|Born||December 25, 1926|
Aichi Prefecture, Japan
|Died||March 27, 2007 80)(aged|
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, singer, guitarist|
Hitoshi Ueki (植木 等, Ueki Hitoshi, December 25, 1926 – March 27, 2007) was a Japanese actor, comedian, singer, and guitarist. He won six awards for acting. His film credits stretch from 1960 to 1995.
Ueki came to fame through the comic jazz-band The Crazy Cats led by Hajime Hana. His major appearances were in the Musekinin Otoko film series, the comedy variety show Shabondama Holiday, the prime-time television series The Hangman, and the ten 2-hour television shows in the Nagoya Yomeiri Monogatari franchise.
He appeared in the Akira Kurosawa epic jidaigeki film Ran in 1985, receiving a nomination for the Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and earned the Japanese Academy, Kinema Junpo,and Mainichi film awards for best supporting actor for his role as the eccentric grandfather in Big Joys, Small Sorrows in 1987.
On stage, he portrayed Billy Flynn in the musical Chicago , voiced the Roddy McDowall role in the Japanese market release of Planet of the Apes , and served as the narrator in the Japanese version of Tom and Jerry.
His hit song with Hana Hajime and the Crazy Cats, Sūdara-bushi, placed in the Oricon top ten,and landed him an appearance on the NHK annual music spectacular Kōhaku Uta Gassen.
Ueki received the Purple Ribbon Medal of Honour in 1993 and the 4th Class Order of the Rising Sun in 1999.
Currently, new technology is being used to create a Vocaloid voicebank using his voice.
This article includes material translated from 植木等 (Ueki Hitoshi) in the Japanese Wikipedia, retrieved on June 21, 2008.
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