Kataoka Ichitaro was born in 1877 in Kyoto. His real name was Tsukamoto Suekichi. His father died when Kataoka was only four years old, as a result of which he was adopted by the stage actor Tsukamoto Seizaburo. Soon after entering elementary school, Kataoka became an apprentice of Kataoka Ichizo in Otani Tomomatsu's theater company, making his debut stage appearance at the Masagoza theater in Kyoto under the name of Kataoka Ichitaro. After this, he went on tour with his foster father, before he began performing as the top onnagata of Ichikawa Shinshiro's theater company in Nagoya. Kataoka first met Makino Shozo when the company moved permanently to the Senbonza theater in Kyoto. He then went on to marry Makino's youngest sister, Okyo and became a member of Makino Productions. Makino actually began making films in 1908, and Kataoka made the switch from theater to cinema with his appearance as Yoshitsune in Goban Tadanobu. He then went on to work with Makino at Nikkatsu, Mikado & Co., Makino Educational Films and the Makino Film Studios, giving support to Makino in its early days as he appeared in roughly 50 films, including Miyako ni Akogarete (The Beloved City), Shonanko, Yamanouchi Kazutoyo no Tsuma and Nogitsune Sanji. In 1924, Kataoka starred in the lead role of Hayashi Seinosuke opposite Bando Tsumasaburo's Lord Komai Sagami in the film series Moyuru Uzumaki. As the new star Bando Tsumasaburo's rise to the top became increasingly alarming, Kataoka made less and less films before finally disappearing from the scene altogether.