Ken Shimura, a prominent Japanese comedian, has died of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, becoming the first entertainment figure from the Asian country to be killed by COVID-19.


The 70-year-old famed actor-cum-TV personality had on March 20, reported symptoms including fatigue after which he was with severe pneumonia. He would test positive for the virus three days later.

According to Japan Times, Shimura passed away on Sunday night in a loss that is being mourned by his country as many had described him as “Japan’s Robin Williams.”

The famed comedian died at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Shinjuku, Tokyo.


“I don’t think he imagined he would die a death like this,” a representative with his agency said. “I am sure he was working hard with a sense of mission to deliver laughter to people.”

The late comedian became known in 1974, replacing Chu Arai in Drifters, a comedy group. He had learned the trade with the help of other members of the group.

His death comes days after Maria Teresa, princess of the Bourbon-Parma royal family in Spain, passed away at 86 after testing positive for coronavirus.


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