James Shigeta Wiki, Age, Height, Net Worth, Wife, Marriage

James Shigeta

James Shigeta, an American actor, singer, and musician born in Japan, is well-known for his work in The Crimson Kimono (1959).

Quick Facts

Real NameJames Shigeta
Nick NameJames
Famous AsActor, Singer, Musician
Age85 years old
BirthdayJune 17, 1929
Zodiac SignGemini
Height5 ft 9 inches
Weight339 pounds
Body MeasurementsN/A
Biceps SizeN/A
Eye ColorBlack
Hair ColorBlack
Shoe Size9.5
Net Worth$900,000
HobbiesActing, Traveling, Singing

James Shigeta Biography

James Shigeta, a third-generation -American, was born on June 17, 1929, and died on July 28, 2014 (at the age of 85) in Los Angeles, California. He was Issei and Nisei’s sixth child. In 1947, he graduated from President Theodore Roosevelt High School and soon after began studying drama at New York University.

Instead of pursuing a business career, James prepared himself mentally and physically to join the United States Marine Corps. During the Korean War, James served for two and a half years, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant. When he first started out in the acting business, he was frequently cast in romantic male lead roles. At the time he entered the industry, this type of role was almost non-existent for an actor of Asian descent. All of this established James as a pioneer in Asian American media representation.

James Shigeta Height, Weight

James is said to have stood 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 339 pounds. He had light brown eyes and sale and pepper hair when he was younger. James wore shoes in sizes 9.5 (US), 8.5 (UK), 43.5 (EU), and 27.5 (UK) (CM). He was born under the zodiac sign of Gemini.

James Shigeta With His Co-Star (Source: Instagram)


Leon Charles, a dialogue coach, taught him how to act. In 1959, he made his film debut as Detective Joe Kojaku in the film The Crimson Kimono. This was a detective story with an interracial love triangle involving Kojaku, his partner Sgt. Charlie Bancroft, and Christine Downes. Sgt. Charlie Bancroft is played by Glenn Corbett, and Christine Downes is played by Victoria Shaw.

The character of James was groundbreaking for the 1950s in that it was played by an Asian American actor who has regular American speech patterns rather than non-Asian made up to pass as Asian speaking broke the English language. In the following films, Paramount Pictures and James Clavell approached James in the 1960 film Walk Like a Dragon. James portrayed the character of Cheng Lu who was a young Chinese man in the American old west. During the film’s production,

James was still working on the next film, Holiday in Japan, so a mode of transportation (i.e. ambulance) was arranged for him so that he could arrive on time. He also appeared in the 1961 romantic comedy film Cry for Happy alongside Glenn Ford, Donald O’Connor, and Miyoshi Umeki. In 1961, he was cast in the role of Wang Ta. In 1976, James was given the opportunity to play famous Japanese admiral Chichi Nagumo in the film Midway. After a brief hiatus, he played the ill-fated corporate executive Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi in the film Die Hard.

James Shigeta Wife, Marriage

He had never married or dated anyone. He died alone.

James Shigeta Net Worth

James is no longer with us, but when he was alive, his net worth was estimated to be $900,000.