Mako

Actors

Makoto Iwamatsu (岩松 信, Iwamatsu Makoto, December 10, 1933 – July 21, 2006) was a Japanese-American character actor; almost all of his acting roles credited him as Mako. His film roles include Po-Han in Robert Wise’s The Sand Pebbles (1966), with Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Richard Crenna, Candice Bergen, Mako, Simon Oakland, Larry Gates, and Marayat Andriane; Oomiak “The Fearless One” in Robert Stevenson’s The Island at the Top of the World (1974), Akiro the Wizard in Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Conan the Destroyer (1984), both with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan; and Kungo Tsarong in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Seven Years in Tibet (1997), with Brad Pitt and David Thewlis.

Other notable films include Frank Tashlin’s The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrell (1968), with Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, and Jeffrey Hunter; The Great Bank Robbery (1969, with Zero Mostel, Kim Novak, Clint Walker, and Claude Akins: The Hawaiians (1970), with Charlton Heston, Tina Chen, and Geraldine Chaplin; Fools (1970), with Jason Robards and Katharine Ross; Sam Peckinpah‘s The Killer Elite (1976), with James Caan and Robert Duvall; The Big Brawl (1980), with Jackie Chan; Under the Rainbow (1981), with Chevy Chase, Carrie Fisher, Eve Arden, and Billy Barty; An Eye for an Eye (1981), with Chuck Norris, Christopher Lee, and Richard Roundtree; The Bushido Blade (1981), with Richard Boone, Sonny Chiba, Toshiro Mifune, Laura Gemser and James Earl Jones; Behind Enemy Lines (1986), with David Carradine; and Francis Ford Coppola‘s Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), with Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Martin Landau, Elias Koteas, Frederic Forrest, and Christian Slater.

Later films include Arthur Hiller’s Taking Care of Business (1990), with James Belushi and Charles Grodin; John Schlesinger’s Pacific Heights (1990), with Melanie Griffith, Matthew Modine, and Michael Keaton; Sidekicks (1992), with Jonathan Brandis, Beau Bridges, Julia Nickson-Soul, Joe Piscopo, and Norris; Philip Kaufman’s Rising Sun (1993), with Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa; Pearl Harbor (2001), with Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tom Sizemore, Jon Voight, Colm Feore, and Alec Baldwin; Bulletproof Monk (2003), with Chow Yun-fat, Seann William Scott, and Jaime King; and Rob Marshall’s Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), with Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Youki Kudoh, Suzuka Ohgo and Samantha Futerman;

For The Sand Pebbles, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He was part of the original cast of Stephen Sondheim’s 1976 Broadway musical Pacific Overtures, which earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. He was also one of the founding members of East West Players. Later in his career, he became well known for his voice acting roles, including Aku in Samurai Jack (2001–2004), and Iroh in Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005–2006). He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7095 Hollywood Blvd. He passed away from complications to esophageal on July 21, 2006. One of his last roles (released posthumously), was voicing Master Splinter in the animated film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2007), featuring the voices of James Arnold Taylor, Nolan North, Mikey Kelley, Mitchell Whitfield, Chris Evans, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kevin Smith, Patrick Stewart, and Zhang Ziyi with narration by Laurence Fishburne.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Never So Few (1959) – directed by John Sturges – uncredited
  • McHale’s Navy Joins the Air Force (1965) – directed by Edward Montagne – uncredited
  • The Ugly Dachshund (1966) – directed by Norman Tokar
  • The Sand Pebbles (1966) – directed by Robert Wise
  • The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrell (1968) – directed by Frank Tashlin
  • The Great Bank Robbery (1969) – directed by Hy Averback
  • The Challenge (1970) – George McCowan (as Alan Smithee) – TV movie
  • The Hawaiians (1970) – directed by Tom Gries – aka Master of the Islands
  • Fools (1970) – directed by Tom Gries
  • Silence (1971) – directed by Masahiro Shinoda
  • If Tomorrow Comes (1971) – directed by George McCowan – TV movie
  • Yokohama Mama (1972) – directed by Gerry Chiniquy – short
  • The Island at the Top of the World (1974) – directed by Robert Stevenson
  • Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders (1974) – directed by Jeremy Kagan – TV movie
  • Prisoners (1975) – directed by William H. Bushnell Jr.
  • The Killer Elite (1975) – directed by Sam Peckinpah
  • Farewell to Manzanar (1976) – directed by John Korty – TV movie
  • Pacific Overtures (1976) – directed by Marty Pasetta – TV movie
  • When Hell Was in Session (1979) – directed by Paul Krasny – TV movie
  • Hito Hata: Raise the Banner (1980) – directed by Duane Kubo & Robert A. Nakamura
  • The Big Brawl (1980) – directed by Robert Clouse – aka Battle Creek Brawl
  • The Bushido Blade (1981) – directed by Tom Kotani – filmed in 1978
  • Under the Rainbow (1981) – directed by Steve Rash
  • An Eye for an Eye (1981) – directed by Steve Carver
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982) – directed by John Milius
  • The Last Ninja (1983) – directed by William A. Graham – TV movie
  • Testament (1983) – directed by Lynn Littman
  • Girls of the White Orchid (1983) – directed by Jonathan Kaplan – TV movie
  • Conan the Destroyer (1984) – directed by Richard Fleischer
  • Hawaiian Heat (1984) – directed by Michael Vejar – TV movie/Pilot
  • Kung Fu: The Movie (1986) – directed by Richard Lang – TV movie
  • Behind Enemy Lines (1986) – directed by Gideon Amir – aka P.O.W. the Escape
  • Armed Response (1986) – directed by Fred Olen Ray
  • Silent Assassins (1988) – directed by Doo-Yong Lee & Scott Thomas
  • Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • The Wash (1988) – directed by Michael Toshiyuki Uno
  • An Unremarkable Life (1989) – directed by directed by Amin Q. Chaudhri
  • Murder in Paradise (1990) – directed by Fred Walton – TV movie
  • Enemy (1990) – directed by George Rowe – aka Fatal Mission – filmed in 1988
  • Hiroshima: Out of the Ashes (1990) – directed by Peter Werner – TV movie
  • Taking Care of Business (1990) – directed by Arthur Hiller
  • Pacific Heights (1990) – directed by John Schlesinger
  • The Perfect Weapon (1991) – directed by Mark DiSalle
  • Strawberry Road (1991) – directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara
  • My Samurai (1992) – directed by Fred H. Dresch
  • Nightingale (1992) – directed by Michael Sporn – TV short
  • Sidekicks (1992) – directed by Aaron Norris
  • RoboCop 3 (1993) – directed by Fred Dekker
  • Rising Sun (1993) – directed by Philip Kaufman
  • Cultivating Charlie (1994) – directed by Alex Georges
  • Red Sun Rising (1994) – directed by Francis Megahy
  • A Dangerous Place (1994) – directed by Jerry P. Jacobs
  • Highlander III: The Sorcerer (1994) – directed by Andrew Morahan – Highlander III, Highlander III: The Magician, Highlander III: The Final Dimension, Highlander: The Final Dimension & Highlander 3: The Final Conflict
  • Midnight Man (1995) – directed by John Weidner – aka Blood for Blood
  • Crying Freeman (1995) – directed by Christophe Gans
  • Balance of Power (1996) – directed by Rick Bennett
  • Sworn to Justice (1996) – directed by Paul Maslak
  • Riot (1997) – directed by Galen Yuen, Alex Munoz, Richard Di Lello, & David C. Johnson – TV movie anthology
  • Sacred Trust (1997) – directed by Allen Kool
  • Seven Years in Tibet (1997) – directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • The Bird People of China (1998) – directed by Takashi Miike
  • Alegería (1999) – directed by Franco Dragone
  • Kyohansha (1999) – directed by Kazuhiro Kiuchi
  • Owls’ Castle (1999) – directed by Masahiro Shinoda
  • Talk to Taka (2000) – directed by Richard K. Kim – short
  • Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000)* – directed by Stig Bergqvist & Paul Demeyer
  • Pearl Harbor (2001) – directed by Michael Bay
  • Cruel Game (2002) – directed by Masashi Nagadoi
  • Bulletproof Monk (2003)* – directed by Paul Hunter
  • Bus Story (2003) – directed by Donna Choo – short
  • Sokoku (2005) – directed by Tonkô Horikawa – TV movie
  • Cages (2005) – directed by Graham Streeter
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) – directed by Rob Marshall
  • TMNT (2007)* – directed by Kevin Munroe – posthumous release
  • Rise: Blood Hunter (2007) – directed by Sebastian Gutierrez – posthumous release