Los Angeles: Actor James Shigeta, best known for playing the role of an ill-fated chief executive in Bruce Willis-starrer 'Die Hard', has passed away at the age of 81. Shigeta died yesterday July 27 in LA, said The Hollywood Reporter.

The actor, who originally hailed from Hawaii, was a top Asian-American actor of the early 1960s and starred in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical 'Flower Drum Song' (1961).

He made his debut with Sam Fuller's 'The Crimson Kimono' in 1959 and also starred in films like 'Cry for Happy' (1961) and 'Bridge to the Sun' (1961). Shigeta later acted in the 1969-72 CBS drama 'Medical Center'. His 'Die Hard' in 1988 was a major success.