Rinko KikuchiActor / Comedian
Born: 6 January 1981
Birthplace: Kanagawa, Japan
Best known as: Chieko in the 2006 film Babel
Rinko Kikuchi is a Japanese actress who shot to international fame with her Oscar-nominated performance in the 2006 film Babel
. A model since the age of 14, Kikuchi began her career as an actress in television commercials. Small roles in TV dramas and feature films led to a leading role in Sora no ana
(2001, also called Hole in the Sky
). Her work in little-known but "edgy" movies didn't make her a star in Japan, but her turn in Babel
as a tragic teenage deaf-mute earned rave reviews in Europe and the United States, and Kikuchi was thrust into the limelight alongside the film's stars, Brad Pitt
and Cate Blanchett
. On the international awards show circuit her dyed-blonde hair and urban-chic glamour made a splash, and her 2007 Oscar nomination for a best supporting actress award sparked hometown pride back in Japan.
In some of her early roles she is billed as Yuriko Kikuchi.
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