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      Machiko Kyō

      Machiko Kyō

      Highest Rated: 100% Ugetsu (1953)

      Lowest Rated: 70% Odd Obsession (1959)

      Birthday: Mar 25, 1924

      Birthplace: Osaka, Japan

      Japanese actress Machiko Kyo was a powerful and versatile presence in some the most critically acclaimed and successful films from her country in the 1950s, including Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon" (1950), "Ugetsu" and "Floating Weeds" (1959). Born Motoko Yano on March 25, 1924, in Osaka, japan, Kyo sought from an early age to become a solo dancer in order to provide financial assistance to her mother, who had raised her, along with her grandmother, after the departure of Kyo's father. In the mid-1930s, she joined the Osaka Shochiku Kagekidan revue, and adopted the stage name Machiko Kyo. In the late 1940s, she was discovered by a scout from Daiei Studios, and brought to the attention of company president Masaichi Nagata, who groomed her for an acting career while also pursuing a romantic relationship with Kyo. Her film career began with a minor role as a witch in the fantasy drama "Hana kurabe tanuki-goten" (1949), but critical praise for her performance in her second film, "Naomi," led to Nagata casting her in Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon" (1950). The film, about conflicting accounts of a woman's rape and the murder of her husband by bandit Toshiro Mifune, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and praise for Kyo's performance, which required her to give four different takes on the incident for each of the recollections. For much of the 1950s, Kyo worked with some of the leading directors of Japan's "Golden Age" of moviemaking: she was the spirit of a deceased noblewoman who brings ruin to a potter's life in Kenji Mizoguchi's "Ugetsu," which won the Silver Lion at Venice, and a lady-in-waiting who sacrificed herself to save her husband in Teinosuke Kinugasa's "Gate of Hell" (1953), which earned both the Palme d'Or from the Cannes Film Festival and an honorary Academy Award. Mizoguchi would cast her in a number of his 1950s-era projects, including the title role in the historical drama "Princess Yang Kwei-Fei" (1955) and as a tough prostitute in "Street of Shame" (1955). The acclaim afforded by these films led to a brief foray to Hollywood, where she played opposite Marlon Brando and Glenn Ford in "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1956); though she received a Golden Globe nomination for her turn, Kyo decided to remain in Japan, and continued to give notable performances for such acclaimed directors as Yasujiro Ozu ("Floating Weeds"), Kon Ichikawa (the Cannes Jury Prize-winning "Odd Obsession," 1960) and Yukio Mishima, who penned the script for the genre-bending "Kurotokage" ("Black Lizard," 1962). Her output slowed by the mid-1960s, though she remained a staple of high-profile projects, including Hiroshi Teshigahara's New Wave drama "The Face of Another" (1966). When Daiei declared bankruptcy in 1971, Kyo moved into television and stage work. Her appearances grew more sporadic, though she continued to act into her eighth decade. Kyo's final screen appearance came in the 2000 public television series "Haregi, koko ichiban" (NHK), and following stage work in 2006, she retired from acting altogether. Kyo received a lifetime achievement award at the 2017 Japan Academy Prizes; she died two years later, on May 12, 2019, at the age of 95.

      Highest rated movies

      100% The Face of Another
      100% Ugetsu
      98% Rashomon
      96% Floating Weeds
      93% Gate of Hell
      86% The Teahouse of the August Moon
      82% Street of Shame
      70% Odd Obsession

      Photos

      RASHOMON, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo, 1950. GATE OF HELL, Machiko Kyo, 1953. RASHOMON, Machiko Kyo, Toshiro Mifune, 1950. GATE OF HELL, Kazuo Hasegawa, Machiko Kyo, 1953. UGETSU, (aka UGETSU MONOGATARI, aka TALES OF THE PALE AND SILVERY MOON AFTER THE RAIN, aka TALES OF A PALE AND MYSTERIOUS MOON AFTER THE RAIN), Machiko Kyo, 1953 GATE OF HELL, Kazuo Hasegawa, Machiko Kyo, 1953. RASHOMON, Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, 1950. RASHOMON, Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, 1950. UGETSU, (aka UGETSU MONOGATARI, aka TALES OF THE PALE AND SILVERY MOON AFTER THE RAIN, aka TALES OF A PALE AND MYSTERIOUS MOON AFTER THE RAIN), Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori, 1953. UGETSU, (AKA UGETSU MONOGATARI, AKA TALES OF THE PALE AND SILVERY MOON AFTER THE RAIN, AKA TALES OF A PALE AND MYSTERIOUS MOON AFTER THE RAIN), FROM LEFT: MACHIKO KYO, MASAYUKI MORI, 1953 STREET OF SHAME, (aka AKASEN CHITAI), from left: Kumeko Urabe, Machiko Kyo (center), 1956 UGETSU, (aka UGETSU MONOGATARI, aka TALES OF THE PALE AND SILVERY MOON AFTER THE RAIN, aka TALES OF A PALE AND MYSTERIOUS MOON AFTER THE RAIN), Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori, 1953 UGETSU, (aka UGETSU MONOGATARI, aka TALES OF THE PALE AND SILVERY MOON AFTER THE RAIN, aka TALES OF A PALE AND MYSTERIOUS MOON AFTER THE RAIN), Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori, 1953. UGETSU, (aka UGETSU MONOGATARI, aka TALES OF THE PALE AND SILVERY MOON AFTER THE RAIN, aka TALES OF A PALE AND MYSTERIOUS MOON AFTER THE RAIN), Kikue Mori, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo, 1953 THE TEAHOUSE OF THE AUGUST MOON, Machiko Kyo, Marlon Brando, Glenn Ford, 1956 GATE OF HELL, Machiko Kyo, Isao Yamagata, 1954 STREET OF SHAME, (aka AKASEN CHITAI), from left: Aiko Mimasu (foot on fender), Machiko Kyo, Michiyo Kogure (dot kimono), Sadako Sawamura (top), Hiroko Machida (second from right), 1956 TEAHOUSE OF THE AUGUST MOON, Machiko Kyo, Glenn Ford, Marlon Brando, 1956 GATE OF HELL, Machiko Kyo, 1953. RASHOMON, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo, 1950.

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director Unknown (Character) - 1975
      100% 90% The Face of Another Mrs. Okuyama (Character) - 1966
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Black Lizard Mrs. Midorikawa (Character) - 1962
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Buddha Nandabala (Character) - 1961
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Woman Who Touched the Legs Saya Shiozawa (Character) - 1960
      No Score Yet No Score Yet A Woman's Testament Omitsu (Character) - 1960
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Wandering Princess Unknown (Character) - 1960
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Bonchi Ofuku (Character) - 1960
      96% 91% Floating Weeds Sumiko (Character) - 1959
      70% 78% Odd Obsession Ikuko Kenmochi (Character) - 1959
      No Score Yet 55% The Loyal 47 Ronin Orui (Character) - 1958
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Leaves of Night Mari (Character) - 1957
      82% 82% Street of Shame Mickey (Character) - 1956
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Three Women Around Yoshinaka Unknown (Character) - 1956
      86% 64% The Teahouse of the August Moon Lotus Blossom (Character) - 1956
      No Score Yet 76% Princess Yang Kwei-fei Princess Yang Kwei-fei (Character) - 1955
      93% 76% Gate of Hell Lady Kesa (Character) - 1953
      100% 93% Ugetsu Lady Wakasa (Character) - 1953
      No Score Yet 60% Ani imôto (Older Brother, Younger Sister) Unknown (Character) - 1953
      No Score Yet 50% The Tale of Genji Awaji no ue (Character) - 1951
      98% 93% Rashomon Masako Kanazawa (Character) - 1950