Ken Watanabe due to return to 'The King and I' on March 17

NEW YORK - Ken Watanabe will return to his royal robes on Broadway in "The King and I" starting March 17 after he recovers from stomach cancer treatment.

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Lincoln Center Theater said Thursday that the Tony- and Oscar-nominated actor will take over the role from Hoon Lee.

Watanabe, the 56-year-old Japanese actor, made his American stage debut last year, earning a Tony nod opposite Kelli O'Hara in the revival of "The King and I."

He was due to return to the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical March 1 but had to postpone after undergoing endoscopic surgery for stomach cancer in Japan.

The actor wrote on his Twitter account that the early stage cancer was found in a medical checkup. He wrote in Japanese, "I hate to worry you, but please wait."



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