Miiko Taka

Miiko Taka
Miiko Taka

Miiko Taka (Wikipedia)

Miiko Taka was born in 1925 and is an American actress best known for co-starring with Marlon Brando as Hana-ogi in the 1957 movie Sayonara.

Taka was born in 1925 in Seattle, but raised in Los AngelesCaliforniaas a Nisei; her parents had immigrated from Japan. In 1942, she was interned with her family at the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona.

After director Joshua Logan‘s first choice for the role of Hana-ogi, Audrey Hepburn, turned him down, he looked to cast an unknown actress. 

Taka, who at the time was working as a clerk at a travel agency in Los Angeles, was discovered by a talent scout at a local Nisei festival. Although she had no previous acting experience, Variety gave her a positive review in their review of the film. Warner Bros. gave her a term contract as a result of her performance in Sayonara.

After Sayonara, she worked in films with James GarnerBob HopeCary Grant, and Toshirō Mifune (alongside whom she also worked in the 1980 television miniseries, Shõgun).

She also served as an interpreter for Mifune as well as Akira Kurosawa when they visited Hollywood 

Taka married Dale Ishimoto in Baltimore in 1944, and they had one son, Greg Shikata, who works in the film industry, and one daughter. They divorced in 1958.

She married Los Angeles TV news director Lennie Blondheim in 1963. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

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