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Youki Kudoh previously starred for Jim Jarmusch in Mystery Train; her performance in that film earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.
She has long been one of Japan’s most recognizable actresses and singers, having recorded several albums. Her first major film role was in Shinji Sômai’s Typhoon Club (1985).
Ms. Kudoh’s notable films since have included Craig Lahiff’s Heaven’s Burning, in which she starred opposite Russell Crowe; Scott Hicks’ Snow Falling on Cedars, in which she starred opposite Ethan Hawke; Rob Marshall’s Memoirs of a Geisha, which won 3 Academy Awards; and Brett Ratner’s Rush Hour 3, with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
Kayo Hatta’s Picture Bride, in which Ms. Kudoh starred with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Tamlyn Tomita, brought Ms. Kudoh a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actress as well as the Japan Film Critics Award for International Actress of the Year.
For her performance in Tadashi Imai’s War and Youth, she was named Best Actress at the Hochi Film Festival; won the Japan Film Critics Award for Best Actress; received the 34th annual Blue Ribbon Main Actress Award; and was named Actress of the Year at Japan’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.