‘Shōgun’ actress Yoko Shimada dead at 69

Japanese actress Yoko Shimada — best known for her role as Mariko in the 1980 miniseries “Shōgun” — died Monday. She was 69.

She was taken to a hospital in Tokyo where she later died from complications of colorectal cancer, according to Japanese media, as reported by Deadline.

Born in the city of Kumamoto on the Japanese island of Kyushu, Shimada landed her first TV role in the 1970 drama “Osanazuma.” Her other TV credits include “Kamen Rider,” “Karei-naru Ichizoku” and “Shiroi Kyoto.”

In “Shōgun” — which was based on the James Clavell novel — the actress portrayed Hosokawa Gracia, a real-life member of the aristocratic Akechi family. Shimada did not speak fluent English but was one of the few actors in the cast that had an English-speaking role, according to Deadline.

The portrayal brought her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.

Yoko Shimada as Lady Toda Mariko in the TV miniseries “Shōgun” in 1980.
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Richard Chamberlain and Yoko Shimada are shown on the set of the mini-series “Shōgun.”
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Yoko Shimada and Robert Vaughn appear together at the 38th Annual Golden Globe Awards in 1981.
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She also appeared in several other movies, including “Little Champion” (a k a “My Champion”), “The Deep Red” and “To Live as an Actress.”

Her 1974 film “Castle of Sand” was nominated for the Golden Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival.