Miyazawa Rie

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Miyazawa Rie is famous throughout Japan as both a successful actress and a singer, but is also famed for some of the controversial and tragic events that occurred in her personal life, mostly in her early 20s. Rie was born on April 6, 1973 in Tokyo, Japan, where she was raised by only her mother after her father, a Dutchman, left when Rie was just a baby.

When she was 11 years old, Rie made her first appearance in show business and the media through a Kit Kat advertisement, which propelled her career into other advertising and modeling stints, as well as appearances in T.V. commercials, T.V. series, films, and on stage. Rie’s official acting debut was as Hitomi Nakayama in 1988’s Bokura no nanoka-kan sensô (Seven Day’s War). She also became a singer, launching her J-pop (Japanese popular music) career in September of 1989, when she was 16 years old. That same year, Rie played Namiko in the film Docchini suruno, co-starring Miho Nakayama and Toru Kazama.

Then, in the early 1990s, the drama in her personal life—which quickly made its way into the public limelight—began, starting with the release of her nude (and controversial) photo-book (Santa Fe) in 1991, which sold more than 1.5 million copies, as well as her subsequent engagement to the Japanese sumo wrestling star, Takanohana.

The drama continued when the engagement was broken off in 1993, after which Rie started on a self-destructive path, cutting her wrists, drinking excessively, fighting with her mother, and becoming anorexic. Her singing and acting career suffered during this time, as well, although she was able to pull off respectable performances in a few films.

Then, in 1996, Rie began a road to recovery, and started to resuscitate her career as well, reporting at the Cannes Film Festival and appearing in several television dramas, the most successful of which was Kyosokyoku, and from there Rie set to prove herself her career was not over—after all, at that point, she was still just in her mid-20s.

She proved herself correct, winning the Moscow International Film Festival’s Best Actress Award for the film Peony Pavilion in 2001, and the following year, was a part of the stellar cast (which included Sanada Hiroyuki) in Tasogare Seibei (The Twilight Samurai), a critically acclaimed movie that was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. In 2004, Rie starred in the successful Tony Takitani, which was entered at the Sundance Film Festival that year.

Rie’s Main Filmography and Stage Work

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