February 26, 2018

Godzilla Actor Dies at 88

09 August 2017, 12:27 | Rex Hubbard

Haruo Nakajima the man who performed inside the original Godzilla bodysuit has died. He was 88

Godzilla Haruo Nakajima

The man behind the monster has died: Haruo Nakajima, who wore the Godzilla bodysuit for every "Godzilla" film from the original to 1972's "Godzilla vs. Gigan", has died at 88.

Born in 1929 in Yamagata, Japan, Nakajima made his live-action debut in Hiroshi Inagaki's 1952 samurai flick Sword for Hire.

His death was confirmed by the Japanese film company Toho but a statement has not been released.

After the success of the original, which was directed by Ishiro Honda, Nakajima went on to play Godzilla a dozen times. As well as being painfully heavy, the suit would become hot under the studio lights.

Nakajima, who had previously performed stunts and played minor roles in Akira Kurosawa films like The Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress, took the prospect of playing a giant, mutated monster seriously when Toho first approached him.

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The actor told CNN's Great Big Story past year that he studied elephants and gorillas to prepare for his role as Godzilla.

Despite the numerous remakes, Nakajima still believed his portrayal of Godzilla was the best.

In his later life, Nakajima played a variety of characters in Japanese films such as "War of the Gargantuas", "Frankenstein Conquers the World", and others.

"Godzilla's breath is nuclear radiation". 'It remains in people's memory and for that I feel really grateful'. "He showed our audiences that atomic bombs are frightening". Unbeknownst to many fans, Nakajima made several human cameos in the series of films, including as a newspaper writer in the original Godzilla, a military advisor in Destroy All Monsters, and a comic book publisher in his final kaiju film.

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