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''[[WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack Long ago,]] [[UsefulNotes/{{Japan}} in a distant land]]... I, MAKO, the multi-talented master of voices, unleashed an [[LargeHam INCREDIBLE TALENT.]]''

'''Mako Iwamatsu''' (December 10, 1933 -- July 21, 2006), commonly known simply by '''Mako''', was a Japanese-American actor and voice actor. He was born in Kobe, UsefulNotes/{{Japan}}. He immigrated to UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates as a young child, later becoming a citizen. He also had married actress Shizuko Hoshi, and left two daughters (both actresses) and three grandchildren.

Mako's first film role was an uncredited one in the 1959 movie ''Never So Few''. Later in 1965, frustrated with a lack of roles available for Asian actors he founded the East West Players company, a theatre guild for aspiring Asian actors, which he remained director of until 1989. He appeared in many films, starting with the 1966 movies ''Film/TheSandPebbles'' and ''Film/TheUglyDachshund'', and also including ''The Hawaiians'', ''Film/TheKillerElite'', ''Film/HighlanderIIITheSorcerer'' / ''Final Dimension'' (as well as ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' The Series), ''Film/{{Conan the Barbarian|1982}}'' and ''Film/ConanTheDestroyer'', ''Under the Rainbow'', ''Film/{{Sidekicks}}'', ''Film/RoboCop3'', ''Film/SevenYearsInTibet'', and ''Film/PearlHarbor''. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in ''Film/TheSandPebbles'', and a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a musical for his role in the original of ''Theatre/PacificOvertures''.

Mako's last leading role was in the 2005 film ''Cages''. The last work he contributed to was the animated movie ''WesternAnimation/{{TMNT}}'', in which he recorded the voiced role for Master Splinter mere days before his death. The finished film was later dedicated to his memory. An episode of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' (in which he voiced the character Iroh, until his death between the second and third seasons) also had the send-off, 'In Honour Of Mako', and gave a major character in its [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra sequel series]] his name. Mako has a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7095 Hollywood Blvd.

Greg Baldwin would serve as TheOtherDarrin for other animated works that Mako was previously involved in.

Not to be confused with the Japanese voice actress of [[NamesTheSame the same name]].

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!!Tropes associated with Mako:
* CoolOldGuy[=/=]CulturedBadass: His role as Iroh in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' and his final role as Splinter in ''WesternAnimation/{{TMNT}}''.
* [[EndingTheme Ending Narration]]: For ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''.
* EvilSoundsDeep: As he said about voicing Aku, "Evil comes from the ''belly''."
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: It's "Mah-ko." "May-ko" is the shark (and the combat vehicle from ''VideoGame/MassEffect'', named after the shark).
* LargeHam: While he was certainly capable of subtlety, his background in ''kabuki'' theater earned him a lot of [[ChewTheScenery scenery to chew on]] in his later roles. Creator/PhilLamarr remarked how his EvilLaugh would start big, go until he had no breath left, and then just ''keep going''!
* RealityIsUnrealistic: Yes, that was his real accent and not an exaggerated put on.
* YouLookFamiliar: He had multiple recurring appearances on ''Series/{{MASH}}'' but never played the same character twice.
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