Mako dies of cancer at 72

Japanese-American actor Mako, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work in the 1966 film The Sand Pebbles, has died from esophageal cancer, the spokesman for a theater company he cofounded said Tuesday.

Mako, 72, whose birth name was Makoto Iwamatsu, died this past Friday at his home in Somis, California, northwest of Los Angeles, said Jay Africa, marketing director of the East West Players theater company Mako cofounded.

Mako enjoyed a long career on Broadway and in Hollywood. He was nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for playing a Chinese laborer in The Sand Pebbles, which was set during the US military presence in China in 1926 and looked at the uneasy relationship between villagers and foreigners.

His leading role as the reciter in Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures earned him a 1976 Tony Award nomination, the highest award for Broadway theater.

Over the years, Mako performed in numerous films and television shows, and he used his popularity to push for greater and more diverse roles for Asian-American actors in Hollywood. Recently, he provided voices for the cartoon Avatar, The Last Airbender.

In 1965 he helped start the Los Angeles-based East West Players, which established itself as among the top Asian-American theater troupes in the United States.

Born in Japan, Mako came to the United States following World War II to join his parents, who had been in the country at the war's outbreak and remained throughout its duration. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1956.

Mako is survived by his wife, two children, and grandchildren, Africa said.

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There's a tribute to Mako here http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/36801313/
?qo=15&q=by%3Abooter-freak+sort%3Atime+-in%3Ascraps
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*sobsob*This hit me like a bullet,i cant believe he died,he will be missed Iroh wont be the same without him rest in peace.At least well still get to see two more episodes with his voice and we can remember him there and enjoy his great talent
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Mako's death is a great loss and I my thoughts and prayers are with his family.
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ALL Hope Is Not Lost Perhaps some episodes were made before he died, but alas it is true he will be missed Iroh will never be as good as he was. However we still have the memories of the time when Mako did do his best parts, and that we can be truly thankful for. Fore without those memories we would never be sad to see him go.



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If you all believe as I do there is Life after Death in heaven, or wherever we go. I as many others, I believe will eventually participate in playing out the series in the after life of our favorite characters in our favorite show Avatar. I will commit, and I hope some of you will join me.



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September 15th. please hurry.



Good-Bye Mako When we all play out the series I hope you will play Iroh. :D
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I cant believe it...He was a great actor and will be missed greatly by many people. Avatar the Last Airbender is my favorite show, and it wont be the same without him as Uncle Iroh...

Rest In Peace Mako
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Mako on Avatar: The Last Airbender was my favorite! I will miss his funny jokes as Uncle Iro. Farewell Mako!
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Thats is really sad. Mako, we will miss you a lot
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Oh man, I was first introduced to him in the Conan movie, and now he is gone. It is a sad day.
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As the voice actor who plays Xin Fu on Avatar I had the pleasure of working with Mako a number of times. Mako was a "class" act and I will miss him alot. To you, my friend... be well on your long journey!!
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A wonderful actor and a great voice-over actor. General Iroh won't be the same without him. Sir, I honor you. You will be greatly missed. Peace to you, Mako. Be happy on the Other Side.
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I seriously can't believe it...the poor guy. He'll be missed everywhere--especially amoung us Avatar fans. The show won't be the same without him (really).

A moment of silence for Mako~~~
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that's so sad. he will be missed by all who liked his work...
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Mako, you will be missed by all Avatar fans! The show won't be the same without you! *runs off to morn*
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I can't believe that Mako has really passed away...He will be terribly missed. Especially in Avatar the last airbender. He was a great Japanese actor and very encouraging to other asian beginners...We'll terribly miss you. Rest in peace Makoto!
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I wonder what the people that made Avatar feel.



Mako, you will be missed.
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As far as Iroh of "Avatar", goes, they'll either re-cast in a big hurry, or do an emergency re-write of the next episode after the last one Mako recorded to have it start with Zuko waking up to find Iroh's heart gave out on him sometime in the night....

RIP Mako...
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I can't believe he's gone
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goodbye mako. you will be missed.

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goodbye mako. you will be missed.
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He was amazing actor. Mako you will be missed. RIP
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RIP Mako.
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Rest in peace, Mako. :cry: You made great voices, including singing the end song of Dexter's Laboratory and Happy Cat in some episodes of Duck Dodgers.
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Terrible news. Even though he got typecast as angry Japanese businessman or menacing gangter boss, he still made those roles memorable. Plus he kicked ass as Aku.



RIP Mako.
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Oh dear. That's terrible. Wasn't he also the commander of the Japanese army in "Pearl Harbor"? Ah, Avatar won't be the same without his Uncle Iroh.

-Angie
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Ah geez... So much for a comeback of Samurai Jack... His Aku voice was the best!!!
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