Ken Watanabe, an actor best known for his lead role in Broadway’s The King and I, has sadly been diagnosed with early-stage stomach cancer.
The 56-year-old star’s rep confirmed the news to People on Tuesday, Feb. 9, adding Ken has postponed his upcoming return to Broadway to instead focus on his health.
“I would like to ask for your understanding that the start of my performance in New York will be a little delayed,” Ken said in a statement released earlier this week. Prior to his diagnosis, Ken was expected to return to The King and I in March.
Ken onstage with his The King and I costar Kelli O’Hara.
The cancer was reportedly detected during a routine doctors visit and Ken has already undergone endoscopic surgery to treat the disease. He is now recovering in a hospital in Japan, his rep revealed.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the actor — who is also known for starring in movies Inception, Batman Begins, Godzilla and The Last Samurai — has battled cancer. He was previously diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 1989.