Glamorous actress Yoshino Kimura distinguished herself from many of her female contemporaries in Japanese cinema by keeping a fixed eye on internationally oriented projects that demanded a host of varied skills, from traditional dramatic interpretation to singing and dancing, often in English. Born in April 1976 in Great Britain, Kimura spent periods of her childhood in London and New York City, then returned to Japan and both developed and honed a keen interest in equestrianism. Kimura took her first screen bow at the age of 20 in the 1996 outing Genki wo ageru, but only with the following year's Shitsurakuen did she move ahead to prominent screen roles. By the early 2000s, Kimura had already branched out into stage work in Japan and decided to return to New York City for musical theater training; the performer realized the fulfillment of this goal with a prime role in the American musical Me & My Girl (2003); not long after, she returned to Japan and acted in director Masahiko Makino's gross-out comedy Wakeful Nights and Mika Ninagawa's period feminist film Sakuran (2007). That same year, the actress received Hollywood attention with her role in Norio Tsuruta's Masters of Horror: Dream Cruise (2007) for the Showtime pay cable network in the U.S.; she then turned up opposite Yusuke Iseya and others for a prominent role in Fernando Meirelles' thriller Blindness, a Canadian-Brazilian-Japanese co-production that starred Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi