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"The greatest actor to ever work in martial arts films!" - Quentin Tarantino

Sonny Chiba starred in the now-legendary 1975 martial arts flick, The Street Fighter. Chiba, who has blackbelts in Judo, Ninjitsu, Kendo and Shorinji Kenpo, made a huge impression with this character, who could teach his own classes in badassary. This movie was so successful it was followed up with three sequels: Return of the Street Fighter, Sister Street Fighter and the Street Fighter's Last Revenge. Chiba's popularity is almost surely due to his expressive, classic facial features, and the original physicality he brings to his roles drawn from his multi-disciplinary martial arts background.

Chiba's popularity exploded from the popularity of his Street Fighter movies and he went on to make 125 martial arts flicks for Toei Studios. He's played a lot of hardcore characters from Terry Tsuguri (The Street Fighter) to the legendary swordsman Yagyu Jubei. More recently he starred in the movie The Storm Riders.

"Chiba is... extraordinary!" - New York Post (The Street fighter)

Sonny was born January 23, 1939, (birth name: Sadao Maeda) to Shichinosuke Maeda, a military test pilot, and his wife Haruko in Fukuoka, Japan. He studied martial arts and gymnastics at Nippon Taiiku University. When he graduated he began working for Toei Studios in 1961 after winning a 'New Faces' competition. He developed his acting skills in a number of dramatic roles during the 60's. In the 70's he began work in martial arts films; shortly after he made The Street Fighter and his career took off.

In 1970, Chiba founded the Japan Action Club (JAC), a highly successful martial arts school and stunt association whose students are professional actors and stunt men. Several alumni of the Japan Action Club have also made major contributions to the martial ares film genre, including Sue Shiomi and Henry Sanada.

Some info from IMDb:

Japanese game maker Capcom used Sonny Chiba's image for the central character of their popular video game "Onimusha".

Sometimes Credited As:
Shin-Ichi Chiba
Shinichi 'Sonny' Chiba
Shinichi Chiba

Selected filmography:

Sheng zhe wei wang (2000) .... Isako Kusaraki
... aka Born to Be King

Feng yun (1998) .... Conquer
... aka Storm Riders, The

Codename: Silencer (1996) .... Makato
... aka Body Count

Immortal Combat (1994) .... Jiro "J.J." Jinkline

Aces: Iron Eagle III (1992) .... Horikoshi

Makai tenshô (1981) .... Yagyu, Jubei
... aka Samurai Reincarnation (1981)

Bushido Blade, The (1979) .... Prince Edo

Golgo 13: Kûron no kubi (1977) .... Duke Togo
... aka Golgo 13 Kowloon Assignment

Gyakushû! Satsujin ken (1974) .... Takuma Tsurugi
... aka Revenge! The Killing Fist (1974) (USA: literal English title)
... aka Street Fighter Counterattacks! (1974)
... aka Street Fighter's Last Revenge, The (1974)

Onna hissatsu ken (1974) .... The Street Fighter (Sonny Kawasaka)
... aka Sister Streetfighter
... aka Woman Certain Kill Fist

Satsujin ken 2 (1974) .... Takuma Tsurugi
... aka Return of the Street Fighter

Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken (1974) .... Takuma Tsurugi
... aka Street Fighter, The (1974)

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