Top 100 Asian Actorsby minalex | created - 21 Sep 2013 | updated - 1 month ago | Public
The best actors from Japan (40), China/Hong-Kong/Taiwan (24), India (10), Iran (7), Korea (7), Israel/Palestine (6), Turkey (3), Thailand (2) and Vietnam.
Actor | The Thief of Bagdad
Sabu Dastagir (or Selar Shaik Sabu, depending on your resource) was born on January 27, 1924, in the little town of Mysore, India, which is nestled in the jungles of Karapur. The son of an elephant driver (mahout) in service for the Maharajah of his town, the young stable boy learned responsibility...
4. Chishû Ryû
Actor | Tôkyô monogatari
What an amazing career! Few can boast a longer one (64 years of activity). Few have been able to have to relate to three generations. And it is pretty sure that no one can compare with him in terms of faithfulness to a director: Chishu Ryu indeed appeared in no fewer than fifty-two out of ...
6. Sô Yamamura
Actor | Tora! Tora! Tora!
Sô Yamamura was born on February 24, 1910 in Tenri, Japan as Hirosada Koga. He was an actor and director, known for Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), Kuroi ushio (1954) and Gung Ho (1986). He was married to Yuriko Yamamura. He died on May 26, 2000 in Suginami, Tokyo, Japan.
Actor | Shichinin no samurai
Japanese character actor Takashi Shimura was one of the finest film actors of the 20th century and a leading member of the "stock company" of master director Akira Kurosawa. A native of southern Japan, Shimura was a descendant of the samurai warrior class. Following university training, he founded ...
Actor | Yojinbo
Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of his century. He was born in Tsingtao, China, to Japanese parents and grew up in Dalian. He did not set foot in Japan until he was 21. His father was an importer and a commercial photographer, and young Toshiro worked in ...
Born in Kyoto in 1908. His birthplace was a sake brewery in Fushimi called Nagoya. In 1913, at the age of five, he was pushed into playing the role of Kan Shusai in the play Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami. This set him on the path to becoming a kabuki actor. Although he worked assiduously on his ...
12. Subir Banerjee
Actor | Pather Panchali
Subir Banerjee was 8 years old when he played the character of Apu in Satyajit Ray's classic 1955 film "Pather Panchali". On the 25th anniversary of the film, "India Today" reported in its article "Pather Panchali: An Odyssey Revisited", March 31, 1980, that Banerjee, then 33, had spent his adult ...
13. Minoru Chiaki
Actor | Shichinin no samurai
Japanese character actor equally adept at comic or seriously unsavory roles. Chiaki graduated from the University of Chuo with degrees in economics and commerce, but almost immediately found that his interest lay more with the theatre. In 1937, he began to study with the Shin-Tsukiji Gekidan ("The ...
14. Eiji Okada
Actor | Hiroshima mon amour
Eiji Okada was born on June 13, 1920 in Chiba, Japan. He was an actor, known for Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), Woman in the Dunes (1964) and The Boy Detectives Club - The Iron Fiend (1957). He was married to Wasa, Aiko. He died on September 14, 1995 in Japan.
Actor | Apur Sansar
Soumitra Chatterjee was born on January 19, 1935 in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India as Soumitra Chattapadhaya. He was an actor, known for The World of Apu (1959), Days and Nights in the Forest (1970) and Charulata (1964). He was married to Deepa Chatterjee. He died on November 15, 2020 ...
16. Tatsuya Nakadai
Actor | Seppuku
Japanese leading man, an important star and one of the handful of Japanese actors well known outside Japan. Nakadai was a tall handsome clerk in a Tokyo shop when director Masaki Kobayashi encountered him and cast him in The Thick-Walled Room (1956). Nakadai was subsequently cast in the lead role in...
20. Tetsurô Tanba
Actor | You Only Live Twice
Tetsurô Tanba was born on July 17, 1922 in Tokyo, Japan as Shozaburo Tanba. He was an actor and writer, known for You Only Live Twice (1967), Three Outlaw Samurai (1964) and Hara-Kiri (1962). He was married to Hoki. He died on September 24, 2006 in Tokyo.
21. Akira Ishihama
Actor | Seppuku
Akira Ishihama was born on January 29, 1935 in Tokyo, Japan. He is an actor, known for Hara-Kiri (1962), Fireworks Over the Sea (1951) and Kamen Rider Black: Terrifying! The Phantom House of Devil Pass (1988).
28. Yûzô Kayama
Actor | Tsubaki Sanjûrô
The son of one of one of Japan's biggest male stars of the 1930s, 'Ken Uehara', the handsome and likable Yuzo Kayama became one of Japan's biggest male stars of the 1960s. And just as Uehara embodied the idea of a modern Japanese wartime hero, Kayama became symbolic of postwar Japanese affluence ...
Actor | Zatôichi to Yôjinbô
Toshiyuki Hosokawa was born on December 15, 1940 in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan. He was an actor, known for Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo (1970), Zatoichi the Outlaw (1967) and Miyamoto Musashi (1973). He was married to Norie Fujimoto and Mayumi Ogawa. He died on January 14, 2011 in Tokyo, Japan.
30. Yoshitaka Zushi
Actor | Yume
Born in Osaka in 1955, Yoshitaka Zushi was discovered when he was eight years old by one of Akira Kurosawa's partners and debuted in the role of young Toshio in Kaneto Shindô's "Haha" (Mother, 1963). Since then he has appeared first and foremost in Kurosawa's pictures, beginning with "Akahige" (Red...
32. Bruce Lee
Actor | Meng long guo jiang
Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and ...
35. Ken Takakura
Actor | Black Rain
Ken Takakura was a Japanese actor best known for his brooding style and the stoic, honorable presence he brought to his roles.
Known as the "Clint Eastwood" of Japan, Takakura gained his streetwise swagger and tough guy persona watching yakuza turf battles over the lucrative black market and ...
36. Saeed Jaffrey
Actor | The Man Who Would Be King
Saeed Jaffrey was born in Maler Kotla, Punjab, India. He was born on the 8th of January 1929. He attended University of Allahabad where he completed his post-graduate degree in history. He also attended the Staff Training Institute of All India Radio. He started his career in drama, as the founder ...
37. Tatsuya Fuji
Actor | Ai no korîda
Tatsuya Fuji was born on August 27, 1941 in Beijing, China as Tatsuya Itou. He is an actor, known for In the Realm of the Senses (1976), Bright Future (2002) and Mura no shashinshuu (2004). He has been married to Izumi Ashikawa since August 28, 1968. They have one child.
38. Jonathan Sagall
Actor | Kesher Ir
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada.
During his teens, his family moved to Israel where his film career began as an actor. He auditioned to a few acting schools in England, got accepted to four. He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London England.
"Lipstikka" (Odem, Israel/UK ...
39. Yftach Katzur
Actor | Eskimo Limon
Yiftach Katzur started his acting career in 1975 at the age of 17 in Peter Shaffer's play Equus where he played the lead part of Alan Strang. He began his film career in the 'Lemon Popsicle' movies as Benji.
He went on to star in other Israeli movies such as "Atalia", and a small role in "Soldier of...
40. Zachi Noy
Actor | Eskimo Limon
Zachi Noy was born on 8th July, 1953. He started his acting career in 1975 in the film "The Garden", which also starred Melanie Griffith. In 1979 he starred in the first 'Lemon Popsicle' movie as Huey.
His latest movie is the horror "Cross Club - The Legend Of The Living Dead" (1999) which also ...
45. Roshan Seth
Actor | Gandhi
A native of New Delhi, India, British character actor of theater and film Roshan Seth honed the skills he learned at London's Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in British repertory theater. His first break came in Peter Brook's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which toured in 1972. Seth ...
47. Victor Banerjee
Actor | A Passage to India
Victor Banerjee Early life Banerjee was born to a Zamindari Bangali Hindu family and is a descendant of The Raja Bahadur of Chanchal and the Raja of Uttarpara. He received his schooling at St. Edmund's School, Shillong, and graduated in English Literature from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta and did...
50. Akira Terao
Actor | Ran
Akira Terao is the son of the famous actor Jukichi Uno. After graduating from Bunka Gakuin University, he formed a rock band "The Savage" which experienced brief success thanks to their hit 'Itsumademo, Itsumademo'. In 1967, Kei Kuma hired him to play alongside his father in his film 'Tunnel of ...
51. Hsiao-Hsien Hou
Producer | Cike Nie Yin Niang
Of the ten films that Hsiao-Hsien Hou directed between 1980 and 1989, seven received best film or best director awards from prestigious international films festivals in Venice, Berlin, Hawaii, and the Festival of the Three Continents in Nantes. In a 1988 worldwide critics' poll, Hou was championed ...
52. John Lone
Actor | The Last Emperor
Born Leung Kwok Ng in Hong Kong October 13, 1952, John Lone was spartanly raised by a single mother until the age of 7 when he was sent off to be schooled with the Peking Opera. He never again saw his mother. The Peking Opera could be a brutal and grueling life for a child but he was a diligent and...
54. Wen Jiang
Actor | Rogue One
Wen Jiang was born on January 5, 1963 in Tangshan, China. He is an actor and director, known for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Devils on the Doorstep (2000) and The Sun Also Rises (2007). He has been married to Yun Zhou since 2005. They have two children. He was previously married to ...
57. Danny Lee
Actor | Gung buk
Danny Lee Sau-Yin, was born in 1952 in Shanghai. Lee did not do so well in school and sometimes dropped out to help support his family by working. While growing up, he held policemen in high regard and so, upon graduating high school, he tried entering the police academy, but could not complete the...
59. Chen Chang
Chang Chen, an international renowned actor, first earned his attention at the age of 14 when he took the lead role in A Brighter Summer Day. Since then, he was nominated three times at the Golden Horse Awards, and several times for best actor at the Berlinale and the Cannes Film Festival. He won ...
Actor | Chung Hing sam lam
The 1/2 Taiwanese and 1/2 Japanese Takeshi Kaneshiro may have started out as a puerile teen idol in the Chinese entertainment scene, but he's since become a proper film star in his own right. Whether by his own design or not, the boyishness that marked his first steps into showbiz has evolved into ...
62. Sihung Lung
Actor | Wo hu cang long
Sihung Lung was born on January 1, 1930 in Suqian, China as Hsiung Lang. He was an actor, known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) and The Wedding Banquet (1993). He was married to Pao Chia. He died on May 2, 2002 in Taipei, Taiwan.
64. Leslie Cheung
Actor | Ah Fei jing juen
Leslie Cheung was the youngest of 10 children. His father was tailor to the late William Holden. Leslie's parents divorced when he was young, and he claims this is one reason for his disinterest in marriage. Following graduation from secondary school, he studied at Leeds University in Great Britain...
65. Takeshi Kitano
Actor | Zatôichi
Takeshi Kitano originally studied to become an engineer, but was thrown out of school for rebellious behavior. He learned comedy, singing and dancing from famed comedian Senzaburô Fukami. Working as a lift boy on a nightclub with such features as comic sketches and striptease dancing, Kitano saw ...
68. Susumu Terajima
Actor | Brother
Susumu Terajima is a Japanese actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Yakuza figures, most notably in the films of Takeshi Kitano. He is normally cast in supporting roles.
Terajima was born in Tokyo, Japan, where he still resides. He made his acting debut in 1986's A-Homance, and has been ...
69. Hossein Mahjoub
Actor | Rang-e khoda
Mahjoub, Hossein (born August 1, 1948, Rasht)
Hossein Mahjoub studied literature in high school and later took different acting classes with a number of famous actors and directors. His first experiences as a theatre actor took place in 1968. he took part in some theatre shows, like "Soltan snake" ...
72. Chow Yun-Fat
Actor | Wo hu cang long
Chow Yun Fat is a charismatic, athletically built and energetic Asian-born film star who first came to the attention of western audiences via his roles in the high-octane/blazing guns action films of maverick HK director John Woo.
Chow was born in 1955 on the quiet island of Lamma, part of the ...
74. Jet Li
Actor | Huo Yuan Jia
Jet Li born Li Lian Jie in Beijing, China. He started training at the Beijing wushu academy (wushu is China's national sport, largely a performance version of various martial art styles) at age eight. He won five gold medals in the Chinese championships, his first when he was only 11. In his teens,...
75. Hiroyuki Sanada
Actor | Tasogare Seibei
Hiroyuki Sanada was born on the 12th of October, 1960 in Tokyo. He made his film debut when he was 5 in Game of Chance (1965) (Shin'ichi Chiba played the lead role.) Sanada's father died when he was 11. Sanada joined Japan Action Club, organized and run by Sonny Chiba, when he was 12. Sanada first ...
76. Choi Min-sik
Actor | Oldeuboi
Choi Min-shik first made a name for himself in theater before breaking into the film world with a role in Park Chong-won's acclaimed film 'Our Twisted Hero' (1992). In the mid-nineties he continued to act in theater productions as well as in several TV dramas, including Moon Over Seoul with Han ...
77. Tadanobu Asano
Actor | Mongol
Asano Tadanobu is a Japanese film actor. His father, an actors' agent, suggested he take on what became his first role, in the TV show "Kimpachi Sensei," at the age of 16. His film debut was in the 1990 Swimming Upstream (Swimming Upstream (1990)), though his first major critical success was in ...
78. Andy Lau
Actor | Mou gaan dou
Andy Lau Tak-wah, (born 27 September 1961) is a Hong Kong actor, singer-songwriter, presenter, and film producer. Lau has been one of Hong Kong's most commercially successful film actors since the mid-1980s, performing in more than 160 films while maintaining a successful singing career at the same...
80. Ali Suliman
Actor | The Kingdom
Ali Suliman was born 1977, in Nazareth. His interest in the dramatic arts led him to the prestigious " Acting School" in Tel-Aviv, where he graduated in the year 2000. At the end of his studies, he joined the "Commedia Dell'Arte", Masks Theater group in London. Ali decided to broadened his horizons...
81. Lee Byung-Hun
Actor | Dalkomhan insaeng
Byung-hun Lee was born in 1970 in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in a wealthy family, thanks to his father, who was a successful businessman. He never dreamed of pursuing acting until a friend of his mother's suggested it. He auditioned for the KBS television network in 1991 and was accepted. His ...
83. Ken Watanabe
Actor | The Last Samurai
Ken Watanabe was born on October 21, 1959 in Uonuma, Japan. Both of his parents were teachers: his mother taught general education and his dad taught calligraphy. He became interested in acting at the age of 24, when a director of England's National Theater Company, where he was studying, told him ...
Actor | Fa yeung nin wah
Tony Leung Chiu Wai was born in Hong Kong on 27 June 1962. He and his younger sister were raised by their mother after his father left them. In 1982, after passing the training courses of TVB, Tony became a TV actor and became famous for his comedy style in such TV shows as Tales of a Eunuch (1983)...
85. Nejat Isler
Actor | Yumurta
Born in Istanbul in 1972, Nejat Isler graduated from Mimar Sinan State Conservatory's Theater Deparment in 1995. He made his first professional TV debut in 1994 in the TV series "Gurur". He continued his professional acting career and took leading roles in a number of TV series and movies. In 2008 ...
86. Jung-woo Ha
Actor | Ah-ga-ssi
Jung-woo Ha is a South Korean actor, film director, screenwriter and film producer. His breakthrough to stardom came with the role in Na Hong-jin's serial killer film The Chaser (2008).
Born as Kim Sung-hoon, Ha Jung-woo came from an acting family. His father Kim Yong-gun is a well-known veteran ...
88. Payman Maadi
Actor | Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
Peyman Maadi was born in 1972 in New York City to an Iranian couple. His father was a lawyer. His family moved back to Iran when he was 5 years old. He graduated in Metallurgical Engineering from Karaj Azad University. Maadi started his film career as a screenwriter in late 2000s. He is the writer ...
92. Lior Ashkenazi
Actor | Hearat Shulayim
Lior Ashkenazi was born on December 28, 1969 in Ramat Gan, Israel. He is an actor and director, known for Footnote (2011), Big Bad Wolves (2013) and Walk on Water (2004). He has been married to Maya Amsellem since December 26, 2011. He was previously married to Shira Farber.
93. Anupam Kher
Actor | Silver Linings Playbook
Anupam Kher was born on March 7, 1955 in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India. He is an actor and producer, known for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), A Wednesday (2008) and M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016). He has been married to Kirron Kher since August 25, 1985. They have one child.
95. Irrfan Khan
Actor | The Lunchbox
Born Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan, in Jaipur, Rajasthan (NW India) January 7, 1967 to a Pashto-speaking Muslim family. Khan's mother, Begum Khan, was from the Tonk Hakim family and his father, Jagirdar Khan, from the Khajuriya village near the Tonk district, ran a tire business.
The Khan family name ...
97. Shahab Hosseini
Actor | Forushande
Shahab Hosseini was born on February 3, 1974 in Tehran, Iran. He grew up in a family of six and was the oldest child. He earned his high school diploma in Biology. Once a psychology student at the University of Tehran, he dropped out with the intent of emigrating to Canada. Instead, he ended up as ...
99. Kang-ho Song
Actor | Gwoemul
Song Kang-ho never professionally trained as an actor, beginning his career in social theater groups after graduating from Kimhae High School. Later, he joined Kee Kuk-seo's influential theater company with its emphasis on instinctive acting and improvisation, which proved to be Song's training ...