Miyoshi Umeki (Miyoshi Umeki)

Miyoshi  Umeki

Actress. She is best remembered for her role as Katsumi, the doomed Japanese wife of an American serviceman played by Red Buttons, in the 1957 film “Sayonara”. It earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first Asian performer to win an Oscar. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for the same film. Born in Hokkaido, Japan, Umeki was a popular nightclub singer before moving to the USA in 1955. In 1958 she turned to Broadway to star as a young Chinese immigrant in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Flower Drum Song.” She received a Tony nomination in 1959 for her performance and then reprised the role two years later in the film adaptation of the play. TV audiences will remember Umeki for her role as housekeeper Mrs Livingston in the series “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” (1969 to 1972), co-starring Bill Bixby and Brandon Cruz. Her other credits include “Cry for Happy” (1961), “The Horizontal Lieutenant” (1962), and “A Girl Named Tamiko” (1963). After the death of her second husband, TV director Randall Hood, in 1976, Umeki retired from Hollywood and settled in Licking, Missouri, where she died.

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  • May, 08, 1929
  • Japan


  • August, 28, 2007
  • USA
  • Missouri


  • Boone Creek Cemetery
  • Missouri
  • USA

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