Sessue Hayakawa (1889-1973) was a Japanese actor who became one of the biggest Hollywood stars in the silent era. He was a leading actor (often as villains, sometimes as heroes) in more than forty silent films between 1914 and 1921.
After the rise of talkies (and with anti-Japanese sentiment as World War II loomed), Hayakawa moved to France in 1937, continuing as a leading man, as a painter, and even aiding the French Resistance. Post-war Hollywood work was mostly key supporting roles, including Tokyo Joe (with Humphrey Bogart), Three Came Back, and the 1960 Disney Swiss Family Robinson (as the pirate chief). His most visible role in the sound era was as POW camp commandant Colonel Saito in Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), earning an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting actor.
- In episode 111 of The Muppet Show, Fozzie's routine gets stuck with "Says you" repeated to Waldorf. Statler says he better have a way out of it, Fozzie says he does. When Waldorf picks up the "Says you," Fozzie retorts "Sessue Hayakawa" (which the bear pronounces as "Sezyu Hayakawa.") Fozzie clarifies for the confused hecklers that he was referencing "a great Japanese actor."