Miyoshi Umeki

Miyoshi Umeki, who was nominated for a Tony Award for her work in the original Flower Drum Song, and who won a supporting actress Oscar for the film "Sayonara" in 1958, thus becoming the first Asian to win a performance Academy Award, died Aug. 28, 2007, in Licking, MO, Variety reported. She was 78. 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.

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  • Born: May 8, 1929 in Otaru, Japan
  • Death: Aug 28, 2007 in Licking, Missouri

Awards

Tony Award
1959 Actress in a Musical Flower Drum Song Nominee