Naoko Mori

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Naoko Mori
森 尚子
Mori at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con International
Born (1971-11-29) 29 November 1971 (age 49)
Nagoya, Japan
EducationRoyal Russell School
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1992–present
Notable work
Absolutely Fabulous
Doctor Who
Spice World (film)

Naoko Mori (森 尚子, Mori Naoko) is a Japanese actress who is best known for her roles as Toshiko Sato in Torchwood, Sarah in Absolutely Fabulous and Nicola in Spice World.

Early life[]

Naoko Mori was born on 29 of November, 1971 in Nagoya, Japan, to a Ryukyuan mother and a Japanese American father. When Mori was four years old, she moved to New Jersey due to her father's work. She returned to Japan when she was ten and moved to London two years later. When her parents were posted back to Japan, Mori was given the choice of either moving back to Japan with her parents or remaining in London on her own.[1] She chose to stay in London, partly because she wanted to finish her GCSEs and gain some qualifications.[1] She attended the Royal Russell School. Mori's father opened a bank account for her, handed her a cheque book and told her to find a flat or a bed sit for herself to live in. Mori said that being on her own at such a young age helped her to be a very independent person, although it was still a scary world to be faced so young.[1]

Acting career[]

Mori at Comic Con 2008

While studying for her A-levels, she auditioned and joined London's West End production of Miss Saigon. She later went on to play Kim and became the first Japanese national to play a lead role in the West End.[2] From 1993 to 1994, Mori had a regular role on the hospital drama Casualty as the hospital receptionist Mie Nishikawa. Film roles followed, including appearances in the 1997 musical comedy film Spice World and Topsy-Turvy (1999). Mori also appeared in the television programmes Thief Takers (1997), Judge John Deed (2001), Spooks (2002), Mile High (2003)[3] and Powers (2004).[4] In 1995, she had a small role as a Japanese computer hacker in the film Hackers. Mori had a major role in the 2005 BBC docu-drama Hiroshima, which contained dramatic re-enactments of the 1945 atomic bombing. Mori also provided the voice acting for the villainess Mai Hem for the game Perfect Dark Zero.

In 2005, Mori had a small role as Dr. Sato in the Doctor Who episode "Aliens of London". Producer Russell T Davies took note of her performance and decided to bring the character back as a regular in the first two series of the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.[5] Mori's Torchwood character, Toshiko Sato, was killed in "Exit Wounds", the final episode of Torchwood's second series, but has not ruled out the possibility of returning to the show at a later date.[6] Since her exit from the show, Mori has reprised the character in multiple Torchwood audio dramas by Big Finish Productions, some of them with her as a lead with a guest cast, but some with her as part of the team with the rest of the main Torchwood cast. She returned to the West End on 20 November 2006, when she took over the role of Christmas Eve from Ann Harada in the London production of Avenue Q, a role which she played until 14 April 2007.[7] Mori portrayed Yoko Ono in the BBC Four production Lennon Naked, which was broadcast in the UK on 23 Wednesday June 2010.[8] The film reunited her with Christopher Eccleston, who played John Lennon, opposite whom she played Dr. Sato in her Doctor Who appearance. Before joining Torchwood, Mori acted as Kim in Miss Saigon alongside future co-star John Barrowman as Chris.

Mori appeared in the movie Everest (2015), as Yasuko Namba,[9] opposite Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright, and Keira Knightley.[citation needed] In 2018 Mori played Lady Thiang in The King and I in London.[10]

She will also be the voice of Nagisa Kisaragi in Gerry Anderson's Firestorm[11]

Personal life[]

Mori is a Japanese Buddhist.[12] She has an elder brother whom she grew up with alongside her parents in New Jersey. At the young age of 16 or 17 she moved into a flat on her own in London. This was when her career expanded. She wanted to become a singer before she was an actress.[13]



Year Title Role
1995 Hackers Tokyo hacker
1997 Spice World Nicola
1999 Topsy-Turvy Miss "Sixpence Please"
2000 Running Time Michelle
2004 The Smoking Room Naoko
2009 Maneater Morgan Tan
2012 Vexed Satchi Kyoto
2012 Suspension of Disbelief Floy
2015 Everest Yasuko Namba
2017 Life Kazumi
2018 Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Yumiko
TBA Mr. Malcolm's List


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Desmond's Caroline Episode: "Growing Pains"
1992–2011 Absolutely Fabulous Sarah 12 episodes
1993–1994 Casualty Mie Nishi-Kawa 7 episodes
1997 Thief Takers Minako Takahashi Episode: "Brand Loyalty & Black Mist"
1998 Bugs Melissa Episode: "Jewel Control"
1999 Psychos Mariko Harris 6 episodes
2001 Judge John Deed Mutsumi Yesayahoo Episode: "Appropriate Response & Rough Justice"
2002 Murder in Mind Naomi Episode: "Rage"
2002 Spooks Annette Episode: "The Rose Bed Memoirs"
2002 Doctors Molly Fletcher Episode: "Feet of Clay"
2003 Manchild Geisha girl Series 2, episode 7
2003 Mile High Natsumi Series 1, episode 13
2005 Doctor Who Doctor Sato Episode: "Aliens of London"
2005 Hiroshima Shige Hiratsuka Documentary television film
2005 Hot Tub Ranking Mia 6 episodes
2006 Little Miss Jocelyn Beautician Series 1, episode 5
2006–2008 Torchwood Toshiko Sato 26 episodes
2010 Lennon Naked Yoko Ono Television film[14]
2011 Private Practice Patricia Ramsey Episode: "If You Don't Know Me by Now"
2011 Three Inches Annika Television film
2012 Rocket's Island Liz 2 episodes
2012 The Revolting World of Stanley Brown Sarah Stripe Episode: "Hiccupalypse"
2015 Midsomer Murders Nadia Simons Episode: "A Vintage Murder"
2015 Humans Fiona Episode: "Episode 4"
2015 You, Me and the Apocalypse Nocturnapram Professor Episode: "Home Sweet Home"
2017 The Amazing World of Gumball Yuki Yoshida (voice) Episode: "The Fury"
2018 Patrick Melrose Doctor Pagazzi Episode: "At Last"
2018–21 Big Hero 6: The Series Momakase (voice) 7 episodes
2018 Gerry Anderson's Firestorm Nagisa Kisaragi (voice) Pilot
2019 The Terror Asako Nakayama Main role (season 2)
2020 Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Bonnie Episode: "Zoey's Extraordinary Neighbor"

Video games[]

Year Title Role
2005 Perfect Dark Zero Mai Hem[15]
2006 Genji: Days of the Blade Lady Shizuka
2016 Hitman KAI
2017 Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Yotsuyu
2018 Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Miko, Additional Voices


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b c "The Wright Stuff – Naoko Mori and the papers" YouTube video
  2. ^ "グローバルキャスティング: 映画・テレビドラマ・CMのオーディション・エキストラ募集情報" [Global Casting: Movies; Television Drama; CM Auditions; Extras Recruitment Information] (in Japanese). Global Casting. Archived from the original on 17 October 2006. Retrieved 1 December 2006.
  3. ^ "Episode Guide". Mile High fansite. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
  4. ^ Action TV Online – Powers episode guide
  5. ^ "Torchwood's latest members". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 24 April 2006..
  6. ^ "Naoko Mori ('Torchwood') – Torchwood Interview – TV – Digital Spy". Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Avenue Q preview review". Archived from the original on 23 May 2006. Retrieved 20 October 2006.
  8. ^ "FATHERHOOD SEASON – Lennon Naked" 23 June 2010, BBC
  9. ^ Puchko, Kristy (4 May 2014). "Keira Knightly tackles Everest with Jake Gyllenhaal".
  10. ^ Bano, Tim. "The King and I review at London Palladium – an opulent and intelligent revival", The Stage, July 3, 2018
  11. ^ "Gerry Anderson's Firestorm Exclusive FULL Minisode".
  12. ^ Gordon, Carole (1 January 2007). "Interview with Torchwood star Naoko Mori". Eclipse Magazine. Archived from the original on 6 January 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2007.
  13. ^ "Interview: NAOKO MORI from TORCHWOOD (Part One)" at Daemon's TV web site
  14. ^ Conlan, Tara (27 November 2009). "Former Doctor Who to play John Lennon". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Naoko Mori". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved 3 February 2021. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of the title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.CS1 maint: postscript (link)

External links[]

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