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      Sonny Chiba

      Sonny Chiba

      Highest Rated: 100% The Stormriders (1998)

      Lowest Rated: 14% Aces: Iron Eagle III (1992)

      Birthday: Jan 23, 1939

      Birthplace: Fukuoka, Japan

      A cult favorite among martial arts aficionados, Sonny Chiba was a formidable presence in numerous action films during the 1970s, including "The Street Fighter" (1974), which earned an X rating and grindhouse immortality for its extreme violence. Born Sadaho Maeda on January 23, 1939 in Fukuoka, Japan, Sonny Chiba was the second of five children by a military test pilot who moved the family to Chiba Prefecture during World War II. As a young man, Chiba excelled at a wide variety of sports, including gymnastics, and was expected to become a member of Japan's Olympic team, but an injury forced him to abandon that goal. Chiba shifted his focus to martial arts, which he studied under the legendary karate master Masatasu Oyama, whom he would later play on screen during the 1970s. In the late 1950s, Chiba decided to audition for a talent competition held by Toei Studios. The 19-year-old won the contest and, after adopting the stage name "Shinichi Chiba," was cast as the titular hero in the superhero series "7-Color Mask" (NET, 1959-1960). Chiba was soon headlining numerous film and television projects for Toei, most of which hinged on his stoic presence and impressive athleticism, before landing his breakout role in "Key Hunter" (TBS, 1968-1973), a popular crime/spy series which allowed the actor to choreograph action sequences. Its success minted Chiba as one of Japan's top stars, and led to a dizzying array of feature films, as well as his own performing school, the Japan Action Club, which provided trained stuntmen to screen projects. The international success of Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" (1973) prompted Toei to launch their own slate of martial arts features with Chiba as their lead. In films like "The Street Fighter" (1974), "The Executioner" (1974) and "Champion of Death" (1975), Chiba was a brutish, often malevolent antihero, which stood in marked contrast to Lee's graceful screen presence and philosophical approach to martial arts. Audiences on both sides of the Pacific flocked to Chiba's films, drawn to images of grisly violence like the X-ray cutaway of a man's skull crushed by Chiba's fist in "The Street Fighter," which minted him as one of the decade's biggest action heroes. As the martial arts craze wore down, he moved into other genres, most notably the surreal science fiction epic "Message from Space" (1978). Chiba suffered a personal setback in 1989 when his dream project, a thriller called "Yellow Fangs" (1990), failed at the box office, forcing him to close the Japan Action School and other holdings. The 1990s saw Chiba in low-budget American pictures like "Iron Eagle III" (1992) before mounting an impressive comeback as the villain in Andrew Lau's "The Storm Riders" (1998). A slew of character roles preceded his return to Western audiences as the sword master Hanzo Hattori in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill Volume 1" (2003). Chiba maintained a steady schedule of appearances in Japanese and American titles (including "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" (2006)) while enjoying newfound fame with younger audiences who discovered his classic '70s efforts on home video. Sonny Chiba died on August 19, 2021 at the age of 82.

      Highest rated movies

      100% The Stormriders
      85% Kill Bill: Vol. 1 84% Kill Bill: Vol. 2
      57% Sushi Girl
      37% The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
      14% Aces: Iron Eagle III

      Photos

      THE STREETFIGHTER, (aka GEKITOTSU! SATSUJIN KEN), Sonny Chiba, 1974 THE BODYGUARD, Sonny Chiba, Aaron Banks, 1979 THE BUSHIDO BLADE, Frank Converse, Sonny Chiba, 1981, (c) Aquarius Releasing THE STREETFIGHTER, (aka GEKITOTSU! SATSUJIN KEN), Sonny Chiba, 1974 THE STREETFIGHTER, (aka GEKITOTSU! SATSUJIN KEN), Sonny Chiba, 1974 MESSAGE FROM SPACE, (aka UCHU KARA NO MESSEJI), Hiroyuki Sanada, Philip Casnoff, Makata Sato, Peggy Lee Brennan, Sonny Chiba, 1978, (c) United Artists MESSAGE FROM SPACE, (aka UCHU KARA NO MESSEJI), Sonny Chiba (left), Vic Morrow, Junkichi Orimoto (far left), 1978, (c) United Artists MESSAGE FROM SPACE, (aka UCHU KARA NO MESSEJI), Sonny Chiba, Mikio Narita, 1978, (c) United Artists KILL BILL, Sonny Chiba, 2003, (c) Miramax ACES: IRON EAGLE III, Sonny Chiba, Louis Gosset Jr., Christopher Cazenove, Horst Buchhotz, 1992. ©New Line Cinema KILL BILL, Sonny Chiba, 2003, (c) Miramax KILL BILL, Sonny Chiba, Uma Thurman, 2003, (c) Miramax KILL BILL, Sonny Chiba, 2003, (c) Miramax KILL BILL, Sonny Chiba, Uma Thurman, 2003, (c) Miramax THE BUSHIDO BLADE, Sonny Chiba, 1981 KILL BILL, Sonny Chiba, director Quentin Tarantino, Uma Thurman on-set, 2003, (c) Miramax KILL BILL, Sonny Chiba, Uma Thurman, 2003, (c) Miramax

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Take a Chance Musashi (Character) - 2018
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Kabukicho High School Unknown (Character) - 2014
      57% 44% Sushi Girl Sushi Chef (Character) - 2012
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Surely Someday Cinematographer - 2010
      37% 69% The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift Uncle Kamata (Character) $62.5M 2006
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Winds of God Ota (Character) - 2006
      84% 89% Kill Bill: Vol. 2 Hattori Hanzo (Character) $66.2M 2004
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Explosive City Otosan (Character) - 2004
      85% 81% Kill Bill: Vol. 1 Hattori Hanzo (Character) $70.1M 2003
      No Score Yet 71% Deadly Outlaw: Rekka Unknown (Character) - 2002
      No Score Yet 65% Born to Be King Isako Kusaraki (Character) - 2000
      No Score Yet 20% The Legend of the Flying Swordsman Dagger (Character) - 2000
      100% 66% The Stormriders Conquer (Character) - 1998
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Body Count Makato (Character) - 1996
      No Score Yet 42% Immortal Combat Jiro "J.J." Jintani (Character) - 1994
      14% 24% Aces: Iron Eagle III Horikoshi (Character) $2.5M 1992
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Yakuza Warfare Unknown (Character) - 1991
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Yellow Fangs Director - 1990
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Yellow Fangs Director - 1990
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Shogun's Shadow Unknown (Character) - 1989
      No Score Yet 84% Shogun's Shadow Unknown (Character) - 1989
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Sure Death 4: Revenge Unknown (Character) - 1987
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Masters of the Martial Arts Unknown (Character) - 1985
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Last Gambler Ryozo Kano (Character) - 1985
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Hurricane Sword Unknown (Character) - 1985
      No Score Yet 77% Legend of the Eight Samurai Inuyama Dosetsu Tadatomo (Character) - 1984
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Death of a Ninja Unknown (Character) - 1984
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Iga-no Kabamaru Unknown (Character) - 1983
      No Score Yet 67% Ninja Wars Shinzaemon Yagyu (Character) - 1982
      No Score Yet 68% Samurai Reincarnation Jubei Yagyu (Character) - 1981
      No Score Yet 44% Dragon Princess Kazuma Higaki (Character) - 1981
      No Score Yet 35% The Bushido Blade Prince Ido (Character) - 1981
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Roaring Fire Shinsuke Tachizawa (Character) - 1981
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Adventurer Kamikaze Unknown (Character) - 1981
      No Score Yet 55% Shogun's Ninja Shiranui Shogen (Character) - 1980
      No Score Yet 50% Karate Warriors Unknown (Character) - 1980
      No Score Yet 55% Virus Dr. Yamauchi (Character) - 1980
      No Score Yet 58% G.I. Samurai Second Lieutenant Yoshiaki Iba (Character) - 1979
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Assassin Unknown (Character) - 1979
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Resurrection of the Golden Wolf Unknown (Character) - 1979
      No Score Yet 30% Message From Space Hans (Character) - 1978
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Okinawa: The Ten-Year War Unknown (Character) - 1978
      No Score Yet 84% Shogun's Samurai: The Yagyu Clan Conspiracy Jûbê Yagyû (Character) - 1978
      No Score Yet 55% Kowloon Assignment Unknown (Character) - 1978
      No Score Yet 60% The Fall of Ako Castle Kazuemon Fuwa (Character) - 1978
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Soul of Bruce Lee Unknown (Character) - 1977
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Doberman Cop Joji Kano (Character) - 1977
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Truck Yarô: Dokyô Ichibanboshi Unknown (Character) - 1977
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Hokuriku Dairi Senso Hachiro Kanai (Character) - 1977
      No Score Yet 59% Karate for Life Unknown (Character) - 1977
      No Score Yet 45% The Bodyguard Unknown (Character) - 1977
      No Score Yet 67% Karate Bear Fighter Unknown (Character) - 1977
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Dassou Yuugi Wataru Kang (Character) - 1976
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Okinawa Yakuza War Unknown (Character) - 1976
      No Score Yet 31% Wolf Guy Akira Inugami (Character) - 1975
      No Score Yet 81% The Street Fighter Takuma Tsurugi (Character) - 1975
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Howl the Wolf-Man Unknown (Character) - 1975
      No Score Yet No Score Yet 13 Steps of Maki: The Young Aristocrats Kenichi Hyuga (Character) - 1975
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Decisive Power of Aikido Shimbe Natori (Character) - 1975
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Champion of Death Sensei Masutatsu Oyama (Character) - 1975
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Shorinji Kenpo Unknown (Character) - 1975
      No Score Yet 72% The Killing Machine Doshin So (Character) - 1975
      No Score Yet 56% Bullet Train Aoki (Character) - 1975
      No Score Yet 51% The Street Fighter's Last Revenge Takuma Tsurugi (Character) - 1974
      No Score Yet 47% Sister Street Fighter Seiichi Hibiki (Character) - 1974
      No Score Yet 63% Return of the Street Fighter Takuma Tsurugi (Character) - 1974
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Chokugeki Jigokuken Daigyakuten Unknown (Character) - 1974
      No Score Yet 54% Chokugeki! Jigoku-ken (The Executioner) (Direct Hit! Hell Fist) Unknown (Character) - 1974
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Streetfighter Unknown (Character) - 1974
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Executioner Ryuichi Koga (Character) - 1974
      No Score Yet 88% Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Deadly Fight in Hiroshima Katsutoshi Otomo (Character) - 1973
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Bodyguard Naoto Kiba (Character) - 1973
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Red Cherry Ryûji (Character) - 1972
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Yakuza Wolf Unknown (Character) - 1972
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Yakuza Wolf 2 Ibuki (Character) - 1972
      No Score Yet 37% Terror Beneath the Sea Ken Abe (Character) - 1970
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Saigo no Tokkôtai Unknown (Character) - 1970
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Army Intelligence Kazuo Yamamoto (Character) - 1968
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Aa Douki no Sakura Second Sublieutenant Hanzawa (Character) - 1967
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Samurai's Lullaby Unknown (Character) - 1967
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Hokkai Yûkyôden Unknown (Character) - 1967
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Terror Beneath the Sea Ken Abe (Character) - 1966
      No Score Yet 69% The Golden Bat Dr. Yamatone (Character) - 1966
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Here Because of You Makoto Yabuki (Character) - 1964
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Bôryoku gai Unknown (Character) - 1963
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Escape Unknown (Character) - 1962
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Lullaby for Worldly Success Unknown (Character) - 1961
      No Score Yet 16% Invasion of the Neptune Men Tachibana/Space Chief (Character) - 1961

      TV

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs Unknown (Character) 2019