Sessue Hayakawa

One of the lucky few to make a successful transition from silents to talkies, Sussue Hayakawa was a trailblazing Asian-American actor and film pioneer. He began acting in 1914 for Thomas Ince, and in 1915 became an overnight sensation in Cecil B. DeMille's scandalous film The Cheat. By 1919 he had formed his own production company and released 23 features, including the recently restored The Dragon Painter.

In 1922 he left Hollywood, only to return after WWII for another successful career, earning an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Bridge on the River Kwai. After the death of wife Tsuru Aoki he returned to Japan where he died in 1973.

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