• Creator
  • Hixon-Wiese, Kansas City, MO
  • Description
  • Sessue Hayakawa (1889-1973) achieved fame as a silent film star through his role in Cecil B. DeMille's controversial 1915 film The Cheat, which told the story of a white woman's passionate affair with an Asian ivory merchant. The movie was a huge box office success and turned Hayakawa into the first Japanese matinee idol in Hollywood history. Hayakawa remained popular through the 1910s, but a rise in racism in the U.S. sparked by anger over im... more
    Sessue Hayakawa (1889-1973) achieved fame as a silent film star through his role in Cecil B. DeMille's controversial 1915 film The Cheat, which told the story of a white woman's passionate affair with an Asian ivory merchant. The movie was a huge box office success and turned Hayakawa into the first Japanese matinee idol in Hollywood history. Hayakawa remained popular through the 1910s, but a rise in racism in the U.S. sparked by anger over immigration ended his stardom in 1922. In the 1920s, Hayakawa began a new career in Europe, acting in the French and British movie industry. He tried but failed to regain his career as a star in the U.S., which can be partly attributed to the revelation of his heavy accent after the advent of "talking" pictures. After WWII, Hayakawa turned himself into a character actor, which led him to play the POW camp commander in David Lean's Bridge over the River Kwai (1957). For this role, he was nominated for an Academy award for best supporting actor,... less
  • Format
  • image
    photograph
    Scanned from a photographic print using a Microtek Scanner 1000x at 100 dpi in JPEG format at compression rate 3 and resized to 768x600 ppi. 2010