Tuesday, August 01, 2006
"MAKO" ` In Memoriam
Best known only as "Mako," I knew him when we were both much younger. His name was Makoto Iwamatsu, but his friends all called him "Mako" even then. He died on July 21st of esophageal cancer.
Once upon a time we were both students at the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts. He was always sweet and funny (his "Puck," in William Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream" was classic!). He went on to make a ton of movies and TV shows. I think his last roles were as Sakamoto in "Memoirs of A Geisha" and as Uncle Iroh in "Avatar, The Last Airbender." In 1966, he won an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Sand Pebbles," with Steve McQueen. He co-founded and served as artistic director for the highly acclaimed East-West Theatre Company in Los Angeles. He is survived by his wife, Shizuko, and their children and grandchildren.
"Good night sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!"