Japanese star Yoko Tani falls for Singapore

Japanese actress Yoko Tani was bowled over by Singaporeans during a trip here to film a movie, saying that everybody in Singapore was "terribly sweet".

She had flown into Singapore from Rome in October 1965 to film Goldsnake, an Italian movie inspired by James Bond.

Born in Paris to Japanese parents based at the Japanese embassy there, Tani spoke French, Spanish and English, on top of Japanese, and acted in movies and plays in Europe.


Paris-born
Yoko Tani felt
 Singapore
surpassed its
 reputation as
 the Paris of
the East.

In Singapore, she told the media: "They told me that Singapore was the Paris of the East, (but) one thing is very different. In Paris, the government has to bribe shopkeepers to smile at visitors. Here, everybody smiles all the time."

In Goldsnake, she played a secret agent named Anne Wong alongside actor Stanley Kent, who played the movie's equivalent of James Bond.

Tani was reported to have said in a low, husky voice, in between quick puffs of a cigarette: "I like action roles. This new film suits me fine. It will have thrills, excitement and suspense."

She was cast as Asian characters in Western movies such as The Quiet American, adapted from Graham Greene's novel.

She died at age 70 in Paris in 1999.

In Goldsnake, Tani played a secret agent named Anne Wong alongside actor Stanley Kent, who played the equivalent of James Bond.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 18, 2015, with the headline 'Japanese star Yoko Tani falls for Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe