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Rest Easy, Takarada Akira, and thanks for the memories

Takarada Akira, best known as a star in the early “Godzilla” films and Toho’s other kaiju (monster) and sci-fi movies from the 1950s and 1960s, died on Monday. He was 87. The cause of death has not been announced.

Born in 1934 in Japan-occupied Korea, Takarada came with his family to Japan in 1948 as a speaker of Mandarin Chinese and English. In 1953 he entered the Toho studio after passing the studio’s “New Face” audition. He made an impression in a major role as a Navy diver in the original 1954 “Godzilla” and thereafter was cast in series follow-ups including “Mothra vs. Godzilla” (1964), “Invasion of Astro-Monster” (1965), and “Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster” (1966).

Takarada also appeared in films by Ozu Yasujiro and Naruse Miko as well as musical films, melodramas, period dramas and other mainstay studio genres… read more >

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