Tamba is perhaps best known by Western audiences for his role as Tiger Tanaka in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice (he was dubbed by Robert Rietti). By then, he had among other roles appeared in two films by director Masaki Kobayashi: Harakiri and Kwaidan. He also portrayed the lead character in the police dramas Key Hunter and G-Men '75, the latter of which remains his best-known role in Japan.
He also portrayed the voice of the "Cat King" in the original Japanese version of the Studio Ghibli anime film The Cat Returns. More recently, he had parts in Twilight Samurai and two Takashi Miike films, The Happiness of the Katakuris and Gozu, as well as acting as a spokesperson for the Dai Rei Kai spiritual movement.
Tamba's son, Yoshitaka Tamba, is also an actor.
Awards and nominations
- 2000: Nikkan Sports Film Award: Best Supporting Actor for 15-Sai: Gakko IV
- 1981: Japan Academy Prize: Best Supporting Actor for 203 kochi
- 1981: Blue Ribbon Awards: Best Supporting Actor for 203 kochi
- 1974: Mainichi Film Award: Best Actor for Ningen kakumei
- 2001: Japan Academy Prize: Best Supporting Actor for 15-Sai: Gakko IV
- Tetsuro Tamba at the Internet Movie Database
- Japanese wikipedia page (also source)
- BBC article, retrieved December 10, 2006.
- Script error