Ken Watanabe is a Japanese stage, film and television actor who has been working in show business since 1984, but wasn’t known to most Western audiences until 2003. Watanabe graduated from high school in 1978 and travelled to Tokyo to pursue a career in acting where he soon gained critical acclaim for his performances on stage, in films and on television series, none of which I’ve heard of, much as I’m ashamed to admit it. Like many people, I was first introduced to Ken Watanabe in 2003’s The Last Samurai. Since The Last Samurai, Watanabe has made the wise decision to get in Christopher Nolan’s good books by acting in Batman Begins and Inception, both of which are kickass movies. Watanabe turns 52 today.