10 Feb – After successfully overcoming leukaemia in the late '80s and early '90s, Japanese actor Ken Watanabe is now battling yet another form of cancer.
It was revealed by his agent that Watanabe has been diagnosed with an early-stage stomach cancer, according to Kyodo News.
The Oscar-nominated actor has undergone endoscopic surgery to remove the cancer, which was detected during a medical check-up, and is now recuperating at a hospital in Japan.
Due to the hospitalisation, the actor will have to delay his "The King and I" reappearance. He has released a statement announcing the postponement of the musical.
"I am preparing myself in earnest for the (Broadway) stage. I would like to ask for your understanding that the start of my performance in New York will be a little delayed."
Back in April 2015, the 56-year-old made his Broadway debut at the Lincoln Center Theater in the aforementioned musical. He plays the king of Siam who develops a bond with an English teacher, in a story that took place in the 19th century.
His performance earned him a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.
Watanabe was originally set to reprise the role in the musical starting from this March but is now postponing it due to his current predicament.
Non-musical wise, the actor will be starring next in a 2016 Japanese movie, "Anger", and will also be voicing Drift again in the 2017 blockbuster, "Transformers 5".