Film Actor Ken Takakura Passes Away

posted on by Egan Loo
Star of Abashiri Prison, Golgo 13, The Yellow Handkerchief, Black Rain, Dearest

Film actor Ken Takakura passed away on November 10 at 3:49 a.m. in a Tokyo hospital due to lymphoma. He was 83.

Takakura was born under the name Kōichi Oda in Fukuoka Prefecture. He graduated from Meiji University's School of Commerce and joined Toei in 1955 as part of Toei's second round of "New Face" talent. He became an iconic film star of post-war Japan with such hit works as the Abashiri Prison series, the Nihon Kyōkakuden series, Shōwa Zankyōden, Mount Hakkoda, Antarctica, The Yellow Handkerchief, and Poppoya (Railroad Man). He also played the titular role in the live-action film adaptation of Takao Saito's Golgo 13 manga, and a police inspector in Ridley Scott's Black Rain in 1989. His final major role after more than 200 movies was in the 2012 film Dearest (Anata e).

The Japanese government awarded him its Medal with Purple Ribbon in 1998, followed by the Person of Cultural Merit honor in 2006 and induction into the Order of Culture last year. He received an Association's Special Award for lifetime achievement at the 37th Annual Japan Academy Prizes this year, after winning the prize's Best Actor Award in four previous years starting with 1978's The Yellow Handkerchief.

Takakura married singer Chiemi Eri, with whom he co-starred in Kyōfu no Kūchū Satsujin, although they divorced in 1971. In accordance to his wishes, a private funeral was already held for his close relatives.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip

Sources: Sports Nippon, Associated Press via Hachima Kikō, Cinewire

Update: Typo fixed. Thanks, Tenchi

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