Parental Guidance, as well as the TV movie The Seven Year Hitch. He also appeared in a 2012 episode of the TV series Fox and Friends as himself.

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