Shirley Yamaguchi - Rotten Tomatoes

Shirley Yamaguchi

Highest Rated:   86% Scandal (Shubun) (1950)
Lowest Rated:   85% House of Bamboo (1955)
Birthplace:   Not Available
Born in 1920 to Japanese parents in Manchuria, Yoshiko Yamaguchi (known as Shirley Yamaguchi in the United States) became a movie star in three countries and had one of the most adventurous careers of any actress. Blessed with a magnificent singing voice, she began performing on the radio in China while still in high school. During the Japanese occupation of China, she was hired as an actress by the Manchu Film Studio, which produced her first film, Honeymoon Express, in 1938. The Manchu Film Studio essentially made propaganda films promoting friendship between China and the occupying Japanese, with Yamaguchi usually playing a young Chinese girl who meets and falls in love with a Japanese man. In order to give her characters more authenticity, the bilingual Yamaguchi was given a Chinese name, Li Xianglan. She made more than 20 movies under this name before Japan's surrender six years later. A few months after the surrender, Yamaguchi was arrested by the Chinese government and charged with collaborating with the enemy. The charges were dropped, however, when her Japanese nationality was revealed. Yamaguchi then went to Japan, where, thanks to such films as Madame White Snake, Escape at Dawn, and Scandal (the only film she made with Akira Kurosawa, in which she starred opposite a young Toshiro Mifune), she became one of Japan's biggest postwar stars. In the 1950s she made a handful of movies in Hollywood, most notably King Vidor's social drama Japanese War Bride and Samuel Fuller's eccentric caper movie House of Bamboo. She also married the Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi, but was divorced a few years later. At the age of 38 she officially retired from acting and married a Japanese diplomat. She later entered politics herself, serving on Japan's Diet from 1972 to 1992. She died in 2014, at age 94.

Highest Rated Movies



85% House of Bamboo
  • Mariko
No Score Yet Japanese War Bride
  • Tae Shimizu
86% Scandal (Shubun)
  • Miyako Saijo

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