Hollywood Chamber to Honor Toshiro Mifune with Walk of Fame Star
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Toshiro Mifune will be honored with a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. PST. The star which is numbered 2,594 will be presented in the category of Motion Pictures at 6912 Hollywood Boulevard.
“Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of the century. Mifune left us with a treasure of iconic roles,” said Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “His fans around the world will be happy to hear that Mifune’s star will be shining bright amongst our famous Walk of Fame family of stars.”
“Mifune: The Last Samurai,” a new film by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Okazaki, will open theatrically in Los Angeles on (December 2, at Laemmle’s Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre), New York (November 25), San Francisco (December 9) and a wider national release to follow. The film explores the accidental movie career of Toshiro Mifune, one of the true giants of world cinema. AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi will screen MIFUNE: THE LAST SAMURAI on the eve of Toshiro Mifune's Walk of Fame induction on Sunday, November 13.
Helping Emcee and Hollywood Chamber President/CEO Leron Gubler to unveil the star will be Steven Okazaki and Mifune’s grandson Rikiya Mifune.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce which administers the popular star ceremonies encourages people who are unable to attend and fans around the world to watch the event live exclusively on www.walkoffame.com.
Japanese legendary actor Toshiro Mifune starred in over 150 films during the Golden Age of Japanese Cinema. He is mostly known for his 16 films with director Akira Kurosawa, and has become the archetype of the Samurai. Mifune was born on April 1, 1920 in Chintao, China to a Japanese parents who ran a small photo studio. He spent his childhood in Dailen, China until he was drafted in 1940. Due to his background in photography, he served as an aerial photographer taking pictures of enemy grounds. Later in the war, he became in charge of taking portraits of young pilots before they flew off to their kamikaze missions.
When the war ended, he was dismissed from the Imperial Japanese Army and returned to Japan. Looking for a job as a photographer, Mifune arrived at Toho Studios to apply for a position as a photographer. Ironically, his application was submitted to the acting division and Mifune ended up auditioning for an actor’s position. During the audition, the interviewers made several rude requests to Mifune to express certain uncomfortable emotions, which made him furious. People who witnessed this, compared him to a ferocious beast trapped in a cage trying to break free. His reputation quickly spread throughout the studio, and rumors eventually reached director Akira Kurosawa, who at the time was already a successful director at Toho Studios. Although Mifune had failed the audition, due to Kurosawa’s request, he was accepted as an understudy. Mifune unhappy about this was convinced to stay in the actor’s division until there was an opening in the photography department.
At age 27, Mifune was selected to play a bandit in the film “Snow Trail,” written by Kurosawa. He was partnered with the veteran actor Shimura Takashi, and Mifune made his debut. After seeing Mifune’s performance, Kurosawa’s belief in Mifune was reassured.
Mifune reaches his stardom in Japan after his third film “Drunken Angel,” where he played a struggling gangster with a terminal illness. Kurosawa was in awe of the speed and dynamics of Mifune’s acting.
Following the success of “Drunken Angel,” Mifune officially joined Kurosawa’s team and collaborated in films including “Stray Dog,” “Silent Duel,” and “Rashomon” which won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival placing Japanese cinema on the map.
Four years after the success of “Rashomon,” Mifune and Kurosawa began working on their Samurai epic “Seven Samurai” which later became their legacy. The Samurai pretender which Mifune plays, was the origin of the establishment of Mifune becoming filmdom’s Samurai icon.
The collaboration between the two innovators continued and they kept producing powerful films such as “Throne of Blood”, Kurosawa’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” “The Hidden Fortress,” the film which influenced George Lucas’s “Star Wars,” “Yojimbo,” which was remade as Clint Eastwood’s “Fistful of Dollars,” and “Red Beard,” which won Mifune his second best actor award at the Venice film Festival.
After “Red Beard,” Mifune began his international career with the Mexican film called “The Important Man.” The film was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Foreign Picture. Other films include: John Frankenheimer’s “Grand Prix,” “Hell in the Pacific” with Lee Marvin, “1941” directed by Steven Spielberg, and “Red Sun” co-starring Alain Delon and Charles Bronson.
Mifune kept receiving international offers including the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi from “Star Wars,” and Kensuke Miyagi from the “Karate Kid”. However, Mifune had his own production company and had to prioritize his work in Japan, which resulted in turning down many international offers.
Mifune was known for his modesty and perfectionist character. He was always the first one on set and was always fully prepared, never bringing his script onto the set. He contributed to the rise of post war Japan giving hope to the citizens through cinema.
Mifune was honored with the Purple Ribbon Award in 1986 and the Sacred Treasure Award in 1993 from the Japanese government.
He was honored by police authorities for his heroism when he rescued stranded civilians during a major flood in 1958 with his private boat.
Photo from "Drunken Angel" courtesy of Toho Co., Ltd.
ALL PRESS MUST RSVP TO ANA MARTINEZ AT (323) 468-1376 OR Stargirl@hollywoodchamber.net
ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME www.WalkOfFame.com
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an internationally-recognized Hollywood icon. With approximately 24 star ceremonies annually broadcast around the world, the constant reinforcement provided to the public has made the Walk of Fame a top visitor attraction. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce continues to add stars on the Walk of Fame as the representative of the City of Los Angeles. The Walk of Fame is a tribute to all of those who worked diligently to develop the concept and to maintain this world-class tourist attraction. The Walk of Fame is open to the public. No paid admission or assigned seating at star ceremonies. It is understood that the cost of installing a star on the Walk of Fame upon approval is $30,000 and the sponsor of the nominee accepts the responsibility for arranging for payment to the Hollywood Historic Trust, a 501(c)3 charitable foundation. The funds are used to pay for the creation/installation of the star and ceremony, as well as maintenance of the Walk of Fame. Download the official app for iPhones and Android devices at http://officialhollywoodwalkoffameapp.com
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For Immediate Release: Nov. 1, 2016
Media Contact: Ana Martinez
Producer, Hollywood Walk of Fame
Main: (323) 469-8311
Press line: (323) 468-1376
TO BE HONORED WITH POSTHUMOUS
STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
WHO: Honoree: Toshiro Mifune
Emcee: Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler
Guest speakers: Director Steven Ozaki and grandson Rikiya Mifune will be accepting the posthumous star on behalf of the family
WHAT: Dedication of the 2,594th star on the Walk of Fame in the category of MOTION PICTURES
WHERE: 6912 Hollywood Boulevard
WHEN: Monday, November 14, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. PST