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Otto Yamaoka

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Otto Yamaoka
Otto Han Yamaoka

(1904-04-25)April 25, 1904
Seattle, Washington, USA
DiedJune 5, 1967 (aged 63)June 5, 1967(1967-06-05) (aged 63)
New York, New York, USA
RelativesIris Yamaoka (sister)
George Yamaoka (brother)

Otto Yamaoka (April 25, 1904 – June 5, 1967) was an American actor and businessman who worked in Hollywood primarily during the 1930s.[1][2][3][4] He was one of only a handful of Japanese-descended actors working in the industry at the time.[5] His sister, Iris, was an actress.


Otto was born in Seattle, Washington, to Ototaka Yamaoka and Jho Watanabe.

The family moved to Los Angeles in the 1920s, and he and his sister Iris both developed an interest in acting; both primarily played smaller roles. His brother, George Yamaoka, became a prominent lawyer.[6]

Otto's career in Hollywood ended around 1940, and he then began working as an importer in the Los Angeles area.[7] The Yamaoka family was sent to the Heart Mountain internment camp in Wyoming during World War II.[8][9]

Partial filmography


  1. ^ "What to See, Do, and Hear". Harrisburg Telegraph. 28 Mar 1936. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
  2. ^ Glitre, Kathrina (2006-10-31). Hollywood Romantic Comedy: States of the Union, 1934-1965. Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719070792.
  3. ^ Roman, Seymour (21 Mar 1936). "The Current Cinema". Times Union. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
  4. ^ Robinson, Greg (2012-03-15). Pacific Citizens: Larry and Guyo Tajiri and Japanese American Journalism in the World War II Era. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252093838.
  5. ^ Slide, Anthony (2012-09-05). Hollywood Unknowns: A History of Extras, Bit Players, and Stand-Ins. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781617034749.
  6. ^ "George Yamaoka, Lawyer Named to Post by Macarthur, Dies at 78". The New York Times. 1981-11-22. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
  7. ^ "Wealthy Japanese in Heart Balm Suit". The San Bernardino County Sun. 4 Jun 1939. Retrieved 2019-09-14.
  8. ^ "Japanese American Internee Data File: Otto Yamaoka". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  9. ^ Japanese Americans Relocated During World War II. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2005.
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Otto Yamaoka
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