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Akira Takarada
宝田 明
Akira Takarada 1956 Scan10004.jpg
Takarada in 1956
Born (1934-04-29)April 29, 1934
Chongjin, North Hamgyong, Chōsen (nowadays North Korea)
Died March 14, 2022(2022-03-14) (aged 87)
Tokyo, Japan
Occupation Actor, Tarento
Years active 1954–2022
Spouse(s)
Akiko Kojima
(m. 1966; div. 1984)
Children Michiru Kojima (daughter)
Japanese name
Kanji 宝田 明
Hiragana たからだ あきら
Romanization Takarada Akira

Akira Takarada (Japanese: 宝田 明, Hepburn: Takarada Akira, April 29, 1934 – March 14, 2022) was a Japanese film actor best known for his roles in the Godzilla film series.

Life and career

Akira Takarada was born in Korea under Japanese rule, and lived for a time in Manchuria, China. His father worked as an engineer on the South Manchuria Railway. After the war, he remained in Harbin, and he was able to speak Mandarin Chinese and English.

Takarada moved to Allied-occupied Japan with his family in 1948. He joined Toho as part of their "New Face" program in April 1953. In his film debut, he had a small role in And Then the Liberty Bell Rang, a biography of the educator Fukuzawa Yukichi. His big break came when he was cast as navy diver Hideto Ogata in the original Godzilla (1954). He became a popular actor at Toho for his good looks and charismatic, sophisticated character. He continued his association with the Godzilla series in Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966). He returned to the series in 1992 with Godzilla vs. Mothra and appeared again in Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). Other Toho science-fiction/special-effects films in which he appeared include Half Human (1955), The Last War (1961), King Kong Escapes (1967), and Latitude Zero (1969).

Toho prepared a musical production of Gone with the Wind with Broadway composer-lyricist Harold Rome for its new Imperial Garden theatre in 1970. Entitled Scarlett, Takarada was originally scheduled to play the role of Rhett Butler. However, injuries sustained in an accident in which he fell off a bulldozer while filming prevented him from participating in this stage production.

Takarada made a guest appearance at the fan convention G-Fest XVII in 2010, and again at G-Fest XIX in July 2012, G-Fest XXIII in July 2016, and G-Fest XXVI in 2019. He received G-FEST's Mangled Skyscraper Award in 2010, and the G-FAN Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. He has come to be known as "The Godfather of G-FEST." On March 27, 2013, Takarada posed for publicity photographs with director Gareth Edwards on the set of the Legendary/Warner Bros Godzilla reboot, suggesting a cameo of sorts in the new movie. His scenes were filmed, but ultimately cut from the movie. He is still listed in the movie credits.

Filmography

Selected works

Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
1954 And Then the Liberty Bell Rang Sōtarō Masuda
Bride in a Bathing Suit Masao Sakurai
Godzilla Hideto Ogata
1955 Half Human Takeshi Iijima
1956 Romantic Daughters Kubota
1957 Ōatari Sanshoku Musume narrator
Aoi Sanmyaku Tamao Memata
A Rainbow Plays in My Heart Tatsuo Itō
1958 A Holiday in Tokyo
1959 The Three Treasures Prince Wakatarashi
Life of an Expert Swordsman
1960 Hawaii Midway Daikai Kūsan: Taiheiyō Noarashi Communications officer
Daughters, Wives and a Mother
1961 The Last War Takano
Kohayagawa-ke no aki Tadashi Teramoto
1962 A Wanderer's Notebook Kō Fukuchi
1964 Mothra vs. Godzilla News Reporter Ichirō Sakai
1965 Ironfinger Andrew Hoshino
Invasion of Astro-Monster Astronaut K. Fuji
1966 Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster Yoshimura
1967 King Kong Escapes Lieutenant Commander Jirō Nomura
1968 Fancy Paradise Kō Maeno
1969 Latitude Zero Doctor Ken Tashirō
1990 Tales of a Golden Geisha Inukai
1992 Minbo
General Manager Kobayashi
Godzilla vs. Mothra Jōji Minamino
1996 Hissatsu! Mondo Shisu Mizuno Tadakuni Hissatsu series
1997 Marutai no Onna Police commissioner
2000 Tales of the Unusual
2004 Godzilla: Final Wars Natarō Daigo
2005 Fantastipo Kintarō Koinobori
2007 Glory to the Filmmaker!
2014 Godzilla Japanese Immigration Agent Deleted scene
2018 Ashita ni Kakeru Hashi
2018 The Great Buddha Arrival Storyteller
2019 Dance with Me Machin Ueda
2022 Life in Bloom Keizō

Television

Television drama

  • Shiratori Reiko de Gozaimasu! (1993) (Shōtarō Hakuchō)
  • Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1998) (Takatsukasa Masamichi)
  • Watashi no Aozora (2000) (Jōji Murai)
  • Shōtoku Taishi (2001) (Mononobe no Moriya)
  • Rokkā no Hanako-san (2002) (Kaichō Tatsumi)
  • Saka no Ue no Kumo (2009) (Fujino Susumu)
  • Carnation (2011) (Seizaburō Matsuzaka)
  • Keisei Saimin no Otoko Part 3 (2015) (Ikeda Shigeaki)

Dubbing roles

Live action

Animation

Video games

  • Adventure of Tokyo Disney Sea ~Losing of Jewel's Secret (Jafar)
  • Kingdom Hearts (2002) (Jafar)
  • Kingdom Hearts II (2005) (Jafar)
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (2010) (Jafar)

Stage productions

Other

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Akira Takarada para niños

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