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December 18, 2018, 04:33:46 PM
612026 Posts in 47264 Topics by 6301 Members
Latest Member: MovieHunter Forum  |  Movies  |  Press Releases and Film News  |  RIP Haruo Nakajima « previous next »
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Author Topic: RIP Haruo Nakajima  (Read 848 times)
Dark Alex
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« on: August 07, 2017, 04:23:06 PM »

RIP original Godzilla suit actor Haruo Nakajima

Monday, August 7, 2017



Very sad news: The man who first portrayed Japanese cinema’s greatest monster has passed on, leaving behind an enormous footprint.


Haruo Nakajima, who donned the rubber suit for the title character of 1954’s GOJIRA (released Stateside as GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS in 1956), reprised the role multiple times and played numerous other creatures for the Toho company, died today at age 88. Celebrity Icons reported the news this morning. Nakajima played a few non-kaiju roles early in his career, including one in Akira Kurosawa’s classic SEVEN SAMURAI (1954), but he stepped into screen legend when Toho hired him to perform inside special effects creator Eiji Tsuburaya’s Godzilla suit for Ishiro Honda’s ’54 epic. Nakajima reprised the role 11 times through the early ’70s (his last turn was in 1972’s GODZILLA VS. GIGAN), and also played the title beasts in RODAN (1956), VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE (1958) and KING KONG ESCAPES (1967), the robot Mogera in THE MYSTERIANS (1957), Baragon in FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD (1965), Gaira in THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS (1966) and two of the critters in SPACE AMOEBA/YOG, MONSTER FROM SPACE (1970). He also played human parts in Kurosawa’s THE HIDDEN FORTRESS (1958) and YOJIMBO (1961) and others; his last role was in SUBMERSION OF JAPAN (1973, released Stateside as TIDAL WAVE in 1975).


In recent years, Nakajima became a beloved guest at numerous conventions, often accompanied by other Godzilla suit actors like Kenpachiro Satsuma and Tsutomu Kitagawa (see our roundtable interview with the trio here and here). He will be deeply missed and always remembered by generations of monster fans worldwide.

There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 04:34:26 PM »

Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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Posts: 1980


« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 04:57:28 PM »

He didn't just portray Godzilla, but also many other Toho kaiju. 

There's a story about the time he was playing Varan in the original movie and a flare for an explosion went off accidentally, leaving him with severe burns on his stomach.  But he continued the scene and didn't complain.

R.I.P.  Haruo Nakajima.  Thank you for so many enjoyable movies, and one of my all time favorite film series.

At least, that's what Gary Busey told me...
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

Karma: 219
Posts: 1980


« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 08:55:02 PM »

I just realized something.

He portrayed Godzilla, a representation of the horror of nuclear power and the destruction caused by the atomic bombing of Japan.

He died August 7th.  One day after the anniversary of the Hiroshima being bombed.   

At least, that's what Gary Busey told me...
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