February 22, 2018

Original Godzilla suit actor dies aged 88

09 August 2017, 12:28 | Darrell Baldwin

Nakajima greets at fan at the 2016 Monsterpalooza convention

Nakajima greets at fan at the 2016 Monsterpalooza convention

Harau Nakajima, who was the man inside the monster suit for every "Godzilla" film from the 1954 original to 1972's "Godzilla vs. Gigan", died Monday (Aug. 7), according to Variety, citing "Godzilla" studio Toho. The actor, known in Japan as "Mr. Godzilla" is reported to have died on August 7, though no official announcement has been made.

Born on January 1, 1929, in Yamgata, Nakajima portrayed most of the monsters involved in the early years of the Godzilla franchise. The first one, however, was fashioned from concrete, because post-war shortages made rubber scarce.

Japanese movie major Toho confirmed Nakajima's death.

The film was co-written by the legendary director Akira Kurosawa, who later gave the actor minor roles in his classics Throne of Blood, Seven Samurai and Yojimbo.

After the success of the original, which was directed by Ishiro Honda, Nakajima went on to play Godzilla a dozen times.

'It was so heavy and hot, and with the lighting, it was even hot to touch it, ' he said.

"My Godzilla was the best".

He also spent time in the Tokyo zoo to get a feel for creatures like elephants and gorillas and to study how they moved.

Nakajima told Great Big Story he was proud of his role as Godzilla.

Godzilla, a walking, radiation-breathing analogy for nuclear disaster resonated in Japan. While plenty of other actors have appeared as the monster in subsequent films, as well as the monster being rendered by computer animation, many people believe that Nakajima's was the definitive Godzilla. The actor agreed with that assertion, saying in 2014: "I am the original, the real thing, ".

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