In addition to starring as Mei-Li in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song, the diminutive Ms. Umeki, who boasted a pixieish haircut and a wide smile, also appeared in the film version, winning a Golden Globe nomination. Her involvement in the stage show landed her on the cover of Time magazine in 1958. On television, she became known for playing Mrs. Livingston in "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," the Bill Bixby comedy about a single parent. She won another Golden Globe nomination for her work there.
Her other film and television credits include "The Horizontal Lieutenant," "A Girl Named Tamiko" and "Cry For Happy," "Mister Ed" and "The Donna Reed Show."
Miyoshi Umeki was born May 8, 1929, in Hokkaido, Japan, where she performed for U.S. troops as a singer during the postwar occupation, singing in Japanese and English, according to Variety. By the time she moved to the U.S. in 1955, she was already famous in Japan as Nancy Umeki. She continued her recording career on Mercury records for some years after arriving in America.
She is survived by her son and two grandchildren.