Actor Akira Takarada, known for starring in the original Godzilla, has died aged 87.
His death was confirmed yesterday (March 17) in a tweet from Toho Studios, the production company behind the influential 1954 monster film.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Akira Takarada,” the tweet reads. “May his memory continue to inspire the lives of many Godzilla fans.”
The cause of death hasn’t been disclosed.
Takarada played Hideto Ogata in the original Godzilla, a sailor who works with the Japanese Coast Guard after the monster sinks a ship. The actor also starred in the 1956 US re-edit, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters with Raymond Burr.
He continued to star in the franchise throughout his career, with roles in 1964’s Mothra vs. Godzilla, 1966’s Godzilla vs the Sea Monsters, 1992’s Godzilla vs Mothra and 2004’s Godzilla: Final Wars.
The actor also filmed scenes for the 2014 US remake of Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards, which weren’t included in the final film.
His other credits include other monster films like 1967’s King Kong Escapes and 1955’s Half Human. He also voiced the Japanese dub for character Jafar in Disney’s Aladdin and the video game series Kingdom Hearts.