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General information  

  • Place of birth : Ogden
  • Date of birth : 26/06/1955

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  • Watanabe Gedde

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Gedde Watanabe (1955)

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  Summary  

Gedde Watanabe is an American theatre, film, and television actor.

He was in several dramatic productions in high school, both acting and singing. After graduation, Watanabe left Ogden for San Francisco, where he hoped to make his living as a street musician while honing his acting skills.

  Biography  

 career
He appeared on Broadway in 1976 in Pacific Overtures, originating the role of the Boy in a Tree, and has appeared in a number of films and television shows. Watanabe appeared on Sesame Street for some years and had a recurring role on ER from 1998 to 2002. In 1998 he was the voice for Ling in the Disney film Mulan and reprised the role for the 2004 direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II.

Watanabe's acting parts have been mostly caricatured East Asians with heavy accents . Jason Buchanan wrote for Allmovie, "The character that Gedde Watanabe is most remembered for is no doubt Long Duk Dong, the clumsy foreign exchange student in Sixteen Candles whose drunken fall from a tree and laughable bastardization of the English language had ninth-graders of the day rolling in theater aisles." Watanabe's role of Long Duk Dong was decried by Asian-American groups as "stereotypical, racist and part of a long history of Hollywood's offensive depictions of Asian men."

"I was making people laugh. I didn't realize how it was going to affect people," Watanabe said in retrospect. "It took me a while to understand that. In fact, I was working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I was accosted a couple of times by a couple of women who were just really irate and angry. They asked, 'How could you do a role like that?' But it's funny, too, because at the same time I laugh at the character. It's an odd animal."

He had a starring role in both the film and ABC-TV versions of Gung Ho. The television series was scheduled against the hit show Dallas and was quickly canceled. Watanabe has provided the voice for Japanese characters on TV's The Simpsons. From 1996 to 2003 he made occasional appearances as gay nurse Yosh Takata on the television drama ER. He appeared in the film That Thing You Do as a photographer working for studio boss Sol Siler.

Watanabe co-starred as Kuni, a karate instructor, in the 1989 movie UHF starring "Weird Al" Yankovic. He played the abusive host of a TV game show called Wheel of Fish, a cross between Wheel of Fortune and Let's Make a Deal. Watanabe reprised this role on the Weird Al Show.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Gedde Watanabe", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.