Who is James Saito?

James is a Japanese-American veteran actor, perhaps best remembered as the original Shredder in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1990), and as Dr. Frank Chen in the TV series “Eli Stone” (2008-2009), in addition to numerous other roles that he’s secured over his long and successful career.

James Saito Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education

James Tomio Saito was born on 6 March 1955, in Los Angeles, California, USA. The son of Japanese parents, James had a brother Bill Saito, born in 1936, who died in 2012, and who was also an actor.

After high school, James enrolled at the University of California, Los Angeles, from which he obtained a degree in theater. Moreover, he studied acting with Uta Hagen at HB Studios, and later was in the last group of students who studied with Sanford Meisner on Bequia Island, and then moved to North Hollywood.

Career Beginnings

James launched his career on-screen career in the mid- ‘70s. His first role was in the television historical war-drama movie “Farewell to Manzanar”, with Yuki Shinoda and Nobu McCarthy in the lead roles.

His next role was as Eddie in the award-winning biopic about rock promoter and producer Bob Marucci, entitled “The Idolmaker”, starring Peter Gallagher, and the same year he featured in the television historical war drama movie “Enola Gay”.

James featured in a number of television series throughout the ‘80s, building his portfolio in titles including “The Fall Guy” (1981), then “Knots Landing” (1983-1984), “Scarecrow and Mrs. King” (1984), “The A-Team”, and “Miami Vice” (1985-1988), among several others.

He ended the decade in 1989, with his first lead role, as Park Sung in the mystery crime-thriller film “Dangerous Obsession”.

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Rise to Prominence

James’ early work helped him secure the role of Shredder in the award-winning action-adventure film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1990), co-starring Judith Hoag, Elias Coates, Brian Tochi, and others. Then in 1992, he portrayed Detective Lewis in the soap opera “Loving”, and after a few minor roles, he appeared in the film “The Hunted”, while in 1997, he featured in the award-winning mystery thriller-drama film “The Devil’s Advocate”, starring Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino and Charlize Theron.

He ended the decade with the role of Paul Cheng in the award-winning romantic crime-thriller film “The Thomas Crown Affair”, with Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, and Denis Leary in the lead roles.

He continued to appear in TV series in the early 2000s, while in 2003, he starred in the romantic sci-fi drama film “Robot Stories”, alongside Tamlyn Tomita and Vin Knight.

James then struggled to secure any significant role until 2008, when he was chosen to portray Dr. Frank Chen in the award-winning TV fantasy comedy-drama series “Eli Stone”, starring Johnny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge and Loretta Devine. In 2011 he was Judge Lee in the TV series “One Life to Live”, while in 2012, he appeared in the Academy Award-winning fantasy adventure-drama film “Life of Pi”, with Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan and Adil Hussain in the lead roles.

James featured in the sports drama film “From the Rough” the following year, starring Taraji P. Henson, Tom Felton, and Michael Clarke Duncan, then in 2014, Saito appeared in the mystery comedy-drama film “While We’re Young”, starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts. Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried, and the same year featured in the BAFTA-nominated film “Big Eyes”.

Five years later, Saito co-starred with Ali Wong and Randall Park in the award-winning romantic comedy “Always Be My Maybe”, while in 2020, he was Tanaseda Hideki in the Primetime Emmy Award-nominated sci-fi action-drama series “Altered Carbon”.

He was pretty busy that year as he appeared in Alan Yang’s drama film “Tigertail” and then starred in the horror-drama film “Algorithm: Bliss”. Moreover, he starred in the television movie “The Christmas Bow” with Lucia Micarelli and Michael Rady.

He also portrayed Arthur Mori in the short-lived TV series “Dash & Lilly”, with Austin Abrams and Midori Francis as the main stars.

Recently, James portrayed Bob Lin in the television movie “Love Hard”, and made an appearance in the TV series “Hit-Monkey”, both in 2021.

Theatre Career

In addition to his work on screen, James has appeared in numerous plays.

He made his debut in 1988 in the Off-Broadway play “Rashomon”, while his Broadway debut came in 1996 in the play “The King and I”, and two years later he appeared in the play “Golden Child”.

In 2005 he appeared in the play “BFE”, and in 2006 portrayed Boo-Seng Lee in the Off-Broadway play “Durango”.

He took an hiatus from theater until the mid-2010s, and returned with the Off-Broadway play “The Oldest Boy” in 2014. The following year he appeared in the play “The World of Extreme Happiness”, and in the play “Awake and Singl”. His latest stage appearance was in the play “Greater Clements” in 2019, performed at the Lincoln Center.

Net Worth

As of mid- 2022, James Saito’s net worth has been estimated to be around $5 million, earned through his successful career as an actor, during which he’s appeared in more than 115 film and TV titles.

Personal Life, Dating, Married, Wife, Children?

When it comes to his personal life, James hasn’t been the one to talk about it. In fact, he has been very secretive about his personal aspirations.

As a result, there is no reliable information about his relationship status. His secretive nature has created a few rumors, including him being gay, and even in a relationship with an unknown man. However, according to most sources, he’s single.

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