Gary "Gedde" Watanabe (born June 26, 1955) is a Japanese-American actor.[1] 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.

Gedde Watanabe
Watanabe in 2014
Gary Watanabe

(1955-06-26) June 26, 1955 (age 68)
Ogden, Utah, U.S.
EducationAmerican Conservatory Theater
Years active1976–present

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.[2] 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.[3]

Career edit

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.[4]

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 the role for the 2004 direct-to-video sequel Mulan II and the 2005 video game Kingdom Hearts II.

Filmography edit

Film edit

Film performances
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
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, direct-to-video
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, 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
2024 Ultraman: Rising Voice[5]

Television edit

Television performances
Year Title Role Notes
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

Video game credits
Year Title Voice role Notes
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

Stage edit

Stage performances
Year Title Role Notes Refs.
1976 Pacific Overtures Boy, Girl, Priest, Sailor and Townsperson, Proscenium Servant Broadway debut [6]
1982 Poor Little Lambs Itsu Yoshiro [7]
1994 The Good Person of Setzuan Water Seller [8]
2001 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Pseudolus [9]
2008 Pippin Grandmother Berthe [10]
2009 Ixnay Tadashi Ozaki [11]
2016 La Cage aux Folles Albin [12]
2016 The Fantasticks Hucklebee [13]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e Jason Buchanan (2014). "Gedde Watanabe". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26.
  2. ^ Smokler, Kevin (20 May 2014). "Gedde Watanabe Discusses 30 Years of Sixteen Candles and Long Duk Dong". Vulture. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  3. ^ Lee, Esther Kim (2006-10-12). A History of Asian American Theatre. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85051-3.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Pacific Overtures – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  7. ^ Rich, Frank (1982-03-16). "THEATER: RUDNICK'S POOR LITTLE LAMBS' OF YALE". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  8. ^ Winer, Laurie (1994-08-02). "THEATER REVIEW : A Good Look at the Hard Lessons of 'Good Person'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  9. ^ Martinez, Julio (2001-03-26). "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". Variety. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  10. ^ Verini, Bob (2008-05-15). "Pippin". Variety. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  11. ^ Ng, David (2009-02-20). "Review: 'Ixnay' at East West Players". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Grigware, Don. "Review: Forever Entertaining FANTISTICKS Receives a Sterling Production at Pasadena Playhouse". Retrieved 2022-07-31.

External links edit