Hideaki Ito was born in 1975 in Gifu, Japan. His father was an official in the Japan Self Defense Force and his mother is a housewife. As a child, he became very sick and was hospitalized for about three years. During this time he said that he wanted to become a pilot because he felt isolated in his hospital bed and wanted to see the world. He originally had no intention of becoming an actor, but when he turned eighteen his friend's sister helped him submit an application to a talent competition for young male actors. He came in second place and was signed on to his first talent agency, marking the beginning of his successful career in acting. Hideaki Ito is most famous for his leading role in "Umizaru", a TV and movie series adapted from a popular manga comic about the lives of rescue diver trainees in Kure, Japan. The series began in 2004 and continued for ten years, finishing in 2014. Each of the Umizaru films ranked in the top 100 highest-grossing films in Japan, including both Japanese and Western films. During this time and since then, Hideaki Ito has been involved in over 50 films and drama series. Notably, he starred in the 2007 film "Sukiyaki Western Django" in which he acted alongside Quentin Tarantino. The film was entered in the 64th Venice Film Festival. In 2015, he won the award for the Best Supporting Actor in the Japan Academy Film Prize for his role in "Wood Job!". Today, Hideaki Ito is an international household name in many Asian countries including Japan, China, Thailand, and beyond.