Gary "Gedde" Watanabe (born June 26, 1955) is a Japanese-American actor. He is known for voicing the character of Ling in the animated film Mulan (1998) and its sequel Mulan II (2004), as well as playing Long Duk Dong in the film Sixteen Candles (1984) and Takahara "Kaz" Kazihiro in Gung Ho (1986), and Nurse Yosh Takata in the NBC medical drama ER from 1997 to 2003. He was also an original cast member of the Stephen Sondheim musical Pacific Overtures.
June 26, 1955
|Education||American Conservatory Theater|
Early life and education edit
Watanabe was born and raised in Ogden, Utah in a Japanese-American family. His mother worked as a seamstress at the Utah Tailoring Company. 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.
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.
He had a starring role in both the film Gung Ho  and its television spinoff. In the 1989 movie UHF  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  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 the role for the 2004 direct-to-video sequel Mulan II and the 2005 video game Kingdom Hearts II.
|1980||The Long Island Four||Unknown role|
|1984||Sixteen Candles||Long Duk Dong|
|1986||Gung Ho||Oishi Kazihiro|
|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|
|1999||The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: The Visitors from Outer Space||Karate Master||Voice, direct-to-video|
|1999||Frank in Five||Waiter||Short film|
|2002||Thank You, Good Night||Cafe Owner|
|2004||On the Couch||Charlie||Short film|
|2004||Mulan II||Ling||Voice, 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, 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||—||Short film; director|
|1976||Pacific Overtures||Priest / Girl / Boy||Television film|
|1978||Life at Stake||David Kootook||Episode: "Somewhere Between Cambridge Bay and Yellowknife"|
|1986–1987||Gung Ho||Kaz Kazuhiro||Main role|
|1987||The New Adventures of Beans Baxter||Ho Hum||Episode: "Beasn' Home Life Gets UGLI"|
|1988–1992||Sesame Street||Hiroshi||Recurring role|
|1989||Booker||Max||Episode: "Someone Stole Lucille"|
|1990||Grand||Taki Mifune||3 episodes|
|1990||Murphy Brown||Guru Prem||Episode: "The Bitch's Back"|
|1990||Newhart||Mr. Tagadachi||Episode: "The Last Newhart"|
|1990||On the Television||Various||2 episodes|
|1990–1991||Down Home||Tran||Main role|
|1991||Pacific Station||Ram Sha||Episode: "Operation!"|
|1992||Miss America: Behind the Crown||Takeo||Television film|
|1994||Count On Me||unknown role||Television film|
|1995–1997||Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||Nuri / Emperor||Voice, 2 episodes|
|1996||Duckman||Unknown voice role||Episode: "The Mallardian Candidate"|
|1996||Mad About You||Speech Writer||Episode: "The Grant"|
|1996||Seinfeld||Mr. Oh||Episode: "The Checks"|
|1997||The Weird Al Show||Kuno||Episode: "Back to School"|
|1997–1999||The Simpsons||Cartoon Squid / Japanese Father / Japanese Man / Factory Foreman||Voice, 2 episodes|
|1997–2003||ER||Nurse Yosh Takata||Recurring role|
|1998–1999||Rugrats||Zack / Kangaroo||2 episodes|
|1999||Home Improvement||Nobo Nakamura||Episode: "Home Alone"|
|1999–2000||Batman Beyond||Dr. Suzuki / Principal||Voice, 2 episodes|
|2000||Secret Agent Man||Ling #2||Episode: "Uncle S.A.M."|
|2000||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Kenji||Episode: "Welcome, Traveler"|
|2001||Jackie Chan Adventures||Gangster #1||Voice, episode: "Mother of All Battles"|
|2001||The Proud Family||Mr. Min||Voice, episode: "EZ Jackster"|
|2001||E! True Hollywood Story||Himself (Interviewee)||Episode: "Sixteen Candles"|
|2002||L.A. Law: The Movie||Cyril||Television film|
|2002||My Wife and Kids||Dr. Phil Ling||Episode: "Diary of a Mad Teen"|
|2002–2007||Kim Possible||Professor Bob Chen||Voice, 2 episodes|
|2003||What's New, Scooby-Doo?||Vincent Wong||Voice, episode: "Lights! Camera! Mayhem!"|
|2003||Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?||James / Bear / Co-worker||Voice, 3 episodes|
|2003||I Love the '80s Strikes Backs||Himself (Interviewee)||Documentary (10 episodes)|
|2005||Everwood||Art||Episode: "Oh, the Places You'll Go"|
|2005–2007||All Grown Up!||Nar-do / Nar-Do, Cyber Clause||Voice, 2 episodes|
|2006||Model Family||Terrence||TV Short|
|2006||Family Guy||Long Duk Dong||Voice, episode: "Mother Tucker"|
|2008||American Dad!||Chicken Hatchery Manager||Voice, episode: "Pulling Double Booty"|
|2010||Proposition 8 Trial Re-Enactment||Hak-Sing William Tam||TV documentary|
|2012||The Seven Year Hitch||Mr. Fujimura||Television film|
|2014–2017||Bravest Warriors||Hamster Mitch / Tourist Alien||Voice, 3 episodes|
|2016||Pickle and Peanut||Additional voices||Episode: "90s Adventure Bear / Parking Lot Carnival"|
|2019||Puppy Dog Pals||Reo||Voice, episode: "Land of the Rising Pup"|
|2019||Perfect Harmony||Glenn||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2020||The Disappointments||Gary Chen||Recurring role|
|2021||Call Me Kat||Henry||Episode: "Eggs"|
|2021||The Sex Lives of College Girls||Professor Harpin||Episode: "Parents Weekend"|
Video games edit
|1998||Disney's Animated Storybook: Mulan||Ling|
|1998||Mulan Story Studio||Ling|
|2005||Kingdom Hearts II||Ling||English version|
|2007||Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+||Ling||English version|
|1976||Pacific Overtures||Boy, Girl, Priest, Sailor and Townsperson, Proscenium Servant||Broadway debut|||
|1982||Poor Little Lambs||Itsu Yoshiro|||
|1994||The Good Person of Setzuan||Water Seller|||
|2001||A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum||Pseudolus|||
|2016||La Cage aux Folles||Albin|||
See also edit
- Jason Buchanan (2014). "Gedde Watanabe". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26.
- Smokler, Kevin (20 May 2014). "Gedde Watanabe Discusses 30 Years of Sixteen Candles and Long Duk Dong". Vulture. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- Lee, Esther Kim (2006-10-12). A History of Asian American Theatre. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85051-3.
- 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.
- Dominguez, Noah (November 9, 2023). "Ultraman: Rising Teaser Trailer Reveals the Superhero Movie's Voice Cast". SuperHeroHype. Archived from the original on November 10, 2023. Retrieved November 10, 2023.
- "Pacific Overtures – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
- Rich, Frank (1982-03-16). "THEATER: RUDNICK'S POOR LITTLE LAMBS' OF YALE". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
- Winer, Laurie (1994-08-02). "THEATER REVIEW : A Good Look at the Hard Lessons of 'Good Person'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
- Martinez, Julio (2001-03-26). "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". Variety. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
- Verini, Bob (2008-05-15). "Pippin". Variety. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
- Ng, David (2009-02-20). "Review: 'Ixnay' at East West Players". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
- Favre, Jeff (2016-05-24). "Reviewing East West Players' 'La Cage aux Folles'". Los Angeles Downtown News - The Voice of Downtown Los Angeles. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
- Grigware, Don. "Review: Forever Entertaining FANTISTICKS Receives a Sterling Production at Pasadena Playhouse". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 2022-07-31.