James Shigeta, who starred in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song and later became familiar to millions as a convincing villain in Bruce Willis’ Die Hard franchise, died in Los Angeles. His was 81, his publicist said.
The Hawaiian-born Shigeta worked in films with everyone from Willis to Elvis Presley (Hawaiian Style, 1966). Shigeta was among the best known and most highly regarded Asian-American actors of his generation. His TV credits were also numerous and wide-ranging, from Kung Fu to Magnum, P.I. to Beverly Hills 90210. Shigeta began his entertainment career as a singer and piano player.