Gedde Watanabe

Gary "Gedde" Watanabe (born June 26, 1955) is an American actor and comedian.[1] He is perhaps best known for voicing the character of Ling in the 1998 animated film Mulan and its 2004 sequel, Mulan II as well as playing Long Duk Dong in the 1984 film Sixteen Candles, and as Nurse Yoshi Takata in the NBC medical drama ER from 1997 to 2003.

Gedde Watanabe
Gedde Watanabe 2014.jpg
Watanabe in 2014
Born
Gary Watanabe

(1955-06-26) June 26, 1955 (age 67)
Ogden, Utah, U.S.
EducationAmerican Conservatory Theater
OccupationActor, Comedian
Years active1976–present

Early life and educationEdit

Watanabe was born and raised in Ogden, Utah in a Japanese-American family. His mother, who had been previously interned during World War II,[2] worked as a seamstress at the Utah Tailoring Company.[3] He performed in several dramatic productions in high school, both acting and singing. After graduation, Watanabe relocated to San Francisco, where he worked as a street musician while honing his acting skills.[4]

CareerEdit

In 1976, Watanabe's first role was as a member of the original Broadway cast of Pacific Overtures, originating the roles of Priest, Girl, and The Boy. He has since appeared in a number of films and television series, the first of which was The Long Island Four in 1980.

Many of his roles are caricatured East Asians with heavy accents, though he himself does not speak Japanese.[5]

He had a starring role in both the film Gung Ho[1] and its television spinoff.[1] In the 1989 movie UHF[1] starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, Watanabe co-starred as Kuni, a karate instructor and abusive host of a TV game show called Wheel of Fish. He later reprised this role on the Weird Al Show. Watanabe appeared on Sesame Street from 1988 to 1991 as Hiroshi and had a recurring role as gay nurse Yoshi Takata on the television drama ER[1] from 1997 to 2003. During the nineties, Watanabe studied acting at Theater Theater in Hollywood, California, with Chris Aable who introduced him to fellow actors Jon Cedar and Steve Burton. He voiced various Japanese characters on the animated television comedy The Simpsons. In 1998, he voiced Ling in the Disney animated film Mulan and reprised this role for the 2004 direct-to-video sequel, Mulan II and the 2005 video game Kingdom Hearts II.

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Long Island Four unknown role
1984 Sixteen Candles Long Duk Dong
1985 Volunteers At Toon
1986 Gung Ho Oishi Kazihiro
1986 Vamp Duncan
1989 UHF Kuni
1989 The Spring Matty
1990 Gremlins 2: The New Batch Mr. Katsuji
1995 Boys on the Side Steve
1995 Perfect Alibi Detective Onoda
1996 That Thing You Do! Play-Tone Photographer
1997 Nick and Jane Enzo
1997 Booty Call Chan uncredited
1997 Psycho Sushi Yoshi
1998 Mulan Ling Voice Role
1998 Armageddon Asian Tourist uncredited
1999 Guinevere Ed
1999 Edtv Greg
1999 The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: The Visitors from Outer Space Karate Master Voice Role
Short Film
1999 Frank in Five Waiter Short Film
2002 Slackers Japanese Proctor
2002 Thank You, Good Night Cafe Owner
2004 On the Couch Charlie Short Film
2004 Alfie Wing
2004 Mulan II Ling Voice Role
Direct-to-Video
2005 Two for the Money Milton
2007 Fortune Hunters Mr. Yu Short Film
2007 Sunny & Share Love You Eliza's Dad, the Doctor
2008 The Onion Movie James Nakatami
2008 Forgetting Sarah Marshall Hotel Manager
2009 Not Forgotten Agent Nakamura
2009 Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword Kenji Voice Role
Direct-to-Video
2009 All Ages Night Dead Head Fred
2012 Parental Guidance Mr. Cheng
2013 47 Ronin Troupe Leader
2017 The Last Word Gardener
2020 She Had It Coming N/A Short Film
(Director)

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Pacific Overtures Priest / Girl / Boy TV Movie
1978 Life at Stake David Kootook "Somewhere Between Cambridge Bay and Yellowknife"
1986–87 Gung Ho Kaz Kazuhiro series regular (9 episodes)
1987 The New Adventures of Beans Baxter Ho Hum "Beasn' Home Life Gets UGLI"
1988–1992 Sesame Street Hiroshi recurring role (21 episodes)
1989 Booker Max "Someone Stole Lucille"
1990 Grand Taki Mifune recurring role (3 episodes)
1990 Murphy Brown Guru Prem "The Bitch's Back"
1990 Newhart Mr. Tagadachi "The Last Newhart"
1990 On the Television Various 2 episodes
1990–91 Down Home Tran series regular (19 episodes)
1991 Pacific Station Ram Sha "Operation!"
1992 Miss America: Behind the Crown Takeo TV Movie
1994 Count On Me unknown role TV Movie
1995–97 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Nuri / Emperor (voice role) 2 episodes
1996 Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man unknown voice role "The Mallardian Candidate"
1996 Mad About You Speech Writer "The Grant"
1996 Seinfeld Mr. Oh "The Checks"
1997 The Weird Al Show Kuno "Back to School"
1997–99 The Simpsons Cartoon Squid / Japanese Father / Japanese Man / Factory Forman (voice role) 2 episodes
1997–2003 ER Nurse Yosh Takata recurring role
Season 4–10 (58 episodes)
1998–99 Rugrats Zack / Kangaroo 2 episodes
1999 Home Improvement Nobo Nakamura "Home Alone"
1999–2000 Batman Beyond Dr. Suzuki / Principal (voice role) 2 episodes
2000 Secret Agent Man Ling #2 "Uncle S.A.M."
2000 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Kenji "Welcome, Traveler"
2001 Jackie Chan Adventures Gangster #1 (voice role) "Mother of All Battles"
2001 The Proud Family Mr. Min (voice role) "EZ Jackster"
2001 E! True Hollywood Story Himself (Interviewee) "Sixteen Candles"
2002 L.A. Law: The Movie Cyril TV Movie
2002 My Wife and Kids Dr. Phil Ling "Diary of a Mad Teen"
2002–07 Kim Possible Professor Bob Chen (voice role) 2 episodes
2003 What's New, Scooby-Doo? Vincent Wong (voice role) "Lights! Camera! Mayhem!"
2003 Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? James / Bear / Co-worker (voice role) recurring role (3 episodes)
2003 I Love the '80s Strikes Backs Himself (Interviewee) Documentary Series (10 episodes)
2005 Everwood Art "Oh, the Places You'll Go"
2005–07 All Grown Up! Nar-do / Nar-Do, Cyber Clause (voice role) 2 episodes
2006 Model Family Terrence TV Short
2006 Family Guy Long Duk Dong (voice role) "Mother' Tucker"
2008 American Dad! Chicken Hatchery Manager (voice role) "Pulling Double Booty"
2010 Proposition 8 Trial Re-Enactment Hak-Sing William Tam TV Documentary
2012 The Seven Year Hitch Mr. Fujimura TV Movie
2014–17 Bravest Warriors Hamster Mitch / Tourist Alien (voice role) 3 episodes
2016 Pickle and Peanut additional voices (voice role) "90s Adventure Bear / Parking Lot Carnival"
2019 Puppy Dog Pals Reo (voice role) "Land of the Rising Pup / ARF-CHOO"
2019 Perfect Harmony Glenn "Pilot"
2020 The Disappointments Gary Chen series regular (11 episodes)
2021 Call Me Kat Henry "Eggs"
2021 The Sex Lives of College Girls Professor Harpin "Parents Weekend"

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Disney's Animated Storybook: Mulan Ling Voice Role
1998 Mulan Story Studio Ling Voice Role
2005 Kingdom Hearts II Ling Voice Role (English version)
2007 Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ Ling Voice Role (English version)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Jason Buchanan (2014). "Gedde Watanabe". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26.
  2. ^ MacAdam, Alison (24 March 2008). "Long Duk Dong: Last of the Hollywood Stereotypes?". All Things Considered. NPR. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  3. ^ Smokler, Kevin (20 May 2014). "Gedde Watanabe Discusses 30 Years of Sixteen Candles and Long Duk Dong". Vulture. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  4. ^ Lee, Esther Kim (2006-10-12). A History of Asian American Theatre. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85051-3.
  5. ^ Ji, Hyun Lim (22–28 June 2001). "Backstage with Gedde Watanabe". Asian Week. Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 4 August 2001. Retrieved 10 February 2013.

External linksEdit