Japanese actor Akira Takarada – best known for his role in Godzilla’s original film – has died at the age of 87, Toho Studios has confirmed.
The mature actor throughout his career has starred in an impressive number of films before exploring the world of voice acting.
The cause of death is not currently reported.
Toho Studios posted a statement on Twitter confirming the tragic news with their loyal legion of fans online.
They wrote: “We are sad to hear about Akira Takarada’s death. May the memory of him continue to inspire many fans of Godzilla. “
He played a sailor named Hidet Agatha in the company’s 1954 production of the first Godzilla film.
His character was connected to the Japanese Coast Guard in a landmark film when the first ship sank by a monster when he sent an SOS call.
The star was also there at the end of the film to watch the beast die at the hands of an oxygen destroyer.
Akira also appeared in the American version of the 1956 blockbuster called “Godzilla, King of Monsters”, starring Raymond Baer.
The actor has been a regular contributor to many other editions of the epic film franchise, including 1964’s “Mother vs. Godzilla”.
He returned for an updated version of the film in 1992 and last appeared in the series in 2004 when he starred in “Godzilla: The Last Wars.”
The star continued to appear in a number of other extraterrestrial themed films, including “The Invasion of the Astronomer” of 1965 and “Ebira”, “Horror of the Depths” in 1966.
In addition to his prestigious film career, the actor was also famous for his impressive range of work with VoiceOver.
In 1967, he starred behind the scenes in the film “Doctor Doolittle” before starring in the Disney cartoon “The Great Mouse Detective” and “Aladdin”, in which he voiced Ratigan and Jafar.
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