Ken Takakura was a Japanese actor who earned his fame through his brooding and stoic roles that he performed. He was also known as the first actor gaining Japan Academy Prize four times. He became internationally famous after starring in Ridley Scott's Black Rain (1989).
He entered Tochiku High School in nearby Yahata City. Around this time, he gained a role as an honorable old-school yakuza among the violent post-war gangs in the famous movie, Showa Zankyo-den (Remnants of Chivalry in the Showa Era). After graduating from Meiji University in Tokyo, Takakura took in an audition on impulse in 1955 at the Toei Film Company, where he made his debut with Denko Karate Uchi (Lightning Karate Blow) in 1956.
In 1959, he and singer Chiemi Eri were married but they ended their relationship in divorce in 1971.