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(Japanese: 森公美子 Kumiko Mori
, born July 22, 1959) is a Japanese television personality who is known as an actress, stand-up comedian, and mezzo-soprano opera singer. She performed the Japanese ending theme for Spell of the Unown
, which was released as its own single
Mori was born in Japan, but has spent time living in both the United States and Italy, the latter of which being where she studied opera. She attributes her pursuit of a career in theatre to seeing the musical "My Fair Lady" in London as a young woman. Her participation on a diet reality television show, where she lost weight following a 'banana diet' led to a significant increase in banana sales in Japan. She is married.
She has presented a number of television shows in Japan, including Disney Japan's "Disney Paradise", and has also done both voice over and traditional acting. She is best known in the West for her appearence on Disney's "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody", where she appeared as herself.
Her theatre work includes over 2,000 appearences as Madame Thenardier in a stage production of "Les Miserables", and she has appeared on over 30 CDs, including two of her own.
As well as her acting and singing, Mori has published a cookbook of original recipies.
Mori attracted controversy in when she unwittingly found herself embroiled in an investigation into the apparent suicide of Tadayo Honda, former director of the Bank of Japan, whose death is suspected as murder, as she was staying in the hotel room next to him, and had updated a message board complaining about disturbances coming from Honda's room.
Mori Kumiko is best known in Pokémon for her singing, and being the original voice of Pikachu