[Los Angeles: Robertson-Cole Productions, 1922]. Vintage original 8 x 10″ (20 x 25 cm.) black-and-white glossy silver gelatin photo. Just about fine.

Type on verso describes Sessue Hayakawa as star in Robertson-Cole Productions. Portrait is from his independent period, after his own film company failed and before his move to work in Europe.

While touring the United States in a theatre company from Japan in 1913, Sessue was discovered by filmmaker Thomas Ince; the first Asian film star was born. He soon went to work for Cecil B. DeMille and enjoyed a prolific career rivaling that of the top Caucasian stars of the time. Deciding to leave Famous Players, he formed his own company around 1920; when that did not prove financially successful, he freelanced. This portrait is from that period. In his later career he would earn an Academy Award nomination for his performance in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).

Photo is coded SHS-1.

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