Reports are that actor Haruo Nakajima has died at the age of 88. Here’s a picture of him:
However, here he is in his most famous role (He’s the one in the middle):
Yes, Mr. Nakajima was the original actor to play Gojira (or Godzilla to us Occidental types.) While he also performed in numerous other roles (including Seven Samurai, where he was a bandit, and The Hidden Fortress), it was his work as a “suit actor” playing the granddaddy of kaiju that made him part of the consciousness of TV-watching kids across the burbs of the 1970s, even if we never knew his name.
He played everyone’s favorite 25-story reptile from 1954 to 1972, and in retirement made a number of appearances on the fan circuit and published an autobiography, Monster Life. He is survived by his daughter, Sonoe, and fans worldwide.
Sayonara, Nakajima-San, and arigato.