Haruo Nakajima, the behind the icon that is Godzilla, has died today at the age of 88.
Nakajima began his acting career as a stuntman, appearing in several samurai films, most notably Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samuari. During his work on the war film Eagle of the Pacific Nakajima caught the attention Ishiro Honda, who would go on to direct Godzilla.
Honda offered Nakajima the role of the titular monster, a role that he would go on to play over a total of 12 films, including King Kong vs. Godzilla, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah: the Three-Headed Monster, and Destroy All Monsters.
In a recent interview Nakajima spoke of his work on the original film and his career as Godzilla, a role that was said to have been very dear to his heart.
As well as portraying Godzilla, Nakajima would also go on to do suit work as Mothra and King Kong, along with both human and monster roles in the television series Ultraman.
Nakajima made appearances at a number of Japanese monster themed conventions around the world, and produced an autobiography, Monster Life: Haruo Nakajima, the Original Godzilla Actor.
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