Hiro Kanagawa is a well-known and well-regarded character actor with a diverse and extensive resume. Also an accomplished playwright and screenwriter, he is the recipient of the 2017 Governor General’s Literary for Drama for his play Indian Arm.
Hiro’s distinct talents were cultivated over a lifetime of wide-ranging experiences in a variety of locales. Born in Sapporo, Japan, he grew up in Guelph, Ontario and Sterling Heights, Michigan before returning to Japan for high school. Showing an early talent in a variety of arts, he went on to study at a series of prestigious East Coast schools: Middlebury College, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He trained in classical guitar, sculpture, performance art, and theatre along the way, honing his skills as both a creator and performer.
Hiro moved to Vancouver in 1990, attracted by the burgeoning film and television production in the city. Since then he has become a mainstay of the industry with close to 170 credits in projects ranging from blockbuster features to indie films and hit series to cult favorites. Some notable roles:
James Kwan, principal of Smallville High in Season I of the CW hit Smallville
Cyrus Xander, right-hand man to Eric Stoltz’s Daniel Greystone in SyFy’s Caprica
Voice of Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic in Marvel’s The Fantastic Four animated series
Lt. Suzuki, the secret zombie cop in the current CW hit iZombie
Hachiro Otomo, the mysterious game designer in NBC’s Heroes Reborn
Taishi Okamura, yakuza nemesis to Joel de la Fuente’s Inspector Kido on Amazon’s Man in the High Castle
Captain Tanaka, the conflicted and compromised head of the Bay City Police in the smash-hit Netflix series Altered Carbon
Other recent credits include guest starring spots on The CW’s DC Legends of Tomorrow and CBS's Salvation. As a writer, his environmental poem Gaia is currently being performed around the world as part of Climate Change Theatre Action 2017. Hiro makes his home in Port Moody, BC with his wife and two children.
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Although perhaps best known as an actor, Hiro is an award-winning playwright and sought-after story consultant. He was story editor on several critically-acclaimed Canadian television series: Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Intelligence, and Blackstone. His plays Tiger of Malaya and The Patron Saint of Stanley Park have been performed across Canada. His most recent play, Indian Arm received the 2015 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script and the 2017 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Drama.
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