James Saito

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James Saito
James Saito in New York City
James Tomio Saito

(1955-03-06) March 6, 1955 (age 68)
EducationUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Years active1976–present

James Tomio Saito (born March 6, 1955) is an American actor.

Saito is best known as the original Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dr. Chen in the ABC series Eli Stone, Harry Kim in the Netflix film Always Be My Maybe, and Kenji on Modern Love. In 2020, Saito became a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[1]

Early life[edit]

Saito was born in Los Angeles to Japanese parents. He graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in theater. He later studied acting with actress Uta Hagen at HB Studio, located in New York City.

He was in the last group of students who studied with Sanford Meisner on the island of Bequia in the Grenadines and then continued with Meisner in North Hollywood.


Saito also appeared in the movies Life of Pi, Big Eyes, Wilson, While We're Young, I Think I Love My Wife, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Devil's Advocate, Henry Fool, Home Alone 3, Pearl Harbor, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and Hot Dog…The Movie.

Saito's TV credits include Grey's Anatomy, Altered Carbon, Prodigal Son, Broad City, At Home with Amy Sedaris, Elementary, Instinct, Iron Fist, The Deuce, Paterno, House of Cards, Madam Secretary, Hawaii Five-0, Person of Interest, 30 Rock, One Life to Live, Too Big to Fail, Blue Bloods, Rubicon, The Unit, Heroes and Villains as Tokugawa Ieyasu, As the World Turns, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Sex and the City, The Young and the Restless, Blood & Orchids, MacGyver, Hart to Hart, The Greatest American Hero, The Incredible Hulk, M*A*S*H, Law & Order, Miami Vice, and Farewell to Manzanar.

Saito has worked extensively in theater, including the Broadway productions of The King and I (1997) and David Henry Hwang's Golden Child (1998). Off-Broadway plays include Sarah Ruhl's The Oldest Boy (2014) at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center and Julia Cho's Durango at The Public Theater for which he won an Obie award in 2007. He also appeared in the Off-Broadway production Greater Clements in 2019.[2]

Saito appeared as Bob Lin in the film Love Hard, released in November 2021 by Netflix.[3]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 The Idolmaker Eddie
1984 Hot Dog…The Movie Kendo
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Masado Banzai, Buckaroo's Father Scenes deleted
1987 Beyond the Next Mountain Sniper
1989 Mortal Sins Park Sung
1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Shredder Voiced by David McCharen
1993 Silent Cries Japanese Soldier
1995 The Hunted Nemura
Die Hard with a Vengeance Korean Proprietor
1997 Henry Fool Mr. Deng
The Devil's Advocate Takaori Osumi
Home Alone 3 Mob Boss
1999 The Thomas Crown Affair Paul Cheng
2000 Useless Executive Oki Short film
Aloha James Short film
2001 Pearl Harbor Japanese Aide #1
Love the Hard Way Akiri
Another Bed Bruce Short film
2003 Robot Stories Roy / Groper
2006 Brother's Shadow Line Boss
2007 I Think I Love My Wife Mr. Yuni
Ghosts of the Heartland John Lu
2012 Life of Pi Older Insurance Investigator
2013 From the Rough Won-Sik
2014 While We're Young Dr. Nagato
Big Eyes Judge
2017 Wilson Warren Kudo
The Only Living Boy in New York James
2019 Long Shot Minister Kishido
Always Be My Maybe Harry
2020 Tigertail Hank
2021 Love Hard Bob Lin


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Farewell to Manzanar Richard Wakatsuki TV movie
Baa Baa Black Sheep Third commando Episode: "Up for Grabs"
1977 Ensign Kira Episode: "Divine Wind"
1977-1981 M*A*S*H South Korean Soldier / Park 3 episodes
1978 The Paper Chase Kai Episode: "Bell's in Love"
1979 The Paper Chase Student #1 Episode: "The Apprentice"
Lou Grant Steve Nakajima Episode: "Hype"
1980 Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb Lieutenant Tatsuo Yamato TV movie
The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story TV movie
1981 The Waltons Japanese Sergeant Episode: "The Last Ten Days"
Soap Hiro 1 episode
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Steven Chiu Episode: "The Roller Disco Karate Kaper"
The Two Lives of Carol Letner Professor TV movie
The Incredible Hulk Viet Interpreter Episode: "Viet"
The Fall Guy Police Officer Episode: "Japanese Connection"
Bosom Buddies The Man Episode: "All You Need Is Love"
1982 The Greatest American Hero Kelly Kim Episode: "The Hand-Painted Thai"
Tales of the Gold Monkey Japanese Lieutenant Episode: "Once a Tiger..."
1983 The Renegades Sam Chow Episode: "On the Pad"
Girls of the White Orchid Officer #1 TV movie; alternative title Death Ride to Osaka
1983-1984 Knots Landing Reporter 2 episodes
1984 Hart to Hart Yamahiro Episode: "The Dog Who Knew Too Much"
Scarecrow and Mrs. King Ronnie Quan Episode: "The Mole"
T.J. Hooker Lab Technician Episode: "Hot Property"
Charles in Charge Chinese Food Delivery Man Episode: "Pilot"
1985 Street Hawk Joe Ching Episode: "Chinatown Memories"
Covenant Cabbie TV movie
MacGyver Ming Episode 1.2: "The Golden Triangle"
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Anesthesiologist #1 Episode: "Night Fever"
Crazy Like a Fox Chinese Henchman Episode: "Year of the Fox"
Miami Vice Howie Wong Episode: "Golden Triangle: Part 2"
1986 Blood & Orchids Halehone TV movie
The Young and the Restless Roy Namaguchi 2 episodes
The A-Team Kwai Li Episode: "The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair"
1987 Hill Street Blues Bob Ashahina Episode: "Days of Swine and Roses"
Airwolf Tim Shimizu Episode: "X-Virus"
1988 Miami Vice Ma Sek Episode: "Heart of Night"
C.A.T. Squad: Python Wolf TV movie
War and Remembrance Operations Officer (Yamato) TV Miniseries; Episode: "Part 3"
1989 Gideon Oliver Johnny Chen Episode: "Tongs"
1990 Counterstrike General Loctuck Episode: "Power Play
Top Cops Johnny Kai Episode: "Paul LeBoeuf/Johnny Kai"
True Blue Episode: "Chinatown"
1992 To Be the Best Tony Chiu TV movie
1994 Law & Order Mr. Tanaka Episode: "Scoundrels"
1994-1995 New York Undercover Detective Chang 2 episodes
1995 Star Trek: Voyager Nogami Episode: "The 37s"
1996 Gargoyles Taro (voice) Episode: "Bushido"
The Tomorrow Man Dr. Lorechi TV movie
1999 Sex and the City Korean Man Episode: "Ex and the City"
2000 Strangers with Candy Drug Tester Episode: "Blank Relay"
Law & Order Yoshi Yoshimura Episode: "Dissonance"
2001 100 Centre Street 2 episodes
The Atlantis Conspiracy Police Officer TV movie
2002 Third Watch Sgt. Yee Episode: "The Long Guns"
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Mr. Miyazaki Episode: "Great Barrier"
2005 Starved Captain Wong Episode: "Thank You, I Love You"
2006 As the World Turns Kano Yamamoto 2 episodes
2008 Heroes and Villains Ieyasu Tokugawa Episode: "Shogun"
2008-2009 Eli Stone Dr. Frank Chen Main cast
2009 The Unit Chu Episode: "Chaos Theory"
2010 Rubicon Mooney Episode: "The Truth Will Out"
Blue Bloods Dennis Eng Episode: "Chinatown"
2011 Too Big to Fail Chinese Official TV movie
One Life to Live Judge Lee 9 episodes
2012 30 Rock Chef Episode: "Leap Day"
Person of Interest Glen Episode: "Bury the Lede"
2013 Hawaii Five-0 David Toriyama Episode: "Ho'onani Makuakane"
2014 Madam Secretary Japanese Foreign Minister Shimbakura Episode: "Just Another Normal Day"
2016 House of Cards Dr. Krebs Episode: "Chapter 50"
2017 The Deuce Kim 2 episodes
2018 Paterno Doctor TV movie
Instinct Haru Onishi Episode: "Heartless"
Marvel's Iron Fist Yu-Ti Episode: "The City's Not for Burning"
Elementary Dr. Ken Fukata Episode: "Uncanny Valley of the Dolls"
2019 Broad City Trang Episode: "Bitcoin & the Missing Girl"
Modern Love Kenji Inouye Episode: "The Race Grows Sweeter"
Prodigal Son Dr. Higa Episode: "The Surgeon"
2020 Altered Carbon Tanaseda Hideki Main role (season 2)[4]
Grey's Anatomy Hershel Roberts Episode: "Sing It Again"
Dash & Lily Arthur Mori Recurring role[5]
2023 The Company You Keep Joseph Main role


  1. ^ "Academy Invites 819 To Membership". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. June 30, 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  2. ^ Fujishima, Kevin (June 25, 2019). "Judith Ivey, James Saito, and More to Star in Samuel D. Hunter's Greater Clements". www.theatermania.com. Theater Mania. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  3. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 15, 2020). "Darren Barnet, Harry Shum Jr., James Saito, Mikaela Hoover and Heather McMahan Join 'Love Hard'". www.deadline.com. Deadline. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  4. ^ Trumbore, Dave (February 22, 2019). "Watch: 'Altered Carbon' Season 2 Video Teases Newcomers to the Netflix Series". www.collider.com. Collider. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  5. ^ Malhi, Jashanpreet (November 23, 2020). "'Dash and Lily': A perfect Christmas present that unwraps one's true self". www.highlandernews.com. Highlander News. Retrieved May 30, 2021.

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