Akira Takarada, the ace Japanese actor popular for his appearance in the original 1954 ‘Godzilla’, has passed away at 87.

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Takarada’s death was announced in a short statement by Toho Studios. No cause or date of death was, however, revealed in the statement.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Akira Takarada. May his memory continue to inspire the lives of many Godzilla fans,” it read.

Takarada was famous for his role in the Godzilla franchise and also his voiceover work. His film debut was a role in ‘When the Liberty Bell Rang’ while his break-out role was Hideo Ogata, a navy diver, in the original ‘Godzilla’.

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He featured in the 1956 American re-edit, ‘Godzilla, King of the Monsters,’ and was a part of the ongoing Godzilla series — appearing in ‘Mothra vs. Godzilla’ (1964).

He returned to the Godzilla series in 1992 with the updated ‘Godzilla vs. Mothra’, and then made his final appearance in the series in ‘Godzilla: Final Wars’ (2004).

He also featured in movies such as ‘Half Human,’ ‘Romantic Daughters,’ ‘A Rainbow Plays in My Heart,’ ‘The Birth of Japan,’ among others.

For his voiceover works, he was the lead character in ‘Doctor Doolittle,’ while also starring in ‘The Great Mouse Detective’ and ‘Aladdin’ — in which he voiced the villains Ratigan and Jafar, respectively.

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Takarada also voiced Jafar in the ‘Kingdom Hearts’ video game series.



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