5. Toshiro Mifune
Notable Roles: Seven Samurai (1954); Rashomon (1950); Yojimbo (1961); Throne of Blood (1957)
Born and raised in China, it was unlikely that Mifune would become one of the most recognizable faces in Japan. On a whim, he went for an audition while in the Japanese army and ended up befriending reknowned director Akira Kurosawa. Mifune became a symbol of Japanese prowess, looking as at home in ancient samurai armor as he did in mid-century business attire.