Okada Masumi (1935)

Okada Masumi (1935)

Other Name: 岡田真澄 鑓田眞澄 岡田眞澄 おかだ ますみ やりた ますみ 오카다 마스미 Masumi Okada Masumi Yarita Yarita Masumi Масуми Окада

Age: 89

Birthday: September, 22, 1935

Nationality: Nice, France

Height: 0 CM

Zodiac sign: Virgo

Okada Masumi was a professional actor, singer, stand-up comedian, and film producer. Also known by his nickname, "Fanfan", he was born in Nice, France, to a Japanese father, Minoru Okada, who was an artist, and a Danish mother, Ingeborg Sevaldsen, who was the sister of Eline Eriksen, the model for the "Mermaid of Copenhagen" and wife of the statue's sculptor, Edvard Eriksen.

Okada spent the first four years of his life in France before relocating to Japan in 1939. He received his education under his Western name, Otto Sevaldsen, at Saint Joseph International School (SJIS) in the city of Yokohama in Kanagawa prefecture, graduating in 1955. In 1952, while still a student at SJIS, Okada debuted as an actor in a musical at the Nichigeki Music Hall. He signed with Nikkatsu Corporation in 1954, appearing in his first film, "Hatsukoi Kanariya Musume"/"Canary Girl's First Love", the following year.

In 1956, Okada was cast as the bandmaster in Takumi Furukawa and Shintaro Ishihara's "Taiyo no Kisetsu"/"Season of the Sun". This performance led to his appearance in the companion film, "Kurutta Kajitsu"/"Crazed Fruit" (1956), in which he played the cool, laid-back, finger-snapping Amerasian, "Frank Hirosawa", the unofficial leader of a band of young "rebels without a cause". Okada allegedly stole every scene in which he appeared.

In a career that spanned more than five decades, Okada went on to appear in over 140 films. A talented and versatile entertainer, he was also active on stage and television. His credits include all genres in the three media—from stage musicals to horror films, from comedies to historicals to tragedies, and from Shakespeare to science-fiction.

Okada's mixed ethnicity and proficiency in Japanese, English, and French enabled him to portray a wide range of characters, in roles as diverse as "Count Dracula" in "The Vampire Dracula Comes To Kobe" (1979) to "Brother Michael" in James Clavell's "Shogun" (1980).

Okada's other contributions to the film industry include his role as a producer for both "Battle Royale" (2000) and "Battle Royale II: Requiem" (2003), as well as "Chichan wa Sokyu no Muko" (2008). He was also the executive producer of "Blue" (2002), a critically acclaimed film about the relationship between two schoolgirls involved in a lesbian crush.

Okada's stage credits include the Toho musicals, in which he starred after leaving Nikkatsu Corporation, as well as the French musical, "La Cage aux Folles", which ran for over 400 performances. In 2001, he appeared as the French philosopher and writer, Voltaire, in a Japanese-language version of the operetta, "Candide", by Leonard Bernstein, the composer of "West Side Story" (1957).

Okada also founded the theater company, Gekidan Keyaki, in Japan.

Okada was a regular judge in the "Iron Chef" series, and the host-presenter for many Japanese variety and game shows, including NTV's celebrity quiz show, "Sarujie". Okada was an exceptional Master of Ceremonies, and was the MC for many beauty pageants held in Japan. For over two decades, he served as the host-presenter for The International Beauty Pageant, popularly known as the Miss International contest.

Masumi Okada was appointed as one of Japan's Ambassadors to the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 bicentenary, a list of events organized in celebration of the nineteenth-century Danish author's life and works.

Okada was married three times. In 1960, he announced his two-year "contractual marriage" to the renowned dancer and mime choreographer, Yoneyama Mamako —a union that ended even before the first year was over. Okada then remained single for over a decade; in 1972, he married Japanese actress Fujita Midori, with whom he had three sons, the eldest of whom, Okada Yoshihiro, is currently an actor and DJ in Japan. 22 years later, Okada divorced Fujita, and, in 1995, at the age of 60 years, he took his third wife, Yarita Keiko, a 34-year-old flight stewardess, who gave him his fourth child, a daughter named Tomomi, in 1998.

Masumi Okada devoted his entire life to the entertainment industry and never retired from show business. In June 2005, he was diagnosed with throat (esophageal) cancer and underwent surgery. Less than three months later, he was again in front of the cameras, hosting the Miss International 2005 beauty pageant in Tokyo.

Okada suffered a relapse of his malignancy and was re-hospitalized, but succumbed to his illness at a Tokyo hospital on May 29, 2006.

Blood Type: O

Education: Saint Joseph College, Yokohama

(Source: Wikipedia)

Died: May 29, 2006

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