Tony-Nominated Actor Ken Watanabe Recovering from Stomach Cancer Surgery
Inception star Ken Watanabe has delayed his return to the Broadway stage after revealing he has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. The Oscar-nominated Japanese actor (The Last Samurai) made his American stage debut last year in the revival of The King and I, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award, and he was scheduled to return to the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical next month.
On Tuesday, his agent, Craig Bankey, revealed the actor has undergone endoscopic surgery and is recuperating at a hospital in Japan. A statement from Watanabe read: “I would like to ask for your understanding that the start of my performance in New York will be a little delayed.” It is not yet clear who will replace Watanabe, but the stage role has been filled by Jose Llana and Hoon Lee since last summer. Former Lost star Daniel Dae Kim is set to make his Broadway debut in the musical in May. Kim previously played the role of the King of Siam in a critically acclaimed concert production of the show at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2009.