Umeki, who never appeared on Broadway again, re-created the role of Mei Li for the 1961 film version of Flower Drum Song. She had already received an Academy Award for her role in Sayonara, as a woman whose marriage to a U.S. soldier (played by fellow Oscar winner Red Buttons) eventually leads to their double suicide.
Umeki began her career as a singer and later recorded for RCA Japan and Mercury Records under the name Nancy Umeki. Her other film and television appearances included The Horizontal Lieutenant, A Girl Named Tamiko, and The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
She is survived by her son, Michael Hood, and two grandchildren.