Jury Coordination and Notes

First Asian Woman to win an Oscar by Brianna Hope Beaton

miyoshilp.jpgThere are a lot of American females who led other fellow women in the film industry, but we often forget to look and appreciate females outside the United States of America. There is a lot we can learn from other countries, cultures, and people. Representing Japan, as the first Asian to win an acting Oscar, is Miyoshi Umeki for her supporting role in Sayonara.

Miyoshi Umeki was born on May, 8, 1929, in Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan. She was the youngest of nine children and showed signs of interest at an early age in music and performing. She used her passion to learn to play a few instruments, piano being one of them.

Sticking with music, Miyoshi traveled with an U.S. Army G.I. jazz band under the name of Nancy Umeki. Her earlier interest and practice in American pop music, against her parents’ will, paid off when she recorded American songs and landed a job on the show Arthur Godfrey and His Friends. She was a one-season regular from 1955 to1956.  Mercury Records signed with Miyoshi, and she released two albums with the record company.  After that, things started falling into place for Miyoshi. She performed in Sayonara in 1957, Flower Drum Song in 1961, Cry for Happy in 1961, The Horizontal Lieutenant in 1962, and many more. She isBriannaHopeBeaton2.jpg best known for her role as Mrs. Livingston BriannaHopeBeaton2.jpgin the TV Series, Courtship of Eddie’s Father. Though she had dry spots in her career she made the best of her situation and she showed assertiveness.

Ms. Umeki was a long time resident of Hollywood, California and later moved to Missouri where she died of cancer at age 78 on August 28, 2007. To her, we tip our hats and thank her for being the role model she was.

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