Updated Feb. 11, 2016
By Mark Kennedy | Associated Press
NEW YORK — Tony Award-nominated and Oscar-winning actor Ken Watanabe will return to his royal robes on Broadway in “The King and I” starting March 17 after he recovers from stomach cancer treatment.
Lincoln Center Theater said Thursday that the Tony- and Oscar-nominated actor will take over the role from Hoon Lee.Watanabe, the 56-year-old Japanese actor, made his American stage debut last year, earning a Tony nod opposite Kelli O’Hara in the revival of “The King and I.”
He was due to return to the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical March 1 but had to postpone after undergoing endoscopic surgery for stomach cancer in Japan. The actor wrote on his Twitter account that the early stage cancer was found in a medical checkup. He wrote in Japanese, “I hate to worry you, but please wait.”
Watanabe, who was featuredin Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” and “Inception,” also starred in the reboot of “Godzilla” and “Letters From Iwo Jima” and lent his voice to the fourth installment of the Transformers franchise, “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
He earned an Academy Award for best supporting actor in the Tom Cruise-led film “The Last Samurai.”
Word of the diagnosis was first reported by Kyodo News service.