Known for the depth she brought to her roles, Machiko Kyo also possessed a mystique on screen that earned her the adoration of directors and film fans alike.

Kyo, who starred in Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon" among myriad other films, died on May 12 of heart failure at age 95.

She appeared in a number of movies during the 1950s and received major accolades at international film festivals.

Born in Osaka as Motoko Yano, Kyo signed with the Daiei movie company in 1949.

In "Rashomon," the Kurosawa classic, she played a samurai's wife who is raped in a forest by a bandit played by the late famed film star Toshiro Mifune.

Kurosawa's use of varying perspectives as four witnesses recount the story heavily influenced later filmmakers and made the movie, which took the Golden Lion at the 1951 Venice International Film Festival, one of his most famous.

Kyo went on to star in movies by other major directors in Japan. Among them, she played the central female character in Kenji Mizoguchi's 1953 film "Ugetsu Monogatari," which won the Silver Lion at the Venice International Film Festival that year.

In 1954, Kyo appeared in Teinosuke Kinugasa's "Jigokumon" (Gate of Hell), which received the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Kyo appeared in 100 movies, including those directed by Mikio Naruse, Kon Ichikawa, Yasujiro Ozu and Tadashi Imai, as well as TV dramas and plays.

Unlike the often demure portrayals of Japanese women in film, Kyo's characters had an exotic appeal that she harnessed to taunt male characters in the films.

Kyo's first major break came as the title character in the 1949 movie adaptation of "Naomi," a novel by Junichiro Tanizaki about a young girl with Western features who turns the tables on an older man who tries to mold her into his vision of the ideal woman.

It was likely against this background that Kyo was asked to play a geisha in the 1956 Hollywood movie "The Teahouse of the August Moon," in which she appeared opposite the iconic Marlon Brando and Glenn Ford.