Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was born September 27, 1950 in Tokyo, Japan, where his Japanese-American father was stationed with the United States Army. Tagawa returned to the United States as a child, and lived on several US Army bases before his family settled in Southern California. It was in California that Tagawa began his acting career while starring in his high school's productions. Tagawa's first big break came in 1987, when he was cast as the character Chang in Bernardo Bertolucci's historical drama, The Last Emperor. In 2010, Tagawa played the lead character on a Russian reality show, called Let's Marry, where women competed against each other to win Tagawa's heart. At the end of the reality show, Tagawa choose a 23-year-old woman as the winner. Tagawa also works with the University of Hawaii's football team as a part-time masseur. When he is not busy acting, Tagawa works with martial arts students and works on perfecting a new form of martial arts, Chin Shin, that he created.