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.
Extra credit: In some of her early roles she is billed as Yuriko Kikuchi.
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